Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage (ATES)

Fossil fuels are becoming increasingly rare and the call for alternative methods for the cooling or heating of dwellings and buildings – is growing. Climate control through heat and cold storage meets this urgent demand. Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage is a way to store energy underground. In summer, there is a surplus of heat available, which is injected into an aquifer. This heat can be extracted from the aquifer in winter, when heat is needed. The same goes for cold, which is surplus in winter and needed in the summer. For thermal energy storage, two wells are installed (a doublet), one warm and one cold well. Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage is used for the heating and cooling of utility buildings, residential areas, data centres and the greenhouse farming sector.

An HDDW enables both extraction and infiltration of groundwater, which makes the technique very suitable for the construction of an Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage system.

Heat and cold storage system at lower costs

One of the most important characteristics of an HDDW is the possibility to extract water at high capacity. As a result, this method requires fewer sources than the vertical method. This leads to lower investment costs. A smaller number of wells means a lower number of pumps. This not only lowers the maintenance costs, but also the energy usage, and as a result, the energy costs of an heat and cold storage system.

The horizontal position of the filter pipes and the small number of pumps means less space is occupied. Given how crowded the soil under urban areas is, this aspect is of great importance when installing thermal energy storage systems.

Finally, the fact that an HDDW can be constructed underneath buildings (underground thermal energy storage)  and the fact that a thin aquifer suffices means more areas are suitable for an Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage system.

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