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The Geobattery Concept – a sustainable future for shallow geothermal resources?

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Heating the air in our buildings is responsible for almost ΒΌ of all UK CO2 emissions and is a sector we need to decarbonise quickly to meet net zero targets. Abandoned coal mines have huge potential to provide a low carbon heat resource due to their expected connectivity and transmissivity, readily available warm water, and their co-location with heat demand. However, we need to be careful how we develop these resources to avoid over exploitation because heat demand is often far greater than recharge rate. At the same time industrial processes exhaust ~46 TWh of excess heat per year into the atmosphere squandering an important and valuable resource. In this talk I will present recent work from our group at the University of Edinburgh investigating the energy balance of shallow geothermal resources and thermal energy storage from both an energy and reservoir stability perspective. I will also introduce the Geobattery concept as a possible way of recycling industrial excess heat to maximise mine water heat potential and ensure the effective management of shallow geothermal resources.

Bio

Andrew Fraser-Harris is a post-doctoral research associate in GeoEnergy at the University of Edinburgh. He studied for an MSci in Geology at the University of Birmingham with a year at the University of Auckland which sparked his interest in Geoenergy, particularly geothermal energy. He then did an MScR and PhD in coupled process modelling before continuing onto a post-doc at Edinburgh combining experimental equipment development with numerical modelling to study radioactive waste disposal, conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon recovery, rock mechanics, integrated risk assessments, and geothermal energy. His recent focus is on technologies to decarbonise heating through low temperature resources.

This talk is part of the Seminars for the Centre for Environmental and Industrial Flows series.

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