Research and development

The geothermal concept applied by Danish Geothermal District Heating is based upon proven technology, and therefore basically do not require research or further development. The existing geothermal plants in Thisted and in Copenhagen on the island of Amager demonstrate the durable concept.

Many green technologies are evolving, but contrary other green technologies the geothermal energy can be put into play immediately.

This does not mean that research and development can’t contribute to improvement of the exploitation of the geothermal energy. There will always be a need to further optimize and cheapen the establishment and operation of both wells and surface facilities.

Therefore, we are currently involved in two research projects on geothermal energy. Research projects overall aim is to encourage increased use of the geothermal resource. Increased use will contribute to achieving the energy policy objectives of reducing CO2 emissions, less dependence on fossil fuels, increased security and self-sufficiency.

Geothermal reservoirs

In order to reduce the financial risk of the establishment of new geothermal plants, there is a great need for continual expansion of knowledge of underground reservoirs and their water chemistry.

Danish District Heating Geotermiselskab is currently involved in the research project "The geothermal energy potential in Denmark - reservoir properties, temperature distribution and models for utilization" concerning an improved mapping of the geothermal reservoirs in Denmark. The project involves also GEUS (project manager), Aarhus University, Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU), DONG Energy and Others The project, which will run from 2010-2015, is supported by the Strategic Research Council.

The research project focuses on the main geological and geophysical parameters that determine the utilization opportunities. Work towards a greater understanding of the variation in reservoir unit quality and temperature, which can lead to the calculation of the total energy potential.

Seasonal heat storage

The geothermal plant interaction with another power supply is an area where further research and development will be helpful. Heat storage in geothermal reservoirs is probably what is missing, so that we can optimize the interaction between Denmark's renewable energy resources that are not always supply the energy just when it is needed. Evaluations have shown that a geothermal plant, supplemented with a storage well, in theory, is very suitable for establishing a seasonal storage of heat. This allows excess heat or heat produced cheaply, for example during the summer moved to the winter, when it can replace animal production based on fossil fuels. Seasonal thermal storage can be both economically attractive and at the same time reduce CO2 emissions. Dansih Geothermal District Heating is involved in the research project "Heho - Heat Storage in Hot Aquifers" supported by the Strategic Research (2011-2015). The project involves also DTU (project manager), GEUS, DONG Energy, ETH Zurich and BRGM in France.

The project examines how the sandstone reacts chemically and physically storing heat at a temperature that is above the natural formation temperature. It examined partly by laboratory tests and by mathematical modeling of the reservoir both on the small scale of individual grains and on the large scale of the whole reservoir of several square kilometers.

See more about the research project on this page: www.staff.dtu.dk/ilfa/HeHo.