Geothermal energy is the thermal energy that is generated and stored in the earth. Already at low temperatures, close to the surface, this energy can be utilized to provide energy for heating and cooling of buildings and infrastructure. The rocks in the subsurface also have great capacities of storing energy in the form of heat.
To date, no system or methodology has been developed to manage effective transfer of energy to or from reservoirs in crystalline rocks, based on fractures and fracture flow. The main objective of this project is the development of a digital platform to optimize the design and management, both short- and long-term, of open multi-reservoir geothermal systems.
The concept, which is scalable and adaptable to meet the needs of any site, allows construction of geothermal energy systems in areas previously considered impractical. The system can combine low temperature and high temperature aquifers to provide heat to end-users. The development is based on specialized simulation technology, tested, further developed and applied on real geothermal sites in Norway.
This year has Ruden started with the construction and testing of a new geothermal project in Tromsø. SINTEF has created the first prototype of the MRST geothermal software and it is currently being tested on two geoethermal projects. In addition is a standardized data sharing mechanism developed between Ruden and SINTEF. Next year is earmarked for improvements to the geothermal project in Tromsø and testing of the MRST software with at least 3 completed geo-energy systems. Sprint sessions will be held to speed up the development and make sure that the final software version meets the requirements for Ruden.
The main objective of this project is the development of a digital platform to optimize the design and both short and long-term management of complex geothermal systems. This would position Ruden AS’ LEAT/HEAT systems as the world’s first geothermal energy management solution in crystalline rocks, capable of handling peak-load energy requirements. The technology can be applied almost anywhere in the world and would establish geothermal energy as an eco-friendly and sustainable solution to the global need for industrial scale peak-load management of surplus-energy.
To date, no system or algorithm has been developed for effective transfer of energy to or from reservoirs in crystalline rocks, based on fractures and fracture flow. The last decade has seen a significant increase in the use of geothermal systems for production and seasonal storage of energy. However, current systems are limited both in terms of geological constraints and by the inability to meet peak-load energy demand. Ruden AS is developing an innovative concept to increase the flexibility of geothermal systems. The concept, which is infinitely scalable and adaptable to meet the needs of any site, allows construction of geo-energy systems in areas previously considered impractical. The system can combine low enthalpy "LEAT" (0-50oC) or high enthalpy "HEAT" (50-110oC) aquifers to provide heat to end-users. LEAT is primarily targeted at meeting the heating and cooling demands of buildings and infrastructure, be they housing developments or large business complexes. Meanwhile, HEAT is targeted at the seasonal storage of industrial waste-energy, providing load-balancing between excess summer energy production, and what is currently a heavy deficit of energy for covering winter energy demands.