The GEOFIT consortium celebrated its 8th General Assembly in person in the city of Perugia for three days. This time and after a long lockdown for the project consortium, the partners joined the meeting in the University of Perugia headquarters (Universidad degli Studi de Perugia). This General Assembly represents a big milestone within the project because of the Pilot leaded by the University of Perugia is now running, and the installation and commissioning processes have been successfully completed.

The partners presented their progress regarding the different work packages and explained the work done during the last months after the 7th General Assembly held remotely in May 2021.

GEOFIT Project Partners at University of Perugia

For the restrictions already existing as consequence of COVID_19 pandemic, some partners attended the meeting remotely. This situation did not represent any inconvenient to review the project progress and plan the next steps towards the project closing next year.

The different Work Packages and deliverables are in a very finished status according to the work plan. The meeting had a big issue to discuss in terms of the demo sites progress, to this respect, the pilot owners showed the results obtained during this period. For Bordeaux demo site the drilling works are finished, and the installation of geothermal systems (EGS) is planned to be done the week before Christmas. The commissioning is planned to be performed during the Q1 2022. Regarding the Sant Cugat demo site, the control system must be completed in December 2021 and the commissioning of the geothermal system is planned for the third week of January 2022, while the passive cooling system will be installed in Easter 2022. With respect to Galway demo site, the first heat pump has been produced and sent, the other one will be ready in early February 2022 while some other aspects of the works to be performed on the site are being solved. In Aran demo site, the drilling works have been done, and the insulation material is being installed in the house.

One of the main objectives of the meeting at Perugia has been the visit to the first demo site completed. This visit to Sant’ Apollinare was really satisfactory as the results of the project have been successfully presented by Anna Laura Pisello and Jessica Romanelli from University of Perugia.

Visit to Sant’ Apollinare – Perugia Demo site of GEOFIT Project

Besides the technical development and piloting of the project, the consortium agreed to reinforce the dissemination and publicity actions of the different technologies used in the project. To this respect, a benchmarking tool will be published as web-tool – to be embedded in the GEOFIT website.

Finally, the participation in several reference congresses and events are important actions that will be continued in 2022. As a GROENHOLLAND initiative, the project will be present in the European Geothermal Congress and also as panel expert in Berlin in October 2022. Some partners like AIT, EURECAT, NUIG and IDP have submitted abstracts for the Congress. The consortium will also be present at GeoTherm Congress in Offenburg – Germany at the beginning of 2022. A stand to exhibit the different technologies developed in GEOFIT will be available.

Visit to the technical room at Sant’ Apollinare – Perugia

Completion of Civil Works at Perugia

Civil works began on December 3rd, 2020 at the Perugia Pilot. At that time, partner IDSGEORADAR performed a ground-penetrating radar measurements survey. Meanwhile, partner R2M operated UAV flights with and without a thermal camera. And all throughout the drilling phase, partner UNIPG completed the Structural Health Monitoring (SHM).

After one week, the works completed the shallow excavations of up to 2.5 meters deep. This meant the area was ready for the 50 centimeters of the sand bed that increases the conductivity on the ground.

Later, on January 11th, the company in charge of the fieldwork started the installation of the slinky GHEXs that go 2 meters deep. It considers 5 parallel trenches, with 1.35 m of mutual distance, 24 meters of average trench length, and 53 rings for each trench.

After the GHEXs installation, on January 18th, GROENHOLLAND came to the Perugia Pilot to install the fiber optic cable (FOC) monitoring. This technology has a particular approach that allows remote checking of the new system’s performance while matting underground temperature.

To increase the innovative aspects and the scientific relevance, UNIPG installed on the first two trenches, two parallel tubes of a drip plant that allows experimental evaluations and comparisons that consider different boundary conditions and configurations, such as with varying ground hydration content.

Drip plant in the first two trenches.

Finally, civil works were completed on January 28th as soon as all the excavated area was backfilled with an additional 50 cm of sand. Also, the ground excavated material was reused on-site.

Backfilling the area with other 50 cm of sand.

Furthermore, all the heating/cooling system components: heat pumps, boilers, tanks, are available on-site. And today, FAHRENHEIT’s chiller also arrived at Perugia!

Presently, UNIPG is working to complete the whole installation by the end of March and to move forward with the commissioning of the system.