Soft ground improvement with solar-powered drainage

Chanidnun Pothiraksanon, Jaturonk Saowapakpiboon, Dennes T. Bergado, Panich Voottipruex, Hossam M. Abuel-Naga

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    In this study, raising the temperature of soft Bangkok clay up to 90°C using solar-powered prefabricated vertical drains during a preloading process was investigated in full-scale field tests. Two identical 6 m high, full-scale test embankments for preloading were constructed over the soft Bangkok clay where a conventional vertical drainage system was installed underneath one embankment and a solar-powered system was utilised for the other. Analyses were carried out to determine the flow parameters by backcalculation of field settlements in terms of the horizontal coefficient of consolidation (Ch) and the ratio between the horizontal hydraulic conductivity in the undisturbed zone (Kh) to the horizontal hydraulic conductivity in the smear zone (Ks). The field test analysis based upon the back-calculated results shows that the Kh/Ks values were 6·2 and 4·1 for drainage without and with heat, respectively, with corresponding Ch values of 6·8 and 8·5 m2/year, respectively. Thus, the use of solar heating can increase the drainage performance by reducing the drainage retardation effects in the smear zone around the drain.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)23-30
    Number of pages7
    JournalProceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Ground Improvement
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2010


    • Drainage & irrigation
    • Field testing & monitoring


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