BiodegrATES - groundwater used for heating and cooling

29 December 2020

A new project aims to develop a model for using groundwater to heat and cool buildings while the water is at the same time cleansed of pollutants that pose a risk to drinking water. 

Nevertheless, there are high expectations for a starting project that will combine two different technologies to ensure sustainable heating and purification of contaminated water.

One of the technologies that will be investigated uses groundwater to cool and heat buildings. In an Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage (ATES) plant, cold groundwater is pumped up in the summer and used to cool buildings. The water absorbs the heat of the buildings via a heat exchanger and is subsequently stored in underground aquifers. As much as 80% of the stored energy can then be used to heat the buildings during the cold winter months.

The new project will therefore combine groundwater heating with biotechnology that clean the water in situ. This is done by means of biodegradation of pollutants, which is more effective when it occurs at high temperatures.

The project is called ‘BiodegrATES – In situ contaminant Biodegradation meets Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage’.