Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Cheap-GSHPs Report Summary

Project ID: 657982


Reporting period: 2015-06-01 to 2016-11-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Cheap-GSHPs stands for “ Cheap and efficient application of reliable Ground Source Heat exchangers and PumpS” , an EU funded project running from 1st June 2015 till 31st May 2019.
The project is addressing the high upfront investment costs and the safety of shallow geothermal plants. The overall objectives are to reduce the total cost of ownership by 25 – 30 %, increase the safety of shallow geothermal systems during installation and operation and increase the awareness of this technology throughout Europe. These goals will be reached by drilling machine (figure 1) and drilling methodology improvements in combination with innovations to ground source heat exchanger designs (figure 2). Furthermore the development of modeling tools and a Decision Support System for an holistic engineering approach will allow the optimization of the systems for building and district heating and cooling applications across different underground and climate conditions around Europe. A two-stage heat pump for higher temperatures should avoid to have to replace terminals in building refurbishments. 6 real and 10 virtual demonstration cases will contribute to the ample efforts to increase awareness. These are important objectives for the society in terms of : support to the energy transition in the EU, an increase in the use of stable renewable energy and more deep building refurbishments.

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

Geological maps, climatic data and building energy profile requirements were developed and integrated in databases. The European Soil Data Centre (ESDAC) and the SGDBE (Soil Geographical Database) provided the dataset for the development of a new geological map called “FAU PAR-MAT-CON”. In function of the geological context, a drillability assessment is also provided. New and innovative thermal and physical measurements on rocks and unconsolidated materials are being performed complementing data from literature.
The cost structure of geothermal installations across different types of borehole heat exchangers, geologies and countries has been defined to uinderstand differences and establish a reference basis. The drilling is with about 60 % the largest cost. To reduce the total drilling meters helix type ground source heat exchangers (GSHE) were developed with a smaller diameter to facilitate drilling. In combination with a evolved dry drilling methodology these were installed at higher depths than is the case today.. The newly developed GSHE was tested together with the new developed drilling technique successfully under test site conditions.
Drilling machine tools were developed to pile coaxial GSHE’s with larger diameters faster and deeper into the soil. Different design improvements of these co-axial GSHE’s with an external tube out of stainless steel were simulated, including an internally insulated plastic tube developed on purpose. The most optimal GSHE’s have been successfully installed with the new drilling machine tools and methodology in record time. Anencouraging result for the future of this project.
The development of software and modelling tools for low enthalpy geothermal systems including the ground heat exchangers and the heat pumps is progressing well and enables a holistic engineering approach.. Furthermore a new heat pump with CO2 as refrigerant for higher temperatures is being designed and realized for a demonstration case in an historic and educational museum
The architecture, the functional and non-functional requirements of the “Decision support tool” a user friendly web application that enables the end-users to choose the safest and cost optimal geothermal technology for their installations has been defined. The DSS tool will serve as an accelerator for technical offices, building owners and investors to introduce into the market the novel technologies , i.e. the helicoidal GSHE (heat basket) and drilling machine developments in WP2, the coaxial GSHE and installation machine developments in WP3 and the new heat pump in WP4 compatible with existing heating terminals.
During this first reporting period essential preparatory work and planning has been done for the demonstration cases in WP6.
The legislative and regulatory context for the development of ground source heat pump systems in the case study areas but more specifically of the applicability of the regulations to closed loop collectors has been assessed in WP7. A series of comprehensive, detailed country specific and case study specific brochures have been presented.
In WP8 “Exploitation and market deployment” the market study on GSHP has been made..A general Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats analysis (SWOT) has confirmed the problems and issues being addressed in the project. A SWOT analysis applied to the historical building was also developed.
Within WP9 “Training, education and dissemination” an extended dissemination strategy and a very broad communication and dissemination plan were developed. In the first reporting period a large number of activities have been completed: the project website, flyer, brochure and newsletter, the first international workshop, the communication of project objectives in national and international congresses and conferences.

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)

Although the project is just 18 months underway some encouraging progress beyond the state of art has been made.
With the adapted dry drilling methodology, heat basket type GSHE’s are introduced into the ground at three times the depths in practice today. This could represent a safe and attractive alternative for already energy efficient buildings with limited energy requirements or applications where there is insufficient space for horizontal heat exchangers.
With the new drilling tools and the redesigned coaxial GSHE’s the target of 25 – 30 % cost reduction versus today’s state of art is within reach, pending confirmation in the different demonstration cases.
The modeling software and the dedicated databases for geology, climate, building energy profiles coupled to a decision support tool hold the potential of a first in kind end to end feasibility assessment for shallow geothermal installations including heat pump selection.

Related information

Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top