Underground thermal energy storage


Aalto University’s new campus building that consists of A Bloc shopping center, Väre ARTS building and School of Business Ekonominaukio 1 is equipped with a state of the art geothermal heating system. The system consists of 77 boreholes that are 320 m deep each. The system provides most of the heating and cooling energy and thus drives the campus towards the sustainability and energy self-sufficiency goals. However, the overall system of the geothermal heating solution and the building automation is complex. Research is required to fully understand the system in order to take use of its full potential.


The goal of the project is to understand the capabilities of the system for minimizing the need for external energy during all seasons. This is carried out by modelling the energy streams of the building and capabilities of the geothermal wells as a seasonal energy storage. The system is equipped with distributed temperature sensing (DTS) cables that produce very accurate data of the soil temperatures. This data can be utilized in studying the optimal use of the system in general and also in understanding the energy storage capabilities of the bedrock.


The detailed model of the bedrock reactions to the use of geothermal energy system is the final result of the project. The data is currently being produced for the model.

According to the preliminary analyses, it seems that the geothermal capabilities of the field are excellent. From the analyses we can see that increases in the temperature are on good levels. The final model will also describe how the heating during the cold season decreased the temperature level in the ground that can then be better utilized in cooling during the hot season and vice versa.

Check the pilot poster here.

Pilot partners

Aalto University School of Electrical Engineering
Aalto University School of Engineering

Geological Survey Finland (GTK)


Antti Säynäjoki
Project Manager, ACRE
+358 50 364 3745

ACRE – Your partner in developing smart and sustainable campus

Aalto University Campus & Real Estate (ACRE) has a central role in Smart Otaniemi as they manage buildings of Aalto University in the Otaniemi campus area. Because many Smart Otaniemi pilots need and produce data linked to buildings and its users, you’ll probably bump on the name ACRE, if you are piloting your solution in Otaniemi. They are also leading the underground thermal energy storage pilot.

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