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Article

Geothermal Potential of the Brenner Base Tunnel—Initial Evaluations

1
Institute of Rock Mechanics and Tunnelling, Graz University of Technology, 8010 Graz, Austria
2
Institute of Applied Geology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, 1190 Vienna, Austria
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Galleria di Base del Brennero—Brenner Basistunnel BBT SE, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
4
Department of Hydrogeology and Geothermal Energy, Federal Geological Survey, 8010 Vienna, Austria
5
Department of Material Sciences and Process Engineering, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, 1190 Vienna, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Edith Haslinger and Dejan Milenic
Processes 2022, 10(5), 972; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10050972
Received: 5 April 2022 / Revised: 29 April 2022 / Accepted: 9 May 2022 / Published: 12 May 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Integrated Geothermal Energy Systems)
Increasing demands on mobility and transport, but limited space above ground, lead to new traffic routes being built, even more underground in the form of tunnels. In addition to improving the traffic situation, tunnels offer the possibility of contributing to climate-friendly heating by indirectly serving as geothermal power plants. In this study, the geothermal potential of the future longest railway tunnel in the world, the Brenner Base Tunnel, was evaluated. At the Brenner Base Tunnel, warm water naturally flows from the apex of the tunnel towards the city of Innsbruck, Austria. In order to estimate its geothermal potential, hydrological data of discharge rates and temperatures were investigated and analyzed. The investigations indicated the highest geothermal potential in the summertime, while the lowest occurs during winter. It could be shown that these variations were a result of cooling during discharge through areas of low overburden (mid mountain range), where the tunnel atmosphere is increasingly influenced by the air temperatures outside the tunnel. Nevertheless, the calculations showed that there will be a usable potential after completion of the tunnel. View Full-Text
Keywords: geothermal energy; water; sectional discharges; geothermal potential; tunnels; hydrology; water inflow geothermal energy; water; sectional discharges; geothermal potential; tunnels; hydrology; water inflow
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MDPI and ACS Style

Geisler, T.; Voit, K.; Burger, U.; Cordes, T.; Lehner, F.; Götzl, G.; Wolf, M.; Marcher, T. Geothermal Potential of the Brenner Base Tunnel—Initial Evaluations. Processes 2022, 10, 972. https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10050972

AMA Style

Geisler T, Voit K, Burger U, Cordes T, Lehner F, Götzl G, Wolf M, Marcher T. Geothermal Potential of the Brenner Base Tunnel—Initial Evaluations. Processes. 2022; 10(5):972. https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10050972

Chicago/Turabian Style

Geisler, Thomas, Klaus Voit, Ulrich Burger, Tobias Cordes, Florian Lehner, Gregor Götzl, Magdalena Wolf, and Thomas Marcher. 2022. "Geothermal Potential of the Brenner Base Tunnel—Initial Evaluations" Processes 10, no. 5: 972. https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10050972

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