Soon, predictably January next year, part of Moncloa Transport Hub in Madrid could power its air conditioning with geothermic energy.
This will be possible due to Geobatt project, from Sacyr Industrial, thanks to which, we are making geothermics drillsunderground to collect cold and hot air for a 41,000-m2 space, making use of a previously existing metro tunnel.
“We have drilled at 150-meters-deep. The tunnel is four meters tall, and a small standard drilling rig is between seven and nine meters. Furthermore, we need to introduce more ventilation to evacuate the fumes/vapors from the rig engines, which greatly increases the cost of the project”, explains Daniel Muñoz, Director of Geothermics and Energy efficiency of Sacyr Industrial.
Below the hub – apart from the buses-, run the platforms of Metro de Madrid. In the upper level there is a hall with the bus platforms. The temperature of that area is affected by the heat generated by the buses and metro, and therefore, the expense in air conditioning is high.
The air-conditioning units work like heat pumps that only generate cold air and dissipate the heat into the atmosphere. Currently, they have about 2 mW of cold-generating capacity, and the goal with this project is to increase that to 10 mW in the future. “We may be able to source 50% of the hub’s power demand from renewable energies,” says Muñoz.
“We have also included demonstrative REDOSX flow batteries to store electrical charge and thermal charge in the electrolyte, that is, heating up the fluid volume, and storing it as inertia or thermal storage. If that works, in the future we could power transport hubs exclusively with renewable power, from photovoltaic power facilities or similar.", explain Muñoz.
Thermal energy would be used for air-conditioning, and electric power to activate the compressors of the heat pumps”, explains the Geothermics expert. “We also add two containers, the first one with the heat pumps, connected to the drill holes, to give energy in the form of heat and cold. Batteries are connected to the distribution panel and we could use it when we need them”, affirms Daniel.
This way, the hub would become the first hybrid place with geothermic heat pumps and flow batteries.
“We want Geobatt to be a demonstration for the Government and Administrations to see Sacyr’s capacity to replicate this project in other underground facilities”, affirms.
This project could be replicated and increase in size in the same facilities, with more perforations and more heat pumps or heat pumps with greater capacity or cooling-capacity.
The project "Hybridization of geothermal energy with flow batteries for air conditioning of zero energy tertiary buildings (GEOBATT)", developed by Sacyr Industrial, Energy Storage Solutions, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Universidad Carlos III and Fundación IMDEA Energía, with file number RTC-2017-5955-3, has been co-funded by both the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (State Research Agency) and by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in the context of the call Challenges-Collaboration (2017) of the State Program for Research, Development and Innovation Oriented to the Challenges of Society, in the framework of the State Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation 2013-2016.
The main objective of the project is framed within the Thematic Objective of the Operational Program associated with the aforementioned call: "Promoting technological development, innovation and quality research".