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Geothermal plant systems can be cheaply integrated in tunnels
24.07.2013

Tapping geothermal energy in inner cities

When new tunnel structures are constructed in inner cities, this provides an excellent opportunity to also tap geothermal energy parallel to this and with little expenditure and effort. This energy can be used, for example, for heating and cooling buildings. The BINE Projektinfo brochure “Metro tunnels enable geothermal air-conditioning” (09/2013) presents a research project in Stuttgart. The aim is to research the effects of extracting heat from the surrounding ground.

Two ten-metre-long tunnel sections were equipped with absorbers during the construction, whereby the tubing was installed on the shotcrete used on the outer tunnel lining and embedded in the in-situ concrete used for the inner lining. Both absorbers are connected to a heat pump. Using this system, the researchers are simulating various extraction profiles. The measurements show that the temperature of the ground is only influenced up to a distance of eight metres. The scientists are also investigating the influence of groundwater and the tunnel air on the output of the system.

The measurements have been conducted by the Institutes for Building Energetics (IGE) and Geotechnical Engineering (IGS) at the University of Stuttgart. The test section was installed on the new tunnel built by Stuttgarter Straßenbahnen AG for its underground metro Line 6.

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Downloadable pictures

Note: All downloadable pictures may only be used for coverage relating to this research project.

Tapping geothermal energy in inner cities

The BINE-Projektinfo „Metro tunnels enable geothermal air-conditioning“ (09/2013)

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Figure 1: : Energy from the underground metro tunnel: The tubes for utilising the geothermal energy are embedded in the tunnel wall. (© Stuttgarter Straßenbahnen AG)

Figure 1
Energy from the underground metro tunnel: The tubes for utilising the geothermal energy are embedded in the tunnel wall. (© Stuttgarter Straßenbahnen AG)

Figure 2: This 3D view shows the energy block in the Fasanenhof tunnel with the absorber tubes between the inner and outer linings. (© University of Stuttgart, IGE)

Figure 2
This 3D view shows the energy block in the Fasanenhof tunnel with the absorber tubes between the inner and outer linings. (© University of Stuttgart, IGE)