Energy recovery with heat pumps

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In sedimentary basins, the temperature is more or less constant near the surface reflecting more or less the mean annual near-surface temperatures.
Below that zone, the temperature varies because of the different geological characteristics and groundwater flow processes. These basins constitute low-enthalpy geothermal resources. Such low-enthalpy sources can be exploited for efficient electricity generation.
Among all the available technologies for geothermal resource exploitation there is cogeneration. Cogeneration systems produce both electrical (or mechanical) energy and thermal energy from the same primary energy source.

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Planned activities within PerFORM WATER 2030

The research activities regargding energy recovery with heat pumps are part of the Recovery of energy and materials research line included in PerFORM WATER 2030. They include the quantification of the groundwater geothermal potential according to the geological characteristics of the aquifers and the available technologies.

Objectives and expected results

  • Definition of the background level of the aquifers temperature and of the impacts of climatic changes.

  • Development of geothermal potential maps according to the available technologies for the exploitation of geothermal resource (open-loop, closed-loop, cogeneration).

  • Wells mapping according to distance from public buildings for possible cogeneration plants.

Description of the activities

  • Application of analytical methods for the analysis of the aquifers thermal parameters on the basis of lithological and hydrodynamic characteristics.

  • Analysis of the general relationships between land use, recharge and groundwater temperature.

Partners involved

Department DISAT-GEO of Università degli Studi di Milano - Bicocca conducts the research activities using hydro-informatics tools and geostatistical methods for the exploitation of renewable energy resources, while CAP Group provided the necessary data and scientific support.

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