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Untapped Heat Beneath UK Streets Could Pave Way for Greener Cities Adapted from a Press Release from the British Geological Survey After a three-year study at one of the UK Geoenergy Observatories, researchers from the British Geological Survey (BGS) think natural water in the ground below could be used as a low-carbon heat source in many towns and cities. A network of sites are being created across the country to research new and alternative energy supplies in the subsurface. A pilot groundwater heating system, which heats a school building in the Welsh capital of Cardiff, uses the warmth stored in the aquifer belowground along with electric heat pumps. Data from the system below the city is being collected using a network of 61 boreholes equipped with temperature and water level sensors, to create a picture of the groundwater temperatures in the aquifer about 30 feet below the surface. Researchers knew the use of ground source heat pumps changed the ground temper- ature by several degrees, but didn’t know howmuch. Astudy of the data collected from 2015-2018 revealed aquifer temperatures fell two degrees during the first three years of operation, which was predicted by mod- els. This gives greater confidence the technology works well and can be deployed effectively and sustainably on a larger scale. They believe a similar scheme covering up to a quarter of the city’s 2020 heating demand would result in an eight-degree temperature drop, so the large heat resources in the UK’s groundwater could sustain shallow open-loop ground source heat pump systems. David Boon, BGS research lead said, “Our findings prove that groundwa- ter source heat pumps are a technically viable, low-carbon heating solution in many towns and cities across the UK, providing the geology beneath the sur- face is favorable. Of course, regulation and long-term planning will be needed to manage this emerging energy tech- nology so that larger and more complex schemes can be rolled out in our cities without “draining” the underground heat source. If we are to deploy ground source heat pump technology at a large scale to help meet the 2050 zero carbon emission pledge in a sustainable way, we will need to introduce a light-touch registration scheme for all types of ground source heating and cooling schemes, to help energy planners to minimize thermal interference between neighboring systems.” Mr. Boon concluded that a well-bal- anced combination of groundwater source heat pumps, in tandem with vertical closed-loop ground source heat pumps and air source heat pumps, would max- imize options for decarbonizing heating in UK homes and businesses. GEO BGS photo of scientist Gareth Farr measuring the temperature of water belowground. TWWA’s Annual Meeting & Trade Show March 13 - 14, 2020 The Park Vista Hotel Gatlinburg, TN For more information: (865) 761-4363 Friday Continental Breakfast, Registration, Vendors Set-Up, Technical Sessions, Trade Show, Lunch with Vendors, Technical Sessions, Auction Sign-Up, Dinner, Auction, and 2019 Honor Award Saturday Continental Breakfast, Registration, Technical Sessions, Ladies Auxiliary, TWWA Business Meeting, Lunch, TWWA Board Meeting (subject to change) 20 JANUARY 2020 WorldWide Drilling Resource ®