Development of concepts for the management of thermal resources in urban areas – Assessment of transferability from the Basel (Switzerland) and Zaragoza (Spain) case studies

Epting, Jannis and García-Gil, Alejandro and Huggenberger, Peter and Vázquez-Suñe, Enric and Mueller, Matthias H.. (2017) Development of concepts for the management of thermal resources in urban areas – Assessment of transferability from the Basel (Switzerland) and Zaragoza (Spain) case studies. Journal of Hydrology, 548. pp. 697-715.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/54832/

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The shallow subsurface in urban areas is increasingly used by shallow geothermal energy systems as a renewable energy resource and as a cheap cooling medium, e.g. for building air conditioning. In combination with further anthropogenic activities, this results in altered thermal regimes in the subsurface and the so-called subsurface urban heat island effect.
Successful thermal management of urban groundwater resources requires understanding the relative contributions of the different thermal parameters and boundary conditions that result in the “present thermal state” of individual urban groundwater bodies. To evaluate the “present thermal state” of urban groundwater bodies, good quality data are required to characterize the hydraulic and thermal aquifer parameters. This process also involved adequate monitoring systems which provide consistent subsurface temperature measurements and are the basis for parameterizing numerical heat-transport models.
This study is based on previous work already published for two urban groundwater bodies in Basel (CH) and Zaragoza (ES), where comprehensive monitoring networks (hydraulics and temperature) as well as calibrated high-resolution numerical flow- and heat-transport models have been analyzed.
The “present thermal state” and how it developed according to the different hydraulic and thermal boundary conditions is compared to a “potential natural state” in order to assess the anthropogenic thermal changes that have already occurred in the urban groundwater bodies we investigated. This comparison allows us to describe the various processes concerning groundwater flow and thermal regimes for the different urban settings. Furthermore, the results facilitate defining goals for specific aquifer regions, including future aquifer use and urbanization, as well as evaluating the thermal use potential for these regions. As one example for a more sustainable thermal use of subsurface water resources, we introduce the thermal management concept of the “relaxation factor”, which is a first approach to overcome the present policy of “first come, first served”. Remediation measures to regenerate overheated urban aquifers are also introduced.
The transferability of the applied methods to other urban areas is discussed. It is shown that an appropriate selection of locations for monitoring hydraulic and thermal boundary conditions make it possible to implement representative interpretations of groundwater flow and thermal regimes as well as to set up high-resolution numerical flow- and heat-transport models. Those models are the basis for the sustainable management of thermal resources.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Umweltwissenschaften > Applied Geology (Huggenberger)
UniBasel Contributors:Müller, Matthias Heidulf and Epting, Jannis and Huggenberger, Peter
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:24 Oct 2017 07:30
Deposited On:24 Oct 2017 07:30

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