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TAP - Thermal aquifer Potential: A quantitative method to assess the spatial potential for the thermal use of groundwater

Böttcher, Fabian, Casasso, Alessandro, Götzl, Gregor, Zosseder, Kai
Renewable energy 2019 v.142 pp. 85-95
aquifers, drawdown, energy, groundwater, monitoring, planning, quantitative analysis, regression analysis, renewable energy sources, wells, Germany
This paper proposes a method to assess the potential for thermal use of groundwater and its integration in spatial energy planning. The procedure can be adapted to local regulatory and operational limits, thus estimating legally and technically achievable flow rates and subsequently, the thermal power that can be exchanged with the aquifer through a well doublet.The constraints applied to flow rates are i) a drawdown threshold in the extraction well, ii) a limit for the groundwater rise in the injection well and iii) a threshold to avoid the hydraulic breakthrough between the two wells. For the spatial assessment, the hydraulic influence on neighbouring well doublets is simulated with the maximum flow rates before the hydraulic breakthrough occurs. The Thermal Aquifer Potential (TAP) method combines mathematical relations derived through non-linear regression analysis using results from numerical parameter studies. A demonstration of the TAP method is provided with the potential assessment in Munich, Germany. The results are compared with monitoring data from existing open-loop systems, which prove that conservative peak extraction estimates are achieved.