A review of the performance of minewater heating and cooling systems

Walls, D. B., Banks, D. , Boyce, A. J. and Burnside, N. M. (2021) A review of the performance of minewater heating and cooling systems. Energies, 14(19), 6215. (doi: 10.3390/en14196215)

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As the decarbonisation of heating and cooling becomes a matter of critical importance, it has been shown that flooded mines can provide a reliable source of low-carbon thermal energy production and storage when coupled with appropriate demand via an appropriate heat transfer technology. This paper summarises the potential resource represented by a long legacy of mining operations, the means heat can be extracted from (or rejected to) flooded mine workings, and then considers the risks and challenges faced by minewater geothermal energy (MWG) schemes in the planning, construction, and operational phases. A combination of site visits, interviews and literature reviews has informed concise, updated accounts for many of the minewater geothermal energy systems installed across the world, including accounts of hitherto unpublished systems. The paper has found that a number of previously reported MWG schemes are now non-operational. Key risks encountered by MWG schemes (which in some cases have led to decommissioning) include clogging of system components with mineral precipitates (e.g., ochre), uncertainty in targeting open mine voids and their hydraulic behaviour, uncertainty regarding longevity of access to minewater resource, and accumulated ongoing monitoring and maintenance burdens.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This research was supported by NERC NEIF grant 2301.0920, EPSRC IAA grant EP/R51178X/1 and Energy Technology Partnership Scotland grant PR007-HE. N.M.B is funded by a University of Strathclyde Chancellor's Fellowship. A.J.B is funded by the NERC National Environmental Isotope Facility award at SUERC (NEIF-SUERC, NE/S011587/1) and SUERC.
Keywords:Minewater, geothermal, low enthalpy, heating. cooling.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Walls, Mr David and Boyce, Professor Adrian and Burnside, Dr Neil and Banks, Mr David
Creator Roles:
Walls, D. B.Conceptualization, Methodology, Investigation, Data curation, Writing – original draft, Writing – review and editing
Banks, D.Conceptualization, Methodology, Investigation, Data curation, Writing – review and editing, Supervision
Boyce, A. J.Methodology, Writing – review and editing, Supervision
Burnside, N. M.Conceptualization, Methodology, Writing – review and editing, Supervision, Funding acquisition
Authors: Walls, D. B., Banks, D., Boyce, A. J., and Burnside, N. M.
Subjects:Q Science > QD Chemistry
Q Science > QE Geology
T Technology > TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering
T Technology > TN Mining engineering. Metallurgy
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering
College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Energies
ISSN (Online):1996-1073
Published Online:29 September 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Energies 14(19): 6215
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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