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Special Issue "Direct Utilization of Geothermal Energy"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Alessandro Franco

Department of Energy, Systems, Territory and Construction Engineering, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: applied thermodynamics; heat transfer; energy systems; renewable energy; geothermal energy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Geothermal energy uses natural geothermal fluids for a full spectrum of cascading uses, including district heating and cooling, commercial and residential applications, industrial processes, and agricultural uses, such as greenhouses.

Even if geothermal energy use dates back to a number of centuries ago, in recent times, there has been a growing interest in using geothermal hot water for many applications that require heat for energy saving purposes.

A geothermal resource that consists of hot water at medium to low temperatures (in general below 120–130 °C) underlies many areas in the world. Traditionally, direct-use of geothermal energy has been based on small-scale application. More recent developments involve large-scale projects, such as large district heating systems, greenhouse complexes, and industrial use connected with rather large factories. In recent times, heat exchangers and components are also becoming more efficient and better-adapted to geothermal systems, allowing the use of lower-temperature water and highly saline fluids. Moreover, the diffusion of heat pumps utilizing very low-temperature fluids (20–30 °C) have extended direct geothermal uses to traditionally non-geothermal countries.

In this framework, this Special Issue aims at collecting contributions focusing the recent application of geothermal systems for direct energy uses. The specific element of interest is to collect data coming from real application of geothermal energy for direct utilization.

The main objectives are as follows:

  • Describe the actual scenario of geothermal energy direct uses;
  • Specify the barriers that limit the concrete possibility to extend the use of geothermal energy systems for direct uses;
  • Suggest possible measures, tools and policies to promote further diffusion.

Studies are expected to underline the relationship between the technical and scientific contexts and the local contexts, with the support of case studies and to highlight the potentiality of extending the uses of geothermal energy for direct energy utilization.

Prof. Alessandro Franco
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

References

Lund, J.W.; Freston, D.H.; Boyd, T.L. Direct utilization of geothermal energy 2015 worldwide review. Geothermics 2016, 60, 66–93.

Lund, J.W.; Freston, D.H.; Boyd, T.L. Direct utilization of geothermal energy 2010 worldwide review. Geothermics 2011, 40, 159–180.

Keywords

  • Geothermal energy
  • Direct use
  • Energy savings
  • Space heating
  • District heating
  • Greenhouses
  • Industrial applications
  • Heat Pumps

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Impact of Boundary Conditions on a Groundwater Heat Pump System Design in a Shallow and Thin Aquifer near the River
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 797; doi:10.3390/su9050797
Received: 20 April 2017 / Revised: 5 May 2017 / Accepted: 8 May 2017 / Published: 11 May 2017
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Abstract
The exploitation of shallow geothermal energy through a groundwater heat pump (GWHP) is always limited to thick and deep aquifers containing abundant water with a relatively stable temperature. Unfortunately, aquifers in hilly regions which occupy two thirds of China are usually thin and
[...] Read more.
The exploitation of shallow geothermal energy through a groundwater heat pump (GWHP) is always limited to thick and deep aquifers containing abundant water with a relatively stable temperature. Unfortunately, aquifers in hilly regions which occupy two thirds of China are usually thin and shallow. The boundary conditions in those hilly areas affect the groundwater flow that is used for geothermal energy production. To quantify the impact of boundary conditions on the shallow geothermal energy development, a shallow and thin aquifer near the Qingyi River in Anhui Province was chosen as a case study, and a three-dimensional heat–water model was developed using FEFLOW. The impact of the boundary conditions on the hydrodynamic and temperature fields of the aquifer was analyzed by using the developed model. Furthermore, the well locations of a pumping-recharging system near the river correspond to three different modes of pumping-recharging well layouts that were optimized based on the changes of pumping water temperature and the maximum drawdown. The simulation results indicated that the influence of atmospheric temperature on groundwater temperature is negligible below a depth of 11 m. When the river level is above 28 m, the optimal scheme of pumping-only was used (without considering recharging wells) with a certain distance from the river. This scheme not only operates efficiently, but also reduces the operation cost. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Direct Utilization of Geothermal Energy)
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