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Monitoring geothermal processes

Vibration measurement technology prevents induced vibrations

Deep geothermal energy as a renewable energy source is an important pillar of the energy transition. Geothermal energy is used for heating or to generate electricity.

The process of high-pressure water injection and thus the breaking up of flow paths in the rock sometimes causes noticeable ground movements (induced seismicity), which often lead to uncertainty and thus to a low level of acceptance among local residents. In addition, strong induced earthquakes can necessitate a temporary shutdown of the power plant and have a considerable financial impact on the operator.

AI-based vibration measurement technology

Together with scientists from the Geophysical Institute of the KIT, the French Bureau de recherches géologiques et minières (BRGM) and ÉS-Géothermie, the operators of geothermal plants in Alsace, SEMEX-EngCon is developing new AI-based vibration measurement technology to monitor geothermal processes. Potential noticeably induced vibrations can thus be reliably prevented.

Good to know

Geophysical Institute (GPI)
The Institute of Geophysics is part of the Faculty of Physics at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and consists of two chairs: Applied Geophysics and General Geophysics.
As the national geological service, the BRGM (Bureau de recherches géologiques et minières) is the public institution that serves as a reference in the application of geosciences to manage the resources and risks of the soil and subsoil with a view to sustainable development.
ÉS is developing technologies and processes to offer Alsace a decarbonised energy future. With the local production of renewable energies, the distribution and supply of energy with a growing share of renewable energies and the search for energy-efficient installations for their customers, they are helping to make Alsace an energy region of the future.
Rittershoffen geothermal project
The geothermal plant in Rittershoffen, Alsace, supplies the Roquette starch factory in Beinheim with geothermal heat via a 15 kilometre long district heating pipeline. The geothermal plant in Soultz-sous-Forêts was the inspiration for this project.