Rock Fractures and Fluid Flow
Main research fields
The group has been involved in renewable energy research for many years. In particular, some members of the group have a long experience in studies related to geothermal energy. This applies to shallow geothermal energy (heat pumps) and, in particular, to deep geothermal energy (where the geothermal reservoirs are at depths of kilometres). The studies of deep geothermal energy include both natural reservoirs (hydothermal systems), such as in Iceland, as well as human-made reservoirs (initiated through hydroshearing), such as in France and Germany. The latter is commonly referred to as EGS, Enhanced Geothermal Systems, and also as Hot-Dry-Rock reservoirs. Since geothermal energy is a steady renewable resource, providing energy both day and night, and in winter as well as summer, it is particularly suitable as a part of a mixture with other and more variable renewable energy resources such as wind and solar energy. Solar energy and shallow geothermal energy are particularly suitable for programmes aiming at decentralised energy systems – a common trend in the world today.
In recent years some members of the group have worked much on solar energy, in particular on the PV (photovoltaic) electricity potential in urban areas. In collaboration with scientists from EPFL in Switzerland, analysis has been made of the PV potential in individual cities, such as Geneva, as well as over larger areas of Switzerland. Among the future plans of the group is to do a similar PV-potential analysis for cities in the UK.
PV electricity potential in the city of Geneva, Switzerland. Here the annual solar irradiation (kWhm-2) is shown as a function of building density (the number, N, of buildings per square kilometre) for the 16 neighbourhoods. Three neighbourhoods have shown as an example. The coefficient of determination (R2) and the associated significance (p-value) at 5% are given for the linear correlation.
PV electricity potential of Geneva. (a) Variation in annual solar irradiation for the 16 neighbourhoods shown as a function of distance from the centre of the city. The coefficient of determination (R2 = 0.61) and the associated significance (p-value) at 5% are given for the linear correlation. (b) Distribution of annual solar irradiation (kWhm-2) within the 16 neighbourhoods in Geneva.
See PDF file:
Effects of urban compactness on solar energy potential