ARCTIC
FOUNDATIONS
OF CANADA

Applications

Applications for AFC technology are many and varied. The original and still most prevailent application is for permafrost stabilization. Other appications are containment and barriers for hazardous waste and mining and dams.

 

This technology has been in use since the 1960's and as such has been utilized on over 900 installations. Most of these applications have been in arctic climates where soil freezing is accomplished passively (i.e. without the use of power). The essence of thermosyphon technology is well developed irrespective of the climate it is applied in.

 

The cooling can be concentrated at predetermined subgrade depths through selective control of the wetted surface. Conventional liquid systems cannot selectively concentrate the cooling to a subgrade location because they experience their maximum temperature differentials near the refrigeration unit above ground.

 

Two-phase systems are inherently more efficient than single-phase systems. The heat transfer associated with the liquid-to-gas and gas-to-liquid phase change is thermodynamically more efficient than are the heat transfer attributes of single phase liquids or gasses.