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GEOCOND - Advanced materials for geothermal energy exchange and storage

GEOCOND develops material solutions to increase the performance of shallow geothermal energy systems and underground thermal energy storage. The focus is on the development of new pipe materials, advanced grout formulations and advanced phase change materials supported by numerical simulations.

Aim and goal

The purpose of GEOCOND is to combine different technology areas to overcome functional, economic, performance and environmental limitations of materials presently used in geothermal applications. GEOCOND develops the knowledge to go beyond the state of the art under strict sustainable principles demonstrating the affordability of the new solutions.

Challenge

Heating and cooling of the EU building stock is by more than 80% dominated by fossil fuels. This sector is therefore heavily responsible for the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions. Shallow geothermal energy systems (SGES) represent a sustainable alternative. However, there is still a need to remove market barriers, which consist of comparably high installation costs, low awareness of this technology and diverse regulations in the EU. Moreover, underground thermal energy storage (UTES) using soil has been considered since long to store excess thermal energy from other renewable sources, such as wind or solar energy systems, but technologies are still preliminary and effective solutions are needed.

Solution

GEOCOND focusses on four areas of development that greatly impact the efficiency and thus, the costs associated with SGES/UTES:

  • New pipe materials with improved thermal conductivity, increased resistance to high temperatures and geometries that are more efficient and easier to install;
  • New technologies to improve the thermal properties of the grouting of borehole heat exchangers and of the surrounding soil;
  • Use of new types of PCM to improve the performance of UTES;
  • Material decision support system that allows for appropriate design of SGES and UTES.

Effect

By a smart combination of different material solutions, GEOCOND addresses first of all the improvement of the installation and operating efficiency of SGES and UTES, reducing the installation costs by nearly 15%, increasing the deployment of this technology by at least 10% versus current estimates and thus, directly contributing to the environment with an additional reduction rate of CO2 emissions of 1800 tCO2/year.

 

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement Nº 727583.


Supports the UN sustainability goals

7. Affordable and clean energy
9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure
11. Sustainable cities and communities
12. Responsible consumption and production
Patrick Fontana

Contact person

Patrick Fontana

Enhetschef

+46 10 516 68 28
patrick.fontana@ri.se

Read more about Patrick