The ATES solution
Utilise heat and cold all year round
An Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage (ATES) system is a means of storing energy in groundwater reservoirs. While ATES is often confused with geothermal energy. ATES has a number of positive differentiating characteristics, including:
- The boreholes are only drilled at depths of up to 100 meters
- It is a two-flow system that enables cold and heat storage, as well as thermal balanced systems
- There no environmental risks
- Savings for cooling is more than 90%
- Savings for heating is up to 60%
How does the system work?
The ATES system can be used for both cooling in summer and heating in winter. In summer, groundwater is pumped up from a “cold” well and by means of heat exchange can be used for cooling, for instance as ventilation air in a building or industrial cooling water in manufacturing. By heat exchange, the temperature of the groundwater is raised by a few degree and returned to the groundwater reservoir through a “warm” well. The closed loop ensures that no groundwater is consumed.
In winter, the pump system is reversed, allowing warm water to be pumped up and used for heating by heat pumps during cold periods. The closed loop also ensures that the groundwater reservoir can be thermal balanced within a short period of time.
The system can also be constructed to supply both cooling and heating all year round.
The ATES groundwater cooling and heating basic system consists of two wells, one cold and one warm. Together they are called a dipole.
From one well, the system pumps groundwater up, while the other well leads the groundwater back into the underground. This makes it possible to store both heat and cold in the underground.
With several dipole wells, the system can be used simultaneously for both cooling and heating.
On nature’s own terms
The ATES system does not deplete the groundwater – the process simply moves the groundwater around locally, heating and cooling it, and then leading it back into the groundwater reservoirs.
Because the wells are no more than ‘pinpricks’ in nature, the impact on the environment, surroundings and underground is minimal. The result is a risk-free system that protects from external noise pollution and saves primary energy and space, making it possible to use the ground above the system for other purposes.