What is 'Infrastructure Physics'?
Paper in proceedings, 2017
Since 2014, the research group 'Infrastructure Physics' sits at the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology. A number of researchers wonder 'What is infrastructure physics?' The aim of the paper is to explain and clarify the research field 'infrastructure physics' and its system boundary with other close research fields, such as building physics. Furthermore, some ongoing research projects will be presented briefly. Infrastructure consists of the basic physical systems of a society e.g. transportation, communication, sewage, water and electric systems. Physical infrastructure elements are always exposed to outdoor climate e.g. solar radiation, rain, driving rain, wind, and moisture and temperature variations. The harsh environment around the infrastructure causes different types of destructions that can reduce the function ability in the short time perspective and also reduce the service life time of an infrastructure. Furthermore, extreme weather conditions may cause undesired service interruptions of a system e.g. traffic stop due to flooding. Generally, infrastructure involves a heavy investment for the society which needs also maintenance under long period of time. In other to make the investment more efficient, it is possible to use our infrastructure for other proposes in addition to the initial proposes. For instance, energy harvesting in the vicinity of transport infrastructure. 'Infrastructure physics' deals with physics behind the phenomena related to physical behaviour of the materials, components and systems involved in infrastructure, in their specific environmental condition (underground, subsea, surface) in order to increase their accessibility and efficiency.
district heating network