GEOFIT WORKSHOPS: Galway & Aran Islands

At the end of January we held two workshops in Ireland linked to two of our pilot sites, one located in Galway and the other in the Aran Islands. These pilot sites have different characteristics and represent different challenges for the demonstration of our project. In this post we will talk about the development of the workshops, as well as these two pilot sites, so that they can be better known.


The first workshop, held on January 24th, took place in Galway. The pilot site in question, where Geofit’s innovative geothermal systems will be installed to increase energy efficiency, is the Kingfisher Sports Centre in Galway. In the swimming pool in particular we want to demonstrate that heat pumps can be used to reduce carbon emissions and connect to the grid as flexible assets.

It should be noted that this location has not had any retrofitting works in the past.

As for the first workshop held for this demonstration site in Galway, it was conducted following the Integrated Design and Delivery Solutions approach to support and strengthen collaborative work with identified local stakeholders.

The objective of this workshop was to establish a communication channel with local stakeholders and include them in the different phases of the project’s life cycle. Therefore, in this first stage, our aim was to gather information about the existing building and get a clearer idea of the HVAC system they have – and also the problems they have – in order to take their needs and requirements into consideration when designing the enhanced geothermal system that best fits the existing facilities.

Regarding the discussion,  stakeholders were informed during the workshop that the objective of Geofit and its enhanced geothermal systems developed and deployed for building retrofitting is to achieve a better energy performance of the building.

NUIG provided a great deal of useful information and made pertinent observations like the fact that the underfloor radiant heaters and the wall mounted radiators might be negligible for our project or that there is the possibility of decommissioning the CHP and connecting with the engineering building CHP district network.

It was also evidenced that the space available for placing the heat pump in the engine room close to the swimming pool is scarce, but heat pump dimensions are needed to determine the best spot, also from a technical point of view.

As the existing HEX has 460 kW, NUIG presented different alternatives to couple the geothermal system with the existing one (CHP unit + 2 gas boilers), but a question was raised during the workshop: does it make sense to switch off the CHP unit? CHP is one of the most efficient systems, as it generates heat and electricity at the same time; however, rough cost estimations must be done in order to balance if it is feasible to switch off the CHP system and installing the GSHP in order to generate heat needed for heating the swimming pool water. Two aspects will have to be considered if installing the GSHP: as we won’t produce electricity, we will have to pay for the electricity needed in the facility, and also we will have to keep the cost of the gas consumed by the boilers.

Soon we will determine what the current demand is and make an estimate according to the data, and we will also decide where to do the drilling. NUIG’s proposal was to do it in the back side of the building, which would entail a long connection to the heat pump, but seems quite feasible. Finally, we will do the profit calculation taking into account the replacement of CHP and the replacement of gas boilers.

As a conclusion, we would say that one option would be to replace the gas boilers with the GSHP, produce the base load during the night period and study the peaks during the day to optimize the use of both CHP and Geofit GSHP. We will also need to install a buffer!



The next day, on January 25th, we conducted a second workshop in the Aran Islands with the stakeholders of this pilot site, which is located in the beautiful residential housing site of Killeaney  Cottages.

From 12.00 to 17.00 we visited several houses of the pilot site, and from 18.00 to 20.00 we held the workshop with the local stakeholders.

After visiting several houses in Killeaney, we realized that most of them use coal/wood stoves and kerosene boilers, whose main emitters are aluminum radiators, except one of the houses that has no kerosene boiler and uses electric heaters. Most homes have electric showers and PVC windows that are not insulated, although some homeowners have insulated some walls of the houses. With regard to the isolation of the houses in general, we can say that it is insufficient.

Currently the inhabitants of these houses do not have a constant temperature throughout the house. Most of them keep the temperature in the living room, but not in the other rooms. As far as their needs are concerned, they currently require 6-7 months of heating for one year and, although they do not need refrigeration, they do need hot water. When asking about their desired thermal comfort, they told us that they would like to have an average temperature of between 20 and 21ºC.

After collecting and exposing all the information, some questions were raised:
Will the new system be efficient if just used during 6-7 months a year for heating?
Could we use the geothermal system for DHW as well?
And, is there any chance to install a heat pump with a water tank for DHW? Because in this way we could connect the heat pump to the water tank.

Some of the homeowners were also concerned about what they would have to pay for running the new system. However, rough estimates have already been made and, according to some data collected during the visits, the cost will remain practically the same.

Finally, it must be said that as the system of each house is different it is difficult to establish the baseline, since they work with different heating systems and it is not clear what the demand is. For the same reason, independent systems should be considered for each house.

Currently, a possible solution could be to install a GSHP for heating during the 6-7 cold months and then use it all year for DHW.

We will keep you informed about the progress of these pilot sites soon!

Geothermal Energy in Ireland & the GEOFIT solution

On January 24th was held at National University of Ireland, Galway, a CPD Event open to the public on Geothermal Energy in Ireland and the solution of the GEOFIT project. The presentation was led by Ric Pasquali, President of the Irish Geothermal Association, and followed by talks on the GEOFIT project by Thomas Messervey from R2M and Gisela Soley from COMSA.

The aim of this presentation was to discuss in detail the issue of geothermal energy, a largely untapped resource to date that has a great deal of potential. More particularly, the presentation discussed the potential of geothermal energy in Ireland, which will help in the near future to move towards sustainability.

The CPD event was briefly introduced by Dr. Marcus Keane (NUIG) who explained Ireland’s geothermal resources and the history of the first heat pumps.


Ric Pasquali, representing The Geothermal Association of Ireland, focused his lecture on the current and future uses of Geothermal Energy in Ireland.

He began the talk by explaining the different types and uses of Geothermal Energy and specifying which are today the shallow and deep resources that Ireland has. In addition to explaining the uses given to Geothermal Energy in Ireland, he expanded the framework by explaining the uses of this energy in the context of the European Union, and detailed all the existing collector types in Shallow Geothermal.
Ric Pasquali also shared with the public past and present projects, and case study examples of systems in Ireland.





The conclusions set out by this Geothermal expert were that there is a geothermal solution for all locations in Ireland and that the shallow geothermal market is already relatively mature. He also argued that innovations are needed in the geothermal sector to reduce capital investment costs, to increase market share in heating and cooling and to integrate into difficult environments and end uses.
Finally Ric Paquali stressed the importance of education and outreach to increase acceptance by key stakeholders: the general public, policy makers, system designers and specialist contractors like installers and drillers.

The next speaker was Thomas Messervey, CEO of the company R2M Solution, which coordinates the European project GEOFIT. He presented GEOFIT within the context of Horizon 2020 and INEA (the Innovation & Networks Executive Agency) and listed all the technologies used in the project, explaining their characteristics.


The last speaker was the engineer Gisela Soley, who as coordinator of the pilot sites in the GEOFIT project, explained to the public an overview of the pilots in relation to the technical objectives, the management that is being carried out to implement them, the potential risks of the pilot sites and the first steps.


Gisela Soley stopped especially to detail the pilot sites in Ireland: the Kingfisher Sports Centre in Galway and the residential area in Aran Islands.

Mentioning the Workshop that had been held that same morning with stakeholders in Galway and the one that would be held the next day in the Aran Islands with the inhabitants of the houses where GEOFIT systems will be installed, Gisela pointed out the importance of workshops with local stakeholders to get feedback from existing buildings and be aware of the needs and requirements.

Finally, the CPD Event closed with an Open Panel Discussion.

Geofit Workshop & CPD EVENT

24 & 25 January 2019

Geofit Workshop & CPD EVENT:

Geothermal Energy in Ireland & the GEOFIT solution


• GEOFIT Workshop

January 24 – 14.00-16.30
Title: Geofit Workshop – Local Stakeholders
Venue: BOARDROOM , 3rd Floor Engineering Building 3052

The objective of this workshop dedicated to GEOFIT’s stakeholders is to present the project’s objectives, the IDDS process and its different steps. We fundamentally want to establish a communication channel with the stakeholders, enumerate the requirements and needs of the occupants of the buildings, compile the maximum information on the existing construction and start to enumerate the visions, goals and objectives that cover a wide range of economic, environmental and social performance criteria.

January 25 – 12.00-20.00
Title: Pilot site visit & Geofit Workshop – Aran Islands
Venue: Pilot site visit – Killeaney Cottages, Geofit Workshop – Halla Rónáin 

The next day, from 12.00 to 17.00, there will be a visit to the pilot site of the Aran Islands, where visitors will be able to see the houses where the Geofit systems will be installed and also meet and talk to their inhabitants. Later, from 18.00 to 20.00, the Workshop with the local stakeholders will continue, including in the debate the recent visit to the demo site and the requirements, needs and objectives exposed. Finally, the results will be reviewed and the conclusions of the Workshop will be drawn.

• CPD event:

January 24 – 17.00-19.00
Title: Geothermal Energy in Ireland & the Geofit Solution
Venue: NUIG Engineering, ENG-G047

As we aim for a cleaner and greener future in Ireland, it has become evident that we must make use of a mix of energy sources to provide reliability and energy efficiency in our day to day lives.  The aim of this CPD is to discuss the topic of Geothermal Energy in detail, a largely untapped resource to date. In particular, the talk will discuss the potential of geothermal energy in Ireland. The talk will be led by Ric Pasquali, the chairperson of the geothermal association of Ireland. In addition to this, the CPD will introduce projects and implementation of geothermal sources in a wide range of scenarios – in particular a presentation will be carried out on the Geofit project by Thomas Messervey of R2M Solutions and Gisela Soley of Comsa. NUI Galway are also a key partner to our project. 

In summary the aim is to provide a full review of the past, current and future use of geothermal energy in Ireland, providing details on its implications, drawbacks and opportunities.

Geothermal Energy in Ireland – Current & Future Uses

• Geothermal energy types & uses (shallow vs deep)
• Geothermal energy use in Ireland and in EU context
• Deep geo Irish resources and previous/ongoing studies/projects
• Potential future utilization & comparative case study from other European region

⇒ Register here

Secondly, all delegates will get an introduction to the Geofit Project and learn how geothermal energy can be used in retrofitting concepts. As well as this, delegates will learn about other geothermal EU projects.
• Ric Pasquali
• Thomas Messervey
• Gisela Soley

NUIG as moderator will open the floor to the audience and promote discussion and questions for all speakers.

On Forecasting Energy Demand in Buildings

Article by Eurecat

Building Energy Demand Forecast Methodology (EDCE)

For the optimal sizing and determination of the HVAC system in a building, the precise calculation of the energy demand is an essential task, especially in cases of geothermal installations, due to the fact that the effort and the costs of any afterwards modification are high. Thus, the initial calculation and dimensioning of the installation are crucial to guarantee that the expected system’s performance is achieved.

Nowadays, the dimensioning of a building’s installation can be made in 3 different ways: i) The use of empirical methods based on energy demand estimations, ii) use of real operation energy consumption profiles (acquired by the building’s SCADA system), or iii) use of detailed building energy simulations to accurately characterize the energy requirement of the building.

In the first case, the use of estimations and empirical calculations presents a high risk of oversizing the installation or not fulfilling the energy requirements, resulting in excessive energy use and increased investment costs. On the other hand, the use of energy demand profiles acquired via the SCADA systems can lead to very precise sizing of the heating and cooling equipment. Nevertheless, this method could be used only in cases of retrofitting of buildings, requiring a monitoring campaign of several months in order to accurately characterize the demand patterns. Finally, the less frequent implemented method is based on detailed building energy simulations, using software tools such as EnergyPlus or TRNSYS. This method, although it provides highly accurate results, requires an initial purchase of the software and training the user. Finally, entering building information into the software can be time-consuming, similar to the computational effort of calculations.

In this line of work, Eurecat Centre Tecnològic de Catalunya has developed a methodology, called EDCE (Energy Demand Calculation Engine), which, based on energy analysis and thermal load simulations, can calculate precisely and quickly (in seconds) the annual energy demand of a given building, according to its architectural characteristics (e.g. volume, useful area, orientation, walls thermal transmittance, etc.), climatic conditions (i.e. solar radiation, temperature) and operation profiles. The EDCE method is based on a large sample of building energy simulations combined with mathematical models that describe the correlations between the characteristics of the buildings and their energy requirements. It allows the accurate calculation of the energy behavior of a building under specific climatic and operating conditions.

The EDCE output consists of four hourly-based vectors, including the energy profiles of heating, cooling, domestic hot water (DHW) and electricity for a prediction horizon of 1 year with an hourly resolution.

EDCE presents the same accuracy and precision advantages of the simulation methods, but significantly reduces the configuration and computational effort required to calculate the results. In the proposed method, the calculation is performed using an already trained mathematical model (based on hundreds of thousands of simulations made in Energy Plus), to obtain the annual energy demands of any given residential building with an hourly-based resolution. On the other hand, the proposed tool can be integrated in a GeoBIM environment (CityGML extension), using the standard open BIM protocols (e.g. IFC4), in order to obtain geographical information system (GIS) data.

The following figure presents the structure of the energy demand calculation engine, its proposed integration within the Geofit’s GeoBIM platform.

Workshop in Perugia

From November 21 to December 6, 2018, a workshop was held at the Perugia demonstration site with the following objectives: to establish a channel of communication with local stakeholders, define their needs and requirements, include them in the design and finally gather information on the existing building. The workshop was conducted mainly with people who are directly involved in the building.

During the first two days, UNIPG discussed with the owner of the building and the engineers who worked on the last rehabilitation works. During the meeting, the owner of the building (Fondazione Agraria) asked them to contain the new excavations within the existing boundaries and the engineers gave them a lot of information about the layout of the pipes.

GEOFIT partners also had a meeting with the local government and they seem very interested in authorizing this new work in the Sant’Appolinare Fortress.

UNIPG concluded the workshop with all occupants talking about the heating/cooling system and emitters. They thought that they will probably need to adjust the thermostat better because during the meeting the temperature was not very comfortable, but the whole building was recently restored and they won’t need new interventions.

Next week, on January 24th and 25th, another GEOFIT Workshop will take place in Galway and the Arann Islands (Ireland).

A CPD event on Geothermal Energy and the GEOFIT solution will be hosted and organized by the National University of Ireland Galway on January 24. Very interesting talks on geothermal energy in Ireland will be given that day, from 5pm to 7pm at the NUIG Engineering Building.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you would like more information about the CPD event or the GEOFIT workshop!

GEOFIT General Assembly in Sant Cugat

The GEOFIT consortium successfully held the General Assembly on 12 and 13 November 2018, in Sant Cugat del Vallès. The meeting was kindly organized by L’ Ajuntament de Sant Cugat, who also organized a valuable historical visit to the Sant Cugat Monastery, an on-site inspection of the pilot school site “Els Pins” and an amazing team-building dinner.

During this fruitful two-day meeting, significant progress has been made in the core technology work packages, and on pilot design and coordination work packages.

The consortium also had the opportunity of visiting the pilot site of Sant Cugat, the school Els Pins del Vallès, where GEOFIT geothermal systems will be installed. Partners had the chance to have in-depth discussions related to pilot design processes too.

Moreover, Nobatek organized two IDDS workshops –WS1 for Sant Cugat, with pilot local actors, and WS2 for Bordeaux, between consortium partners– that launched and demonstrated processes that can be replicated in other pilot sites.

Finally, the dissemination and communication team led by Comet published and distributed the GEOFIT brochure and conducted several video interviews that will form part of the project’s upcoming communication activities.

First drone survey at the pilot site of Sant’Apollinare in Perugia

Geofit’s partner R2M is proud to announce that the first drone survey took successfully place at the pilot site of Sant’Apollinare in Perugia.

The survey was carried out at the former stables of the Fortress of Sant’Apollinare, a location about 15 km from the town of Perugia.

The fortress dates back to the tenth century and was transformed into a Benedictine convent and today is a unique example of refurbishment worldwide. Thanks to today’s refurbishment, the convent has regained its original appeal after years of degradation and abandonment due to heavy damage following an earthquake.

From a regulatory point of view, the flight was carried out in an area around the town of Perugia defined as non-critical. The vehicle used was a DJI Spark equipped with a digital camera that allowed the shooting of the whole area.

The flight operations were carried out in manual mode and divided into 5 different flights that included the four facades and the roof (thanks to a nadiral camera). Subsequently, the recorded frames were processed by a dedicated software and the point cloud was reconstructed and will be used in the near future for the processing of 3D models, BIM models, etc.


Geofit at Sustainable Places 2018

Sustainable Places is an annual international conference who gathers stakeholders from leading organizations around the world to advance the state of art and play in one of the greatest challenges that our societies and their urban planners have ever faced: The need to enhance the sustainability of places ensuring long-term environmental security.

Specifically, the event is focused on the commercial, technological and scientific intersections between Energy-efficient Buildings (EeB) and the collaborating smart grids, policies, construction actors, and forward-thinking communities.

This conference fosters lasting market impacts, and has become a reference European platform where theory meets practice, unlocking new linkages between data formulation and the underpinning theories, cases, observations, and validated hypotheses arising from the analysis of that data. Knowledge transfer and research valorization are the main intentions of SP, and SP2018 is the sixth iteration of the series.

Even we have just launched the project, we found the time to make and present a poster for this conference, which is a great opportunity to introduce us to the community. Also this has motivated us to launch a first version of our website sooner than expected ;-).

Please visit our Results & Media section to download the poster presented at the conference.

GEOFIT Kick off meeting

GEOFIT project started successfully in May 2018, our kick-off meeting took place in Bruxelles on May, 15th and 16th. GEOFIT is a brand new Horizon2020 project about geothermal retrofitting of buildings, co-founded by the European Commission in the framework of LCE-17-2017 “Easier to install and more efficient geothermal systems for retrofitting buildings”.


Geofit KoM Welcome


All in all 24 partners will contribute to che success of the GEOFIT project, among them research centres, technology providers, construction companies, public administrations, service and consultancy providers and standardization associations. The kick-off meeting was hosted by ABB premises in Bruxelles and was attended by 45 people. Also ABB led a short visit to the main innovative developments, which gave inspiring ideas about domotics, demand-response-oriented technologies and robotics.


Geofit KOM 2


Given the size and complexity of the GEOFIT project, the kick-off meeting was an effective tool to clarify the main objectives of each of the twelve project Work Packages and to start discussing in detail the role of each partner. The kick-off meeting was our first, successful step of GEOFIT project, paving the way for an effective project and a bright future of cost-effective and simple geothermal retrofitting.

Geofit KOM 3