Project Summary

Geothermal Community Heat technology and Transfer (GeoCoHorT)

GeoCoHorT aims to accelerate the transition to 4th generation district heating and cooling (4GDHC) in Europe and globally, by assessing, optimizing, and demonstrating the integration of shallow geothermal heat extraction with other renewable sources and smart buildings. The main case study is a micro-district in Limerick, Ireland, comprising commercial and residential buildings. One of the target geo-sources is ground water from the River Shannon, which will provide both an efficiency and noise-reduction benefit to the micro-district and a method of combatting climate-change-warming of the Shannon Estuary. The project investigates how the heat from this and other low-temperature sources can be recycled and supplied to the smart district through heat pumps powered by intermittent renewable electricity and by means of a suitable DH network design. The mandate is to find solutions that work for entire communities in a fair and sustainable manner, with the involvement of the communities themselves to highlight their needs.

The long-term aim is to assess non-conventional and low-temperature sources for heating and cooling and their integration into small and medium scale DH networks and smart buildings. The project will deliver a user-friendly resource/demand matching tool, which community members and city planners can use to understand the cost/benefit of employing locally available (geothermal or other) resources for heating a district in that community. The tool will provide optimized DH system configuration, costs, and environmental impact and will assist in decision-making. The benefits that a successful

GeoCoHorT will bring to the society are:

i) reduced dependence on fossil fuels for heating and cooling;

ii) reduced CO2 emissions;

iii) increased exploitation of intermittent renewable energy sources;

iv) cooling of water sources/reservoirs such as rivers and lakes and mitigation of global warming effects;

v) simple and community-oriented planning for investing in local DH systems.