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POTENTIAL USE OF GEOTHERMAL ENERGY FROM ABANDONED COAL MINES (REMINING-LOWEX PROJECT)

AUTHOR/S: P. OP’T VELD, E. J. A. ERWIN ROIJEN, K. BOJADGIEVA, A. BENDEREV, V. RISTOV, T. KEHAIOV
Sunday 1 August 2010 by Libadmin2008

8th International Scientific Conference - SGEM2008, www.sgem.org, SGEM2008 Conference Proceedings/ ISBN: 954-918181-2, June 16-20, 2008, Vol. 2, 319-326 pp

ABSTRACT

Rocks deep below the surface store heat and for every 100 m in depth the temperature
increases by approximately 3oC. When the mines were closed, the mine galleries
flooded. The heat of the rocks warms water, which is used as input to heat pumps for
heating and cooling of buildings.

The Remining-Lowex Project aims to demonstrate the use of water in abandoned
coalmines as a source of renewable energy and to prove its economic viability. This
new approach for utilization of sustainable energy from worked out coalmines has been
initiated in several countries – Canada, Netherlands, UK, France and Germany.
Recently three countries from Eastern Europe – Slovenia, Poland and Bulgaria have
joined as partners under the Remining-Lowex Project. Its full title is: Redevelopment of
European Mining Areas into Sustainable Communities by Integrating Supply and
Demand Side based on Low Exergy Principals (Concerto II programme).

Four local communities (Heerlen, Netherlands; Zagorje, Slovenia; Czeladz, Poland and
Cherno more, Bulgaria) are focused around former coal mining areas that will once
again be used as a source of energy. The four selected sites are at different stage of
development and of specific mining conditions. For the pilot project in Heerlen the
urban designs, energy visions plans, financial support from the city council and building
activities are in place. Exploration and development of mine water technology indicate a
substantial contribution to a local energy supply. In the community of Zagorje there is
no expertise on application of mine water but some experience in geothermal energy use
in low-exergy schemes exists. Feasibility studies will be carried out in Poland and
Bulgaria. The mining areas in Poland are very important, as they are one of the largest
in Europe. The coal mine Cherno more (Bourgas community) has been closed up for
more than 20 years. The expected flow rate from the mine is about 70 l/s with a
temperature of about 18-20oC. This site provides favorable conditions for a complex use
of renewable sources – geothermal, solar and biomass. Feasibility studies leading to
concrete local sustainable energy plans and implementation will be demonstrated in
these communities.

Keywords: geothermal energy, mine water, abandoned coalmines, low exergy