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Research on seasonal thermal storage in the underground

Schematische Darstellung der Erkundungsbohrung unter dem TU Campus Charlottenburg (Abbildung: Guido Blöcher, GFZ, unter Verwendung von Google Earth).

GFZ German Research Centre begins exploratory drilling on the TU Berlin campus

29.02.2016: Today the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences starts off the research drilling on the campus of the TU Berlin in Charlottenburg. The research well will deliver data for the scientific evaluation of the suitability of the Berlin subsurface as a thermal and cold reservoir. The drilling will be accompanied by extensive borehole measurements and laboratory investigations.

Porous, aquiferous rock layers, so-called aquifers offer a high potential for the seasonal storage of heat or cold.  For example in summer heat can be stored in deep rock layers, which can then be used for a thermal supply in winter.

Ernst Huenges, Head of geothermal research at the GFZ and Professor at the TU Berlin explains: "Currently, Berlin’s heat supply is almost completely based on fossil fuel. The seasonal thermal storage in the subsurface has great potential with regard to providing a metropolis such as Berlin with it own domestic heat supply." Ali Saadat, Head of the project added "When we consider a future energy supply for urban quarters such as, for example, the TU Campus Berlin, aquifer storage facilities are simply indispensable.  With reliable application concepts we will be able to substantially contribute to the further development of this environmental friendly technology."

To date only very little data from the underground in Berlin is available. The results obtained from the actual drilling and the accompanying investigations in the field and in the laboratory will substantially increase the geological understanding on the structure of the deeper underground in Berlin. The exploration well will be drilled as a vertical drilling to a depth of approx. 530 metres, i.e. significantly below the drinking water layer.

For scientific investigations, rock samples and drill cores of up to 100 metres in length will be taken for examination on-site as well as in the laboratories of the GFZ.

This drilling is part of a joint research project between the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, the Technische Universität Berlin and the Universität der Künste Berlin. Within the framework of this project know-how from the different disciplines such as energy technology  geochemistry and geology,  architecture and urban development  will be brought together in order to develop seasonal storage concepts for the thermal supply of  urban quarters  and building complexes.

Already since the year 2000 – accompanied scientifically by the GFZ, seasonal thermal and cold reservoirs underneath the “Platz der Republik” have been supplying the parliament buildings in Berlin with power. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics. More information on the project can be found here>>

Figures can be found here>>

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