The interactive heat map

Map of Europe for improved planning of heat collectors

Regenerative forms of heat supply are on the rise. Apart from solar heat and wood pellet systems, new buildings are mostly equipped with ground heat collectors combined with heat pumps. However, it is difficult to dimension such systems exactly. The EU-funded project ‘ThermoMap’, which is co-ordinated by Dr. David Bertermann of FAU’s GeoZentrum Nordbayern, provides a solution to this problem: building contractors and planning offices now have a tool at their disposal that will allow them to ascertain the energy potential of locations all over Europe.

Requiring none of the deep drilling that is necessary in large geothermal systems, the surface collectors of private construction projects are installed at about one and a half meters’ depth. ‘This means that their efficiency is strongly influenced by soil properties and climate factors,’ says David Bertermann. He is the co-ordinator of the EU project ‘ThermoMap’, a collaboration between 12 different research institutions and companies from Austria, Belgium, Germany, France, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland and Romania started in 2010. Together with his partners, Bertermann has succeeded in compiling a comprehensive map of Europe with all information required for the planning of collector systems.

Potential assessment: MapViewer

In a first step, the geologists collected climatic parameters that directly or indirectly influence soil physics – foremost among these factors being the annual precipitation rate and mean annual temperature. These climate values were then combined with data on soil properties. ‘There are significant differences between countries with regard to soil type classification,’ says David Bertermann. ‘That is why the harmonisation of the data is a big part of our work.’ The result: MapViewer. With this programme, building contractors and planning offices can determine the thermal conductivity at their location and calculate the dimensions of the collector more reliably.

Greater precision: MapCalculator

In addition to MapViewer’s potential map, the geologists have provided the option of carrying out calculations for individual locations. Data on soil and groundwater from geological surveys of particular locations can be entered into the ThermoMap calculator. David Bertermann: ‘If such specific data on the building site is available, calculations can be differentiated for greater accuracy.’

Further information:

Dr. David Bertermann
Phone: +49 (0)9131 85 25824