This is exactly what we at Quantitative Heat Oy are set to do in Smart Otaniemi programme. During the last years we have done a huge amount of research and simulations and developed a working hypothesis of how 2000 meters deep geothermal heat well would behave in real estate heating and cooling. During these analyses our Chief Technology Officer, Rami Niemi, understood, to his surprise, that the 2000 meters deep bore hole would also work as a seasonal energy storage. Based on these and many other bigger or smaller innovations QHeat was established in June 2018 – and now we are a team of six working passionately for clean future.
Now, back to the original question of how to demonstrate and confirm the proper function of geothermal energy storage? We cannot do a 2000 meters deep geothermal heat well in a laboratory scale, nor in a scale of 500 meters, simply because it just won’t work that way. We therefore needed to get funding for the full-scale power plant, a power plant based on a set-up no one had ever tried before. At first, this felt as a quite daunting task, but soon we had two very promising leads.
We applied for the second phase of the Smart Otaniemi programme and Business Finland was extremely supportive during the application process. During last spring we refined our application documentation and eventually we got the support from Business Finland and became a member of Smart Otaniemi in the work package 9, which is directed towards development and demonstration of high-potential applications leading towards zero emission renewable energy sources and storages – a very good fit for us. I consider this as a fine example of how Business Finland supports the development of Finnish technological innovations and supports their commercialization.
In addition to Business Finland, we were extremely fortunate to have also NREP Oy to support the project. NREP is a significant Nordic a real estate investor and developer and was from the beginning highly motivated to support the development of innovative carbon neutral energy solutions for their large real estate portfolio in Scandinavia. Our pilot geothermal heat well is being constructed in Koskelo, Espoo, for their 15 000 m2 logistics center.
Thus, we are living extremely exciting times in QHeat as we are presently drilling the bore hole and we expect that we can initiate the testing at the end of the year!