GeoTherm Expo & Congress
The GeoTherm Expo and Congress, the biggest European event for geothermal energy, this year was held on February 25-26 in Offenburg, in Germany.
For two whole days researchers, producers, public authorities representatives and professionals discussed about shallow and deep geothermal energy.
First of all, specialized industries on both sectors gave updated news on the latest technological developments. Then the audience could listen to the most recent regulation proposals concerning both deep and shallow geothermal resources exploitation. Finally currently existing or recently ended applied research projects presented their outcomes.
Consequently, in this international and interdisciplinary atmosphere, many opportunities arose to deal with colleagues and industry representatives. Also the two industrial partners of ITER Project, Fischer Spezialbaustoffe and Rehau AG & Co. attended the fair.
ITER Project at the biggest European geothermal event
Thanks to the cooperation with Thomas Popp (Fischer Spezialbaustoffe), we had the opportunity to present briefly our research. In fact the Fischer stand kindly hosted a poster showing the main challenges and the preliminary activities of ITER.
Identifying new thermally enhanced backfilling material (TEBM) for horizontal loop requires a better understanding of the thermal properties of soils. Moreover, these are helpful also in verifying the effect of different soils on horizontal heat exchangers performances.
Given the sedimentary deposits heterogeneity we need to perform laboratory tests on soil mixtures to determine their physical-thermal parameters variation. In fact, uncertainties on estimating thermal parameters for unconsolidated material affected by thermal use must be reduced.
In addition, characterizing the thermal properties of unconsolidated sediment will lead to create a thermal database useful also for other geothermal application. Numerical simulations and monitoring activities on real case studies, assessing the performance and the environmental impact of ground source heat pumps (GSHP) over time, emphasize the role of Earth Sciences in providing information to plan a fundamental and efficient use of the subsoil for the exploitation of shallow geothermal energy.