News

Latest news from the research group for Geothermal Science and Technology.

Katja Schulz, M.Sc., wins Sciencebar competition

On November 121, 2020, at this year's online Geothermal Congress Ms. Katja Schulz, M. Sc. won the Sciencebar competition for her presentation “Lab analysis of permeability enhancement by chemical treatment of fractured granite samples (Cornubian Batholith) in the context of the United Downs Deep Geothermal Power Project”. The master's thesis was done at the department of Geothermal Science and Technology at the TU Darmstadt and is part of the EU Horizon 2020 project MEET ('Multidisciplinary and multi-context demonstration of EGS exploration and Exploitation Techniques and potentials').

See also:

Press release TU Darmstadt

Press release Bundesverbandes Geothermie e.V.

PetroPhysical Property Database P³ published

Dr. Kristian Bär has published the database in cooperation with the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) and the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Energy Infrastructures and Geothermal Systems (Fh-IEG) in the journal ‘Earth System Science Data’. The database comprises more than 75,000 datasets from 316 publications, is available freely in the internet and was prepared within the EU project IMAGE (‘Integrated Methods for Advanced Geothermal Exploration’). The database is unique in Europe and was set up following the FAIR concept for data management: findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reusability. It was important for Kristian Bär and his co-authors not only to compile petrophysical parameter, but to document the data acquisition, give meta-information as well as evaluate the data quality. An extension and completion of the database is planed in future.

See also: News from the Technical University of Darmstadt

Gillian Wilson, M.Sc., wins Sciencebar poster competition

On November 21, 2019, at this year's Geothermal Congress in Munich Ms. Gillian Wilson, M. Sc. won the Sciencebar poster competition for her master's thesis “Geothermal Potential of Upper Devonian Carbonate Aquifer Systems of the Southwestern Rimbey-Meadowbrook Reef Trend in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin, Alberta, Canada”. The master's thesis was done at the department of Geothermal Science and Technology at the TU Darmstadt and is part of the project MalVonian in cooperation with the University of Alberta.

The Sciencebar competition is organized annually by the Federal Geothermal Association at the Geothermal Congress and offers young researchers in particular the opportunity to present research results from their own bachelor's, master's or doctoral theses in the field of geothermal energy to a broad specialist audience and to establish initial contacts in the industry.

DAAD Scholarship for Dr. Sana'a Al-Zyoud

Dr. Sanaa Al-Zyoud is an assistant professor at Al al Bayt University, Jordan. She got a scholarship from DAAD as a former DAAD scholarship holder. The grant is provided for three months in order to give Dr. Al –Zyoud the chance for conducting her research at TU Darmstadt under the Re-invitation Programme for Former Scholarship Holders.

In order to maintain her academic and professional contacts with the institute where she graduated seven years ago, Dr. Al-Zyoud started her research entitled with “Evaluation of a prospective geothermal reservoir in NE Jordan: Investigation of thermophysical and hydrochemical characteristics” at the Geothermal Science and Technology group.

The proposed project aims at evaluating a prospective geothermal field in the eastern part of Al Mafraq, NE Jordan, for heating and cooling applications. Thermophysical and hydrochemical characterization of the reservoir will be implemented. Rock lithology and the chemistry of thermal waters will be assessed to classify the geothermal reservoir, thus estimate the potential and feasibility. The final results of this project should be integrated to initiate a 3-D model for heat flow simulation, in a future project, that can be disseminated to the decision makers in Jordan.

Expert discussion about permeability changes due to borehole heat exchangers – effects on the approval situation

The first technical discussion on this topic took place previously to the Geotherm Exposition on February 13, 2019 in Offenburg. Nearly 70 people from public authorities, planning offices and research institutes took part in the event, which was recognized as a continuing education program in accordance with DVGW W120-2. This event was organized by the Department of Applied Geothermal Energy of the TU Darmstadt and the Department of Geotechnics and Geothermics of the University of Applied Sciences Ostwestfalen-Lippe within the framework of the PtJ-BMWi joint project OPTIMOG.

The construction and operation of borehole heat exchangers (BHE) focuses on groundwater protection. Insufficient sealing of the BHE – for example due to incorrectly executed backfill or frost damage – must be avoided. On the other hand, the definition to low hydraulic permeability limits of BHE systems or a general prohibition of frost operation lead to a considerable reduction in the potential of this technology.

The potential of BHE and the requirements for hydraulic permeability were discussed controversially during the technical discussion. To this end, recent research activities have been presented that address the issue of proper backfill or the persistency of backfill materials to freeze-thaw-cycles and seek to develop technologies that enable safe, sustainable and efficient operation of BHE.

Picture: Science4Life e.V.

A team from TU Darmstadt was honored with the Science4Life Energy Award on November 23, 2018 in Frankfurt am Main. Sponsors of Science4Life are the Hessian state government and the healthcare company Sanofi. The three-phase Science4Life competition aims to bring together new ideas from the health, biotechnology, chemistry and energy technology industries. The first phase is a business plan competition and consists of submitting a business idea.

A total of 81 teams from all over Germany participated in the idea phase this year. 30 teams were invited to the workshop in Frankfurt to work together with experts to further develop the business idea. The best five teams were rewarded with a prize of 500 euros. Including the team “Erdwärmesondenspeicher” (borehole heat exchanger storage) of the TU Darmstadt, consisting of Dr.-Ing. Daniel Schulte, Dipl.-Ing. Bastian Welsch, M.Sc. Julian Formhals and Prof. Ingo Sass. According to the jury, “Tthe team working on the geothermal storage system is working on the idea of storing geothermal energy in the medium-deep underground seasonally using geothermal probes, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the heating sector while simultaneously reducing heating costs, taking into account groundwater protection.”

More information about the Science4Life Energy Award and this year's award ceremony can be found here.

On TU Darmstadt's day of teaching, the Athena Awards for Good Teaching have been awarded by the Carlo and Karin Giersch Foundation. The prizes are endowed with a total of 46,000 euros and worthy TU members who have rendered outstanding courses. Dr. Daniel Schulte, far left in the picture, received the award for his dedicated and interactive arrangement of the basic lecture “Geothermal I” in the winter semester 2017/2018.

Further information and photos of the Athena Prize 2018 can be found here.

The Association of Friends of the Technische Universität Darmstadt awards the best dissertation of each faculty of the TU Darmstadt annually. In 2016, the thesis of Daniel Schulte entitled “Simulation and Optimization of Deep Borehole Thermal Energy Storage Systems” was selected as the best dissertation of the Department of Materials and Geosciences.

More information and a list of the winners are available here.

At the 5. Darmstädter Energiekonferenz the Energy-Prize 2013 for the best Master Thesis entitled „The validation of the LMC device – Analysis of Icelandic basaltic rocks“ was awarded to Dipl.-Ing. Johanna Rüther, M.Sc. from the Chair of Geothermal science and Technology.

An recent article about Mrs. Rüther can be read at page 18/19 in the 06/2013 issue of UNICUM.

Awardees of the Athens-Price 2013

The “Athens Prices for Good Teaching“ of the Carlo and Karin Giersch-Foundation at the TU Darmstadt honored a couple of outstanding lecturers. Awards amounting to 26.000 Euro for different departments and honors amounting to 14.000 Euro for single persons and groups were granted. The 2.000 Euro worth price of the department of Material- and Geosciences was awarded to Sebastian Homuth for his lecture ”Deep Drilling Technology".

At the 19. Conference of Engineering Geology in Munich in March 2013 the best thesis presentation by Mathias Nehler from the Chair of Geothermal Science and Technology was awarded with the 1st prize of the young engineering geologist forum.

The technology transfer price was awarded for the development of a thermal conductivity measurement device for soils by the Geothermal Science and Technology Group. The price was given by the Darmstädter Foundation for Technology Transfer endowed with 10.000 €.

The former student and employee Barbara Breuer of the Geothermal Science and Technology group received one of the Jovanka-Bontschits-Awards, which were awarded for the first time from the department of material- and geosciences of the TU Darmstadt.

The Hessian Ministry for Environment, Energy, Agriculture and Consumer Protection holds on the 15th of September 2011 together with the Chair of Geothermal Science and Technology of the Institute of Applied Geosciences at the Technische Universität Darmstadt and the Hessian Agency for Environment and Geology the 5. Forum of Deep Geothermal Energy. The forum addresses to decision makers from municipalities and energy companies, designer and consulting engineers as well as interested parties in the topic of deep geothermal systems.

In the focus of this years forum are the presentation of the results of the hessian research project “3D-Model of the Deep Geothermal Potential of Hesse” and the presentation of new exploration and exploitation projects. Furthermore, an accompanying podium discussion and industry fair concludes this years program.

Within the research project “3D Model of the deep geothermal potential in Hesse” the Chair of Geothermal Science and Technology of Prof. Ingo Sass at the TU Darmstadt investigated the Hessian underground in terms of electricity production – with estoniing results: In the hessian upper Rhine valley south of Frankfurt a good possibility of harnessing geothermal energy is given. Ingo Sass sees the geothermal energy potential of the deeper underground as an important contribution to the future energy mix for the federal state of Hesse.

Johannes Stegner got the 2. price in the forum of young engineering geologists. The award was given by the Section Engineering Geology of the German Geotechnical Society at the 18. confernece of engineering geology in Berlin. In his presentation with the title „Development of a thermal conductivity and thermal diffusivity measurement device for soft rocks“ Stegner presented a at the chair of geothermal science and technology newly developed and patent-registered measurement device for the investigation of the thermal conductivity of soft rocks in dependence of soil mechanical and hydrogeological parameters. The awarded 700 € Stegner will use for his ongoing research activities.

On Monday 25th of January 2010 on the occasion of the funding the the professorship Geothermal Science and Technology of the NATURpur Institute for climate and environment protection a festkolloquium takes place.

The Hessian Ministry for Environment, Energy, Agriculture and Consumer Protection holds on the 15th of September 2010 together with the Chair of Geothermal Science and Technology of the Institute of Applied Geosciences at the Technische Universität Darmstadt and the Hessian Agency for Environment and Geology the 5. Forum of Deep Geothermal Energy. The forum addresses to decision makers from municipalities and energy companies, designer and consulting engineers as well as interested parties in the topic of deep geothermal systems.

In the focus of this years forum are the presentation of the results of the hessian undertaking “3D-Model of the Deep Geothermal Potential of Hesse” and the presentation of new exploration and exploitation methods. Furthermore, deep geothermal district heating projects in Hesse are presented and an accompanying podium discussion concludes this years program.

The event is moderated by Thomas Ranft, scientific journalist, hr-moderator and climate ambassador of the BUND.

The possibility for discussion with experts from science and economy is given within the acompanying technical exhibition.

The World Geothermal Congress (WGC 2010) is held in a five year interval and was held this year from 25. – 30. April 2010 at the International Convention Center in Bali, Indonesia. The congress was very well accepted in the world, which was reflected by the number of over 2500 participants and presenters. In total over 1000 papers and 350 posters were presented in up to 10 parallel technical sessions. The Chair of Geothermal Science and Technology of the TU Darmstadt participated with 3 publications (2 oral presentations and 1 poster). During the accompanying industry exhibition and the several occasions of scientific exchange future collaborations and research projects were discussed. The overall positiv event was topped off with unforgettable social events, which showed the diversity and beauty of the indonesian culture.

During the Geothermiekongress 2010 in Karlsruhe four awards for young scientist were granted. In the adjacent photo Christian Kosack, Cornelius Langenbruch, Jörg Meixner und Philipp Mielke receive the award amounting to 500,- € from Prof. Dr. Ingrid Stober.

The very successfull three day lasting congess with 530 participants offered the opportunity to get a broad overview in twelfe sessions and seven workshops with in total 127 presented papers over the up to date activities in deep and shallow geothermal systems in the fields of research and utilization.

The Hessian Ministry of Environment, Energy, Agriculture and Consumer Protection hold at the 15th of September 2009 together with the Institute of Applied Geosciences of the Technische Universität Dar,stadt and the Hessian Authority for Environment and Geology the 4th Deep Geothermal Forum. It was addressed to decision makers of municipalies and energy companies, planer and consulting engineers and other interested parties.

The presented presentations of this event focused on the risk management and successfull completion of deep geothermal projects as well as on the presentation of diffrent hessian geothermal research and practical projects in the Upper Rhine Valley. The event was completed by a podium discussion moderated by the hr-moderator Thomas Ranft.

Opportunities to discuss certain issues with experts from science and business sector was given by a accompanying trade exhibition.

This years Geothermal Summer School was held from 20th to 24th of July 2009 at the Institute of Applied Geosciences and had the overall topic Deep Geothermal Energy.

The following topics were covered by presentations and workshops:

  • hydrothermal systems
  • petrothermal systems
  • power plant techniques
  • combined heat and power
  • hydro-mechanical reservoir stimulation
  • artifical seismicity
  • reservoir characterization
  • permission procedures and quality management
  • deep closed systems

For his diploma thesis with the title “Geothermische Untersuchung der Forschungsbohrung Jügesheim (Geothermal investigation of the research drilling Jügesheim)” Mr. Dipl.-Ing. Sebastian Homuth received the award 1. Price for young scientists of the Geothermischen Vereinigung (German Geothermal Association). The award was conferred at the Geothermal Congress 2008 in Karlsruhe.

Mr. Dipl.-Ing. Nils Michelsen received the price “Hydrogeology” of the working group education and information of the Section Hydrogeology for his diploma thesis with the title “Anwendung von Kohlenstoff- und Chlorisotopenuntersuchungen zur Quantifizierung des natürlichen Abbaus chlorierter Ethene an kontaminierten Standorten”. The award was conferred at the FH-DGG conference in Göttingen 2008. The diploma thesis was developed togther with the Department of Hydrogeology .