Newspaper’s article about ITER Project
ITER appeared on Erlangen local newspaper Erlangen Nachrichten on April 27, 2016.
Due to the increased interest about using renewable energy for heating/cooling houses, there is a greater curiosity about what is shallow geothermal energy. It is not really clear how is possible to use the heat from the ground. Therefore, as researchers of the Friedrich-Alexander-University (FAU) working on this topic, we tried to clarify some aspects.
How to use the heat from the ground?
Most noteworthy is the idea to use the ground as a source of heat, taking heat in winter and injecting excess heat in summer with the help of a heat pump. This is possible because the average ground temperature is constant throughout the year. Therefore, we can transfer the heat to our advantage according to the climatic season. In addition, shallow geothermal energy is available always and everywhere, so several application are possible.
In front of the ITER test site (Eltersdorf), we discuss the differences between horizontal geothermal collectors and vertical borehole heat exchangers. In addition we explained how it is possible to analyze the cost-benefits of a technical solution by modeling with computer programs. However, there are still margins for improvements. Consequently, we presented the main aims of the European projects ongoing at FAU, as ITER and Cheap-GSHP.
For example, ITER wants to solve the problem of the dry sediments on surface, limiting the performance of horizontal collectors. “We want to change the ground in a natural way so that it becomes more humid and more conductive”, citing from the article.