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Prospects for wider energetic utilization of subgeothermal water resources: Eastern Serbia case study

Author(s): Stevanović Zoran | Saljnikov Aleksandar | Milenić Dejan | Martinović Mića | Goričanec Darko | Komatina Mirko | Dokmanović Petar | Antonijević Dragi | Vranješ Ana | Magazinović Sava

Journal: Geološki Anali Balkanskog Poluostrva
ISSN 0350-0608

Volume: 2011;
Issue: 72;
Start page: 131;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: subgeothermal source | groundwater | heat pump | energy efficiency | eastern Serbia

Extensive worldwide usage of fossil energy sources causes high pollution and contributes to global warming. Hence, achieving energy independence by stimulating efficient use of energy and environmentally friendly exploitation of renewable sources is a main orientation of European countries. Geothermal energy is generally treated as a renewable and inexhaustible energy source. Nonetheless, direct use of low enthalpy subgeothermal resources, i.e. groundwater of 30.C or lower, for heating is commonly viewed as economically unjustified. To enable its usage, large panel surfaces or a high-temperature heat pump with excellent efficiency is required. The development of a cascade type heat pump and its wide application would enable more efficient utilization of widely available and easy replenished groundwater sources with temperatures of 10-30.C. The hydrogeological conditions in eastern Serbia are particularly favourable for exploitation of subgeothermal resources due to rich aquifer systems and notable terrestrial heat flow formed into the main geo-structures of the region (Carpathian-Balkan arch and Dachian basin). More intensive exploitation of subgeothermal sources additionally justifies the existence of a number of urbanized small and medium-size cities with a heating infrastructure already developed and centralized. Sustainable use of groundwater resources should be followed by thermal reconstruction of the previously constructed buildings as well as new legislation which supports and encourages development of renewable energy sources. It is estimated that the total potential thermal power which can be generated from subgeothermal waters in the study area is around 33 MWt, which corresponds to some 16 % of the total heat requirements.

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