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GeoSmart: Demonstration in low enthalpy at Balmatt, Belgium

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Thu, 09 January, 2020

"Our underpinning concept is provision of tailored thermal energy storage for demonstration at high and low enthalpy sites"

- GeoSmart Consortium

GeoSmart aims to unlock the full potential of geothermal through ensuring optimum recovery of heat from brine, efficiency conservation against seasonal variation, and through enhancing the operational flexibility.

Innovations at Balmatt:

The aim of the innovations at Balmatt is to demonstrate the added value of thermal energy storage to increase the flexibility and efficiency of electricity and heat delivery by geothermal plants. High temperature storage is evaluated to increase the flexibility towards heat delivery to an existing district heating network and to shift the electrical output of the Organic Rankine Cycle ( ORC, converts geothermal heat to electricity) to moments with higher value of the electricity. As second innovation, seasonal storage based on ATES (Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage) is evaluated to increase the electrical efficiency and electrical output of an ORC compared to traditional cooling with dry coolers or adiabatic coolers in summer months.

Established in 2015, VITO started the drilling work of its first deep geothermal well at Balmatt. With more wells being drilled, the heat will be used for district heating network as well as for electricity production with an ORC.

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