Technical feasibility

SECTION I: Testing 

1 Has the R & D result been tested?


1a In what mode has the result been tested?

•              Prototype

•              Pilot Application

•              Alpha/BETA testing

The geothermal heating system was successfully applied by two potting flower producers, one rose producer and three vegetables (tomato and cucumber) producers. The testing at prototype alpha and beta testing level. The objects of testing are separated in three categories. Testing energy saving levels, environmental impact and ideal exploitation of the alternative source of energy, taking under consideration the ability of the system to cover the energy needs of the greenhouse. The aim is to use an amount of energy from the ground that will lead to the optimization of the COP- which means the lesser use of fossil fuels and electricity to achieve the heating or cooling of the greenhouse.
1b. Please describe and discuss the testing results
The first two objectives were rested using the results of the measurements and literature models. The testing of the third objective contains temperature measurement of the working fluids of the geo-heat exchanger- and the pipeline system – plus mass measurement of the fluids at both the systems. Also measuring the temperature of the air inside the greenhouse helps realize how close to the basic aim the system is. The testing results concluded that the industrial design produces financial feasible and profitable results retaining environmental sustainability by exploiting successfully alternative energy sources. As the cost of fossil fuels increases, the payback for alternative heating systems shortens. For most geothermal systems the payback is in less than six years with energy prices at 25 Euro /MBtu. (fuel oil = 1.3 euro /lit). The benefits resulted from testing are: Low Operating Cost , no Required Exposed Outdoor Equipment, Level Seasonal Electric Demand, No On-Site Combustion, Long Life Expectancy and  Low Cost Integrated Water Heating,

SECTION 2: Current Stage of Development

2a To what extent does the development team have technical resources for supporting the production of a new product? (Researchers, human resources, hardware, etc. )
The development team has the required resources for supporting the production of new industrial designs for geothermal heating systems for greenhouses. Since it has already managed to deliver it in six different cases. The system is ready for application and the required infrastructure is an assembly of equipment that already exists in the market. For example, the ground source heat pumps (where needed) are systems that used at the Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) market already.


2b What are the technical issues that need to be tackled for full deployment, if needed?
Therefore there are some other elements that can maximize the efficiency of the system. That is the determination of the constitution of the area’s ground so the researcher can be more sure of its heating characteristics. (A type of constitution “mapping”). The efficiency of ground source heat pumps can be improved by using seasonal thermal storage from the ground source is sufficiently low, the heat pumped out of the building in the summer can be retrieved in the winter. Heat storage efficiency increases with scale, so this advantage is most significant in commercial or district systems.  Geo-solar combisystems  further augment this efficiency by collecting extra solar energy during the summer (more than is needed for air conditioning) and concentrating it in the store.  


2c What additional technical resources are needed for the production of this new product?
Furthermore additional improvements could be made to increase energy efficiency.  The next stage research aim for the project is to observe the effect of constructions and materials to the ground heating capability. The geothermal gradient varies with location and is typically measured by determining the bottom open-hole temperature after borehole drilling. To achieve accuracy the drilling fluid needs time to reach the ambient temperature. This is not always achievable for practical reasons. So the knowledge of an agricultural engineer in agricultural structures is required. A mechanical engineer or environmental engineer could cooperate for defining the use of the heat pump and the whole HVAC system as well.  The success and economic benefits of heating greenhouses with low-temperature geothermal resources (i.e., groundwater temperatures >30OC) has lead to the question of whether or not lower temperature resources could be exploited with the aid of geothermal heat pumps (GHPs). 


2d Overall assessment of the current stage of technical development.
Greenhouse heating is one of the popular applications of low-to moderated-temperature geothermal resources. Using geothermal energy is both an economical and efficient way to heat greenhouses. The product is at the final stage of technical development considering that it uses common geothermal resources, assuming extraction method of geothermal energy is fairly simple, uses of off the shelf equipment and greenhouse heating systems are adaptable to geothermal and also growth can be optimized in a controlled environment.

SECTION 3: Deployment 

3a Define the demands for large scale production in terms of
There are no plans for mass production, each case is different customized solution.
technologies, tools, machineries
Staff effort


SECTION 4: Overall Assessment

1 What is you overall assessment of the technical feasibility of the research result?
The research result is totally feasible to be implemented technically. Geothermal heating relies on an energy exchange between the air within the construction (building, greenhouse, animal house, green crop drier)  being heated and the ground. Below ten feet the earth’s temperature is fairly constant. During the summer when the ambient temperature of the building exceeds that of the ground, heat punps are used to pump heat from the building into the transfer medium (typically water with small amounts of ethanol or glycol) and is subsequently pumped through narrow pipes into the ground so that the heat can be dissipated in the earth. When the ambient temperature falls below the ground temperature the process works in reverse. Heat pumps extract heat from the ground and use it to heat the building.



Please put X as appropriate. 1 2 3 4 5
Adequacy of testing activity undertaken so far         x
Adequacy and availability of technical resources of the development team         x
Current development stage         x
Overall technical feasibility         x

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