Our research aims to answer open questions in deep geothermal energy and to develop targeted solutions. The technology is considered holistically from exploration to the realized project and its optimized operation. Due to the interdisciplinary research approach of the GAB, opportunities as well as risks can be considered holistically from different perspectives.
Subproject: “efficient. Transition to renewable heat supply through intelligent use of deep geothermal energy”
The subproject deals with the mechanical, electrical and thermodynamic system components of geothermal energy utilization. The overall objective of the research is to improve geothermal heat utilization and thereby increase economic efficiency. New approaches for submersible centrifugal pump motors should be developed, which promise higher efficiencies and thus lower power consumption. In addition, experimental investigations of new circulation processes should be carried out at the test stand set up specifically for this purpose. For example, the technical feasibility of triangular processes should be investigated and new working media should be compared in terms of their applicability and efficiency. This work builds to a large extent on previous findings and the results of the first funding period of the GAB, using existing equipment and approaches. In addition, new concepts with CO2 as heat transfer and working media should be pursued in order to consider novel approaches. Beyond heat and power generation, a new concept should also be pursued for sorption coolers, which can use geothermal district heating locally to generate cooling for air conditioning.
Subproject Manager: Dr.-Ing. Christoph Wieland
Subproject: “regional. Exploring new potentials systematically”
In order to systematically explore new potentials, previously unused geothermal resources in northern Bavaria should be carefully investigated and suitable sites for a potential analysis of district heating supply should be identified for proven geothermal resources in southern Bavaria. To enable the utilization of deep geothermal energy also in the crystalline of Northern Bavaria, suitable sites should be identified in the area of the geothermal heat anomaly in the Bamberg-Coburg region and intensively investigated by means of a method combination of geophysical measurements, hydraulic characterization in the field laboratory as well as numerical modeling. The use of deep geothermal energy in Bavaria is currently concentrated in the hydrothermal resources in the molasse basin of southern Bavaria. However, the potential is far from being exhausted, especially for district heating supply . Therefore, two suitable sites in the Molasse Basin should be identified for a detailed analysis of the surface potential for geothermal district heating.
Subproject Manager: Dr. Wolfgang Bauer
Subproject: “social. Climate protection with a safe technology”
The subproject addresses the issue of social acceptance of deep geothermal energy. For this purpose, aspects of safety and environmental protection in geothermal projects are examined in detail. In terms of safety, induced seismicity in particular plays the most important role. Noticeable microseismic events, which occurred in the context of geothermal energy production in the Molasse Basin, led to disconcertion against the technology in the past. Therefore, the subproject will use simulations and experiments to perform a risk analysis and probability assessment of the occurrence of possible building damage due to repeated microseismic events. A second pillar of this research project deals with the question of how to prevent perceptible seismic events. Besides safety issues, the subproject “social” aims at the further development of comprehensive life cycle analyses in deep geothermal energy.
Subproject Manager: Dr. Joachim Wassermann
Subproject: “longterm. Ensuring sustainable thermal water production”.
In this subproject, the minimization of the drilling, exploration and production risk of hydrothermal geothermal energy in the Bavarian Molasse Basin, as well as sustainable reservoir management, are to be addressed in particular. For this purpose, a holistic approach is planned, which considers the interactions of the different influencing parameters (temperature, hydraulics, stresses/mechanics, hydrochemistry) in all scales. In particular, the Bavarian Molasse Basin should be investigated as an continuous geothermal system. Thus, the influences of the different structural units of the Bavarian Molasse Basin on the exploration, development and productivity of the Malm reservoir will be investigated. The key role lies on the petrophysical and geomechanical characterization of the reservoir as well as on the interaction between the building units of the Bavarian Molasse Basin based on drilling data, production data, drill cores, analog samples and field laboratories. The knowledge gained should then be applied in site-specific investigations for the development of prognostic and monitoring tools to improve reservoir engineering and monitoring and to ensure sustainable reservoir management and reduce drilling risk.