Geothermal Segments:The Tunnel as Heat Supplier

At a time of increased mobility and also with the demand for reduction of CO2 output, regenerative energy sources are gaining significance. In addition to sun and wind, geothermal energy is also an option. Heat in the ground can be exploited by energetically activating structures in contact with the ground, e.g. tunnels. In the course of the upgrading of the railway route from Munich to Verona, a part of a tunnel in  the area of Jenbach in the Tyrol has been thermally activated in order to supply geothermal energy to the nearby utility centre.

Thanks to the logging of data from the operation of the Jenbach thermal power plant since 2012, and also from additional tests, it is now possible to make more detailed statements about the energy potential and opportunities of energetic activation. The heat, which in this case is extracted from quite a shallow depth, is used for heating and cooling purposes in buildings and transport structures with a potential extraction rate of 25–40 W/m². It has been demonstrated that the payback period is of the same order as normal geothermal plants.

1 The Jenbach Tunnel Pilot Project

Civil engineering...

Related articles:

Issue 2014-06 Switzerland

Hot Water from the Tunnel for generating Power

At the end of 1999, the 19 km long Vereina Tunnel in the Canton of Graubünden was opened by the Rhaetian Railway after eight years of construction, thus providing the required all-year round link to...

Issue 2018-06 Geothermal energy

Web-based Application for the Investigation of thermally activated Tunnels

1 Introduction About 32 % of the German energy consumption is used for the provision of heating and hot water in buildings, which corresponds to 40 % of all CO2 emissions. The share of renewable...

Issue 2010-02 Research Project GeoTU6

GeoTU6 – a geothermal Research Project for Tunnels

Underground cavities are at the centre of geothermal deliberations for low energy systems. They involve a high degree of earth contact and can also take over a thermal-energy function in addition to...

Issue 2017-07 Event

STUVA Conference from 6 to 8 Dec. 2017 in Stuttgart: The international Forum for Tunnels and Infrastructure

The STUVA Conference 2017, the International Forum for Tunnels and Infrastructure, will take place on 6 to 8 December 2017 in Stuttgart. At this „family meeting of the tunnelling industry“, you can...

Issue 2017-07 Germany

Tunnel under the River Main for innovative District Heating Network

Mainova AG, of Frankfurt on Main, is the largest energy utility in the state of Hesse and supplies more than a million people with power, gas, water and heat. On 10 August 2017, the new Mainova...