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Cheap-GSHPs celebrates project’s final conference with its 3rd International Workshop – Enhancing Ground Source Heat exchangers and Pumps for a sustainable built environment

Cheap-GSHPs project faces the challenge of reducing the total cost of low enthalpy geothermal systems by improving current drilling/installation technologies and designs of Ground Source Heat Exchangers.

Ground heat exchangers of a shallow geothermal system and their installation technologies are mature but more expensive than traditional fossil fuel fired heating solutions. This project assumes a holistic approach aimed at lowering the overall costs and at maximizing the energy efficiency aimed at reducing the costs of ground heat exchangers themselves, reducing the engineering costs of geothermal heat exchangers sizing as well as the integration of design between the heat pump and the building's air conditioning system.

Cheap-GSHPs project’s ambition has been to reduce by 20 – 30 % the total cost of ownership composed out of investment and operating costs, increase the safety of shallow geothermal systems and increase the awareness of this technology throughout Europe considering that innovative solutions are especially needed for refurbishing existing and historical buildings.

Technically, the Cheap-GSHPs project has faced various challenges:

The development of a new helicoidal GSHE with larger diameters (up to 400 mm), together with an advanced 'enlarged-easy-drill' technology, to allow the installation of the new GSHE in large diameter boreholes, have been accomplished.

A new high-temperature heat pump has also been developed; which can provide a technically and economically sustainable geothermal solution also in the refurbishment of existing buildings, even suitable for historical buildings.

A design tool and a Decision Support System (DSS) has been developed for the design of new geothermal systems for the selection and dimensioning of geothermal technologies. These tools are public and available on the web and have been targeted at expert and non-expert users, respectively and make use of the geological, climatic and energy related databases developed within the project.

Finally, a set of recommendations to CEN and IEC committees that are drafting the standards applicable to the Cheap-GSHPs technologies have been developed, as well as recommendations for national standards where necessary modifications have been identified. Also, several systematic and strategic business models have been defined to put on the market new, integrated, efficient and cheap shallow geothermal solutions.

The efficiency of the developed technologies has been demonstrated with their installation in six real buildings located in several European countries (Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Spain) characterized by different climatic and geological conditions, while the DSS and design tool have been tested through its application in the design of geo-exchange systems for several real buildings with energy requirements in different geological and climatic conditions.

The end-event of the Cheap-GHSPs Project took place at the premises of the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe in Venice, Italy, on 22-23 May 2019. The 2-day event tackled the technological innovation, standard and barriers in shallow geothermal systems. Besides, 3 sessions were held devoted to exploring Cheap-GSHPs’ Decision Support System and Design Tools, opportunities, as well as Technology and Green building certification for sustainable built heritage.

For more details please follow Cheap-GSHPs website.

Source: Cheap-GSHPs Consortium