Section 6.2: Geothermal Energy Systems

The use of aquifers for storage of thermal energy implies a use of both the thermal storage capacity of ground water as well as that of the water-saturated rock. Both heat and cold can be stored. The storage capacity of an aquifer is large compared to other thermal storage systems due its large mass. For this reason, aquifers are often used for seasonal or long-term energy storage.

Further investigations at the Geothermal Research Platform Groß Schönebeck are carried out in order to show, if the geothermal potential of the North-German Basin (NGB) can be utilized for electricity generation with a fracture-dominated development of the deep geothermal reservoir in the Rotliegend.

DESTRESS aims at demonstrating different stimulation techniques in order to allow for an economic provision of geothermal energy from low productive reservoirs.

Within the project SURE the radial water jet drilling (RJD) technology will be investigated and tested as a method to increase the performance of low productive geothermal wells.

GeoWell (Innovative materials and designs for long-life high-temperature geothermal wells) aims at developing reliable, cost effective and environmentally safe technologies for design, completion and monitoring of high-temperature geothermal wells.

The GEMex project is a joint effort of a European consortium (24 partners) with a corresponding consortium from Mexico (9 partners). GEMex focusses on resource assessment and characterization based on the combination of novel and conventional technologies at two geothermal systems in the Mexican Volcanic Belt. Concepts for site development will evolve from the project. GEMex is coordinated by GFZ.

In November 2013, the four year project IMAGE (Integrated Methods for Advanced Geothermal Exploration) was launched, harnessing research power of key research institutes in Europe and industrial players to develop novel exploration techniques for geothermal power.

Scientists of GFZs International Centre for Geothermal Research and indonesian partner institutions bundle their expertise for the development of a geothermal ORC (Organic Rankine Cycle) demonstration power plant in Indonesia.

In this project we will demonstrate thermally driven cooling based on renewable energy resources (solar and underground) in Oman.

Mass distribution changes are monitored by simultaneous measurements of spatially distributed high-performance, high-frequency gravitymeters in an operated geothermal field, to better understand the related reservoir processes.

In the future we will cover a big share of our energy demand with renewable energies. A reliable, stable and affordable energy supply requires, in addition to the obvious grid expansion and storages, the consideration of systemic aspects and flexibility of both the producers and the consumers.

The objective of this project in New Zealand is to improve fault zone analysis for the exploration of geothermal systems. It combines two technical approaches of diffuse degassing and emanation measurements at the Earth’s surface.

Ernst Huenges
Section Head
Prof. Dr. Ernst Huenges
Geothermal Energy Systems
Building A 69 , Room 216
14473 Potsdam
+49 331 288-1440