file under: Energy, Europe, Germany, Industrial, Geotechnical

What Lies Beneath

Heating and Cooling with Geothermal Energy

The 1,350 employees located in R+V Life Insurance Company’s headquarters will soon be enjoying a new facility on the outskirts of Wiesbaden, Germany. They will also be assured that the 110,000-cubic-meter (m) building on an area of 28,000 m2 will be energy and cost efficient, taking advantage of geothermal power for heating and cooling.

 
Employees located in R+V Life Insurance Company’s headquarters will be assured that their new building will be energy and cost efficient, taking advantage of geothermal power for heating and cooling.  

A top priority for R+V—the first company in Wiesbaden to use geothermal energy—was to find an alternative to traditional temperature regulation and be independent from rising energy costs. We partnered with the company to ensure geothermal power was the most sustainable approach and to optimize the performance of the system. As part of the preliminary geothermal explorations, we constructed a pilot boring and performed an enhanced geothermal response test to determine the essential dimensions of the borehole heat exchanger field, ensuring that it was situated in an area with stable, non-flowing groundwater.

Serving as a seasonal heat tank, 46 borehole heat exchangers reaching 130 m below ground make up the borehole heat exchanger field. Water is pumped underground after it has been warmed or cooled by conditions inside the building. The field will help keep R+V employees warm throughout the winter, supplying approximately 780 megawatt hours (MWh) of the facility’s yearly heating needs, and cool in the summer, yielding 520 MWh of yearly cooling power.

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R+V Lebensversicherung AG / Scholze Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH