Thursday, November 19, 2015

United Kingdom: 3-D Survey Set to Begin for Geothermal Resources in Stoke

Scheme to Tap Cheap Energy (City News - Stoke-on-Trent)

Surveys to assess feasibility of turning hot water into heating

Seismic surveys will help Stoke-on-Trent City Council decide the future of its multi-million pound scheme to turn hot water locked deep underground into cheap heating.

The latest feasibility work on the deep geothermal District Heat Network will involve two trucks travelling from Keele across the Etruria Valley to Birches Head – using sound waves to collect key data for production of a 3-Dimensional geological model.

Experts have measured the deep underground water temperature at 95 degrees Centigrade and believe heating harnessed from it could be up to 10 per cent cheaper than traditional heating systems.

The plan is to pump this hot water to the surface and return it back again through a closed loop using two wells.

A simple heat exchanger would extract energy during the process, passing the heat into a network of pipes for distribution to large scale premises in Hanley, Shelton and Stoke.

Estimated construction costs of a deep geothermal energy centre are £17million and will be funded by the private sector.

Backed by £19.75million in Government money, the council will deliver the pipe network.

Market testing for potential private sector partners to establish an Energy Service Company (ESCo) is already underway. Completion of the whole scheme is anticipated by 2019.

Sebastien Danneels, the council’s Technical Lead Manager for the project, said: “The scheme has to be commercially viable and technically feasible to ensure that the customers are able to gain the benefits expected. It’s an innovative and fascinating scheme with significant practical benefits for the city as well as putting Stoke-on-Trent at the forefront of low carbon district heating in the UK.”

Viable alternatives and additional heat sources have been identified by the council if the deep geothermal heat source is not feasible so the scheme will continue.

There are already 212 successful geothermal district heating schemes across Europe. The city scheme would be the first of its kind of this scale in the UK if it goes ahead.