Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Intelligent use of the Earth's heat

Enhanced geothermal energy using modern research methods

Geothermal energy is increasingly contributing to the power supply world wide. Iceland is world-leader in expanding development of geothermal utilization: in recent years the annual power supply here doubled to more than 500 MW alone in the supply of electricity. And also in Germany, a dynamic development is to be seen: over 100 MW of heat are currently being provided through geothermal energy.

Alone in the region of Travale, in the pioneering country Italy, a team of european scientists have localizied geothermal reservoirs, holding a potential comparable to the effectiveness of 1.000 wind power plants. This is one of the results presented at the international final conference of the project „I-GET" (Integrated Geophysical Exploration Technologies for deep fractured geothermal systems) in Potsdam. The aim of this European Union project, in which seven european nations participated, was the development of cutting-edge geophysical methods with which potential geothermal reservoirs can be safely explored and directly tapped.

„The new methods deliver important decision-support for the selection of sites for future geothermal projects. With this we can considerably reduce the risk of expensive misdrills" explains Dr. Ernst Huenges, Head of Geothermal Research at the host institute GFZ - German Research Centre for Geosciences.

The newly developed approaches have been tested at four European geothermal locations with different geological and thermo¬dynamic conditions: high-temperature reservoirs have been examined in Travale/Italien (metamorphic rocks) and in Hengill/Island (volcanic rocks), two deposits with medium-temperature in deep sediment rocks are Groß-Schönebeck/Germany and Skierniewice/Poland. The methodology is based on the measurement of seismic velocities and electrical conductivity in the underground which deliver information on the rock-physical characteristics at depth. Different methods have, hereby, been combined, in addition to borehole measurements and rock-analysis.

I-GET experiments have been carried out using a case study in the surrounding of the GFZ research borehole at Groß Schönebeck, nordwest of Berlin. And here, extensive pre-knowledge from experimental investigations in the in situ geothermal-laboratory in Groß Schönebeck is already available. The geological conditions prevailing in the North German Basin are representative for further parts of central Europe, and thus the research results are also of high interest beyond Germany's borders.

The GFZ, member of the Helmholtz-Association of German Research Centres, had the leading role in I-GET and was able to contribute with is acquired knowledge in the field of low-temperature geothermal reservoirs.

The results of I-GET emanate worldwide: experts from Indonesia, New Zealand, Australia, Japan and the USA were among the 120 scientists and industry representatives from the 20 countries who participated at the meeting.

„Reliable geothermal technologies are in demand worldwide. Even countries with a long experience in geothermal energy such as Indonesia and New Zealand are interested in the results acquired in I-GET", says Dr. Ernst Huenges. Therefore, the GFZ is further developing its geothermal research and is currently setting up an International Centre for Geothermal Research, which will, in particular, carry out application-oriented large-scale projects on a national and international level.

Franz Ossing | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Prototype device for measuring graphene-based electromagnetic radiation created
28.10.2016 | Lomonosov Moscow State University

nachricht Steering a fusion plasma toward stability
28.10.2016 | American Physical Society

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel light sources made of 2D materials

Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.

So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Prototype device for measuring graphene-based electromagnetic radiation created

28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Gamma ray camera offers new view on ultra-high energy electrons in plasma

28.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

When fat cells change their colour

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>