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GEOTeCH Report Summary

Project ID: 656889

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - GEOTeCH (Geothermal Technology for €conomic Cooling and Heating)

Reporting period: 2015-05-01 to 2016-10-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The Drilling technology that is currently used for installation of vertical borehole heat exchangers requires capitalintensive equipment that is expensive to mobilize, leads to deteriorated working conditions and requires experienced teams of specialist operatives. Drilling operations also often require significant quantities of drinking quality water and dispose of dirty water and mud.

GEOTeCH will employ a different drilling concept that is based on dry auger methods that requires less capital-intensive equipment, enhances safety and avoids the environmental risks, complexity and costs of dealing with water supplies and contaminated waste.Another key concept of GEOTeCH will be a better integration between heat exchange elements during installation by developing an innovative heat exchanger allowing to achieve high levels of thermal performance with low pressure loss. This device employs a coaxial configuration and spiral fluid flow pathways to achieve low thermal resistance compared to conventional Utube devices.

Furthermore, GEOTeCH aims to implement cost-effective geothermal systems by alleviating the costs associated with drilling boreholes in large size buildings. The GEOTeCH’s approach seeks the maximum use of the foundation structures that are otherwise required, exclusively, for structural and geotechnical purposes in tertiary buildings. Foundation structures such as piles, screen walls and basement slabs will become effective geothermal heat exchangers in GEOTeCH.

GEOTeCH will develop optimized hybrid solutions that will integrate the different geothermal systems in small and large buildings market. The optimization of geothermal system operation will be achieved with the Energy Management System and the development of a dual source heat pump capable of making optimal use of ground and/or air environmental heat sources. The GEOT€CH’s geothermal heating and cooling standard will be more attractive to design professionals and construction companies.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

GEOTeCH project aims to stimulate and promote utilization of renewable heating and cooling using shallow geothermal GSHP (Ground Source Heat Pumps) systems through advancement of innovative drilling and ground heat exchanger technologies that are significantly more cost-effective than current existing technologies in the field. In order to do this, the project objectives are the development of an innovative vertical borehole drilling technology based on dry augers, the development and building of a drill rig prototype designed to operate with the new innovative drilling technology, the improvement of ground heat exchangers (vertical borehole and foundation heat exchangers) technologies through reducing their cost, improving their thermal performance, and reducing their environmental impact, and create replicable system solutions for wide-scale market development.
As one of the main objective is to improve the drilling technologies for the borehole implementation, during the first period of the project the hollow stem auger geometry and operating parameters have been selected. Also an evaluation and selection of the auger coupling technique and cutting head took place, along with the determination of the drill rig requirements. Single prototype manufacturing of auger sections and a prototype drill rig are under construction.
With regard to the improvement of ground heat exchangers technology, key performance parameters have been identified and quantified for all target applications, numerical models of the different technologies(: borehole heat exchanger and foundation heat exchangers) have been prepared.
The Consortium efforts during the first 18 months towards the Plug & Play Geothermal System aimed to integrate vertical borehole heat exchanger technology with the heat pump in order to obtain a “plug-and-play” packaged solution, the work developed until this moment consisting on the design of the heat pump and the first prototype has been already completed. Also three different simulation models of the plug and play system for controller algorithm selection and optimization have been developed along with integrated systems models, controller modules, and individual control sequences.
The technology being developed, needs to be efficiently managed, in order to do this, building integration and management systems for geothermal energy are being established. The work performed so far in this area consists on the definition of the functional specifications and communication architecture. Data monitoring process has already started, allowing for the self-learning modules to start their optimization for the specific purposes they will be used for.
The newly developed technologies need to be tested, four different pilot sites have been initially analized and selected for demonstration, validation and LCA studies. During the first period, the plug & play and the foundation heat exchangers have been designed defining the piping and instrumentation diagram and monitoring plan along with a detailed implementation procedure and commissioning.
One of the project requirements is the preparation of business modelling and business planning. In order to achieve these, an overview of the nowadays technologies has been developed along with market requirements to obtain the market assessment. This WP has also obtained information regarding the geological and geothermal conditions in different countries.
Dissemination and communication activities to raise awareness among stakeholders have been performed (workshop participation, dissemination kit, website, posters, or newsletters among others).

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

- Turn-key heat pump packages (equipment, controls & heat exchanger and source coupling).
- Advanced packaged controller for hybrid (dual source) heat pump system management and integration.
- Design tools, guidelines, handbooks, business tools and training courses for heat pump package installers.
- Licencing of drill technology and bespoke hollow stem augers.
- High speed augering rig.
- Hollow stem augers.
- Drilling bits.
- Calculator and simulator for internal use in technical department of EMTE to study and carry out projects in buildings.
- An innovative internal and confidential construction, installation and commissioning procedure for a cost-effective integration of geothermal solutions.
- Knowledge of the sensitivity values of the variables that affect, technically and economically, the performance of a geothermal installation for the design of cost-effective solutions.
- Final aggregated and split cost of geothermal solutions for different market and environmental applications (large/medium/small scale).
- Engineering solutions for cost-effective hybridization of geothermal solutions with conventional HVAC systems.
- Correct integration of geothermal technologies with the Building Energy Management System (BEMS) included in the building, for a correct management of the elements.
- New technical solutions for small installations.
- New control system with all the variables to analyze the correct operation of the geothermal installation.
- Piping systems and technologies with improved design and production methods.
- Improved installing techniques.
- Enhanced technological solution with reduced costs.
- New Heat Pump generation
- LCA consultancy services
- Innovative Geothermal Energy service provision
- Services related to LCA, LCC and LCSA.
- Services related to business modelling.

Related information

Record Number: 196436 / Last updated on: 2017-03-30
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