Sustainable and nearly emission-free solution for heating and cooling buildings and storing seasonal energy is piloted in Smart Otaniemi. QHeat’s technology is based on 2 kilometers deep heat wells utilising geothermal heat.
It differs from traditional heat wells in two ways. – Because the well goes much deeper, temperatures at this depth are significantly higher and thus much more energy can be produced. The collector pipe that lifts the water up is an insulated steel tube, so it works like a thermos bottle. If the water flooding is turned into opposite direction the system cools the building, tells Chief Operating Officer, Mikael Maksimow, from QHeat.
Energy charging deep into the bedrock can be done whenever energy is cost effectively available e.g. during summer when solar and wind power are excessively available. Similarly, several waste energy sources can be combined and stored into the heat well. This enables efficient CircularEnergyEconomy. Technology allows 95 % reduction in CO2-emissions and provides an opportunity towards a more flexible energy market.
Piloting of the technology will be carried out in logistic building with 15 000 m2 owned by NREP Oy. The first 800 meters of the 2000 meters deep heat well has now been drilled, and Qheat is planning to switch the heat maintenance system on by the end of November this year.
NREP Logicenter in Koskelo, Espoo, Finland. Picture: NREP.
Piloting in real location is essential
– This is something we cannot pilot in a laboratory. For that reason, Smart Otaniemi test platform and funding for piloting is fundamental for us. We need a real reference case to commercialise and develop our technology further, Maksimow says.
QHeat heat well equals roughly 40 traditional ground heat units. This solves the problem regarding space requirements in dense city areas. One medium-deep heat well can be used to heat and cool a whole city block. Thus, geothermal energy is finally available also for densely built city centers.
In Finland the bedrock is very hard and cold, since it’s oldest in the world. Here and in other Nordic countries as well as in Canada, northern parts of the USA and China the system works quite similarly.
– In southern parts of Europe, we don’t have to drill as deep wells, since the bedrock is hotter in upper layers of the ground. However, there are other challenges such as gas, softer stone materials or more intense ground water flooding.
– Technically our solution is quite simple. The aim is that the system is competitive with district heating and that payback time of the investment is reasonable. We are heading with our solution to countries that have made climate and sustainability goals to reduce CO2 emissions, Maksimow tells.
From this perspective the target market of this clean energy solution is growing constantly.
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