Drilling successfully completed for a geothermal mine water project, Germany

Mine tower, Bochum, Germany (source: flickr/ x1klima, creative commons)

The drilling of a second well for a project targeting hot water from an abandoned mine for the use of geothermal energy has been successfully completed in Bochum, Germany.

In a statement shared today, research organization Fraunhofer IEG and local utility Stadtwerke Bochum announce the successful completion of the second geothermal well at approximately 820 meters. The derrick will be dismantled in the next few days. Subsequently, pumping tests are planned in order to better assess the yield of the mine water. The first well at a depth of about 340 meters was already successful in February. Both wells will be part of a so-called 5th generation energy saving heating and cooling system for the site’s commercial customers. FUW GmbH, a subsidiary of Stadtwerke, and the Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Infrastructure and Geothermal Energy IEG jointly explored the use of mine water at the MARK 51°7 site and implemented the drilling concept with the drilling company MND Drilling.

“We are very pleased with the success of the geothermal drilling. At MARK 51°7, the thermal transition becomes reality! Even in international comparison, we are creating a very innovative and future-oriented energy supply here,” says Dietmar Spohn, spokesman for the management of Stadtwerke Bochum. “We will now finalize the planning of the system technology for the extraction of water from the mine on the drilling site and for the new energy center east. There, the heating and cooling energy contained in the mine water must be brought to the temperature level required for supplying customers with heat pumps.

“Tackling the thermal transition is now more urgent than ever. Geothermal energy combines all the properties we need for a future-proof site, as it is sustainable, regional, independent of weather conditions and independent of the import of raw materials such as oil and gas”, emphasizes Professor Rolf Bracke, director of the Fraunhofer IEG based in Bochum. “We are pleased to be able to make this supraregional exemplary contribution to innovation with municipal services on MARK 51°7 and thus to combine geothermal energy, heating networks, underground storage and large-scale heat pumps in a showcase project for the municipal heating transition in Germany”.

For heat supply, mine water from the former Dannenbaum mine, which is around 30 degrees Celsius, must be heated to around 45 degrees Celsius using heat pumps and then injected into the network. Mine water is also used to cool properties under construction. For this, “cold” water at a temperature of about 18 degrees Celsius is pumped from a depth of about 340 meters.

According to forecasts, the natural energy potential of the mine water will cover more than 75% of the heating and cooling needs of the connected customers thanks to this optimal energy use. The remaining heat requirements are covered by the district heating network of FUW GmbH. Cooling quantities that are additionally required on very hot days are transferred to the cooling network of the MARK 51°7 via conventional cooling systems.

The new energy concept makes an important contribution to climate protection. Through the use of mine water as a sustainable and renewable source of energy, emissions of climate-damaging greenhouse gases (CO2) are reduced by approximately 3,200 tonnes per year in total compared to a conventional heating and cooling supply powered by natural gas and electric compression chillers.

The development of the innovative heating and cooling supply for MARK 51°7 is supported by funds from the European Interreg North West Europe program and the BMWi funding program “Heating Networks 4.0”. The project partners would like to thank the district government of Arnsberg, as the licensing and supervisory authority responsible for mining law, for its constructive work during this complex drilling project.

MARK 51°7 is one of Germany’s largest innovation districts. Modern technology-oriented companies find space on the nearly 70 hectare site, as do institutes and research facilities that seek close contact with business. 96% of the site of the former Opel plant in Bochum, which is being prepared by Bochum Perspektive GmbH, has already been marketed.

source: company press release by e-mail

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