International Journal of Energy Research, Vol.40, No.13, 1855-1868, 2016
Characteristics of medium deep borehole thermal energy storage
Seasonal energy storage is an important component to cope with the challenges resulting from fluctuating renewable energy sources and the corresponding mismatch of energy demand and supply. The storage of heat via medium deep borehole heat exchangers is a new approach in the field of Borehole Thermal Energy Storage. In contrast to conventional borehole storages, fewer, but deeper borehole heat exchangers tap into the subsurface, which serves as the storage medium. As a result, the thermal impact on shallow aquifers is strongly reduced mitigating negative effects on the drinking water quality. Furthermore, less surface area is required. However, there are no operational experiences, as the concept has not been put into practice so far. In this study, more than 250 different numerical storage models are compared. The influence of the characteristic design parameters on the storage system's behaviour and performance is analysed by variation of parameters like borefield layout, fluid inlet temperatures and properties of the reservoir rocks. The results indicate that especially larger systems have a high potential for efficient seasonal heat storage. Several GWh of thermal energy can be stored during summertime and extracted during the heating period with a high recovery rate of up to 83%. Medium deep borehole heat exchanger arrays are suitable thermal storages for fluctuating renewable energy sources and waste heat from industrial processes. Copyright (C) 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.