Assessment and mapping of the shallow geothermal potential in the province of Cuneo (Piedmont, NW Italy)

Highlights

The efficiency of Ground Source Heat Pumps strongly depends on ground properties.

Shallow geothermal potential is the thermal power exchangeable by a GSHP.

Geothermal potential in Cuneo province is assessed for closed/open-loop systems.

Insights are given on input data sources and processing for geothermal potential.

The province of Cuneo has a good potential for both closed and open-loop GSHPs.

Abstract

Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) is a low carbon heating and cooling technology which can make an important contribution for reaching the ambitious CO2 reduction targets set by the European Union. The economic and technical suitability of this technology strongly depends on the thermal and hydrogeological properties of the ground at the installation site, which need to be assessed in detail. A common indicator adopted to define such suitability is the geothermal potential, i.e. the thermal power that can be exchanged with the ground through a GSHP with a certain setup. In this paper, we present the assessment and mapping of the shallow geothermal potential in the province of Cuneo, a 6900 km2 wide county in NW Italy. Geological, hydrogeological and climatic information are collected and processed to estimate the relevant ground properties. The shallow geothermal potential is then estimated with different methods for closed-loop installations (Borehole Heat Exchangers, BHEs) and open-loop installations (Ground Water Heat Pumps, GWHPs) systems in order to identify the most suitable areas for different technologies. The maps of the geothermal potential are an important planning tool for the installation of GSHPs and for the growth of this renewable energy source.

Keywords

  • Geothermal potential;
  • Ground source heat pump;
  • Borehole heat exchanger;
  • Ground water heat pump;
  • Cuneo;
  • Heat pump

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