Project Details


The current design of energy systems lacks standardization and transferability. Similar challenges were successfully addressed in other industries via a platform-based design (PBD) approach. Applying the PBD approach to energy systems has a significant impact potential. It will enable rapid and transferable innovations and implementations at different scales for energy system transformations from the subsurface to the city scale. The holistic approach will lead to the cost-optimal integration of geothermal energy in existing and new urban areas. And most importantly, it leads to a significant CO2 emission reduction of heating and cooling supply. The PBD defines the interfaces between the scales and standardizes the information exchange between different levels of abstraction and thus enables the effective implementation of Geothermal-based Optimized Energy Systems (GOES). The PBD framework will be developed, validated, and applied by the highly interdisciplinary and transnational consortium using four pilot - and five case study sites.

Our project follows the four “I” approach: Information, Innovation, Integration, and Implementation.

Information is generated at scales from the subsurface to the city scale:

• At the subsurface scale, geothermal energy usage and storage potential are assessed considering site-specific thermo-hydrogeological conditions and thermal impacts from existing infrastructure. Transferable and standardized physics-based methods and surrogate models (suitable for integration into the PBD framework and to be applied by co-operating engineering companies, among others) to assess storage potential are developed and validated at pilot sites.

• At the technology and building scale, a computational approach for the holistic, dynamic design of geothermally coupled energy systems is developed as part of the PBD framework. This approach, based on the Modelica Standard, is used to design the energy system, select and test control equences, and export digital twins in the Functional Mockup Interface Standard.

• At the neighborhood to city scale, comprehensive information from lower scales is the basis for the cost- and emission-optimal design of GOES at the appropriate level of abstraction. E.g., the coupling of local heat sources and sinks with geothermal sites via thermal networks is investigated.

The innovation and novelty of our proposal are to apply the PBD to the energy sector coupling the different scales. The integration of scales via a PBD framework ensures standardized and defined interfaces between scales. It thus provides a high transferability of innovations. Hence, the needs of the corresponding stakeholders operating at each scale (such as engineering companies, energy utilities, and planners) are considered while remaining compatible with other scales. This approach accelerates the dissemination of innovations and the integration of geothermal resources into energy systems.

Implementation priority is given to existing building stock and its retrofit potential, as such applications accelerate the energy transition towards renewable heating and cooling. Pilot sites in four different countries (Switzerland, Denmark, Austria, USA) calibrate and validate the PBD Framework and ensure the derivation of transferable best practice methods, which are then applied in a top-down approach at selected case study sites (City of Zurich, Geneva, Vienna, Berekely and the district Freiburg-Dietenbach). A knowledge and technology transfer will trigger the growth of the relevant industrial sectors and the findings can be applied directly by our co-operation partners and supporters, which are: ENGEO, Orca Energy, the City of Zurich, SIG, IWB, Implenia, and HSLU.

Ultimately, our approach and project will accelerate the path towards net-zero emissions associated with heating and cooling demands via Geothermal-based Optimized Energy Systems (GOES).

The project is supported by Innovationsfund Denmark (part of - Smart Energy Systems & GEOTHERMICA Joint Call - 2021' - International Cooperations).
Short titleGOES
Effective start/end date01/09/202231/08/2025


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