Course Objective• To provide students with an overview of the current status and
future outlook of geothermal exploration and production (heat/cold
• To assess its impact in the energy-transition challenge, being a
major alternative source for renewable energy.
• To provide insight into the energetical and economical aspects
of different ways to supply thermal energy to buildings and processes.
• To review main categories of operational geothermal systems, the
governing processes and relevant boundary conditions, linking
hydrogeology to subsurface understanding
• To assess exploration concepts of geothermal prospecting and see
how they can be applied to future subsurface analysis and energy
An additional practical aim is to improve your communication and writing
Course ContentThis course provides a comprehensive overview of existing systems
that are used to supply thermal energy to buildings and/or industrial
processes. The course starts with a general introduction to the history
of geothermal exploration and production, what kind of geothermal
systems exist, and how these are linked to particular subsurface and
economical conditions. In addition it is explained what benefits of
geothermal energy exist compared to other energy resources.
Subsequently different aspects are explained in more detail. We will
concentrate on the demand side, by showing how the heat and cold
demand of a building can be provided by different types of energy
systems and how the economical aspects of the different options
relate. Later on we will focus on the hydrogeological parameters that
contribute to successful geothermal systems. This is achieved through
a review of several such systems, including borehole heat exchangers
(closed loop systems), aquifer thermal energy storage (ATES or open
loop systems) and systems for the production of deep geothermal
heat for heating and/or electricity production (enhanced geothermal
systems). Special emphasis is placed on the relation of subsurface
conditions and operational excellence.
During the course the students are put in the role of consultants that
have to choose an optimal solution for the customer. A business case is
build in which different geothermal options have to be considered and
compared to a conventional solution for climate control in the buildings
Teaching MethodsThe course uses two different methods:
Oral lessons in the form of lectures and tutorials/seminars
(distributed equally) where various topics are presented by the
lecturer and discussed in common with the students. Students must
be aware that the content of this course is difficult to find in one-two
textbooks. Therefore, understanding the handouts is essential. Our
advice is to attend the oral lessons during class hours. Further
students are expected to read and present material from selected
papers in a short presentation and abstract.
Practical lessons: this course includes a number of practical exercises
and a few case studies. Exercises and case studies will be worked out
individually and in small groups and discussed in class. The rule of
thumb: this is individual work, unless otherwise specifically noted.
Method of AssessmentThe final mark is made up of assignments (10%), a presentation (pre), an
excursion(10) (exc) and a 1-page abstract of relevant paper(s) (10%) (O)
The practicals and case studies will cover the topics presented
during the course.
Entry RequirementsTo facilitate a rapid in- depth study at MSc level, students are
required to know in advance basic notions of hydrogeology
(groundwater flow, impact of wells on hydraulic head) which were
already studied during their BSc curriculum. Furthermore sufficient
knowledge of mathematics and MS Office (Excel) is required.
LiteratureAll materials will be digitally provided through Canvas
Additional InformationStudents are on a steep learning curve of integrated techno-economic-
policy concepts. Mental alertness and the flexibility are therefore
essential to gaining maximum benefit from the course!
Update (29 March 2017): This course is not offered in 2017/2018. The
opportunity to follow this course will be spring 2019.
|Language of Tuition||English|
|Faculty||Faculty of Science|
|Course Coordinator||dr. M. ter Voorde|
|Examiner||dr. M. ter Voorde|
You need to register for this course yourself
Last-minute registration is available for this course.
|Teaching Methods||Lecture, Computer lab|
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