BRGM’s Geothermal Testing Facility

This post is part of the GeoConnect³d blog.

Inaugurated in December 2008, the geothermal platform at BRGM makes it possible to test any type of closed-loop surface exchanger. This platform has been co-financed by the Centre Region and the ERDF since its construction phase.

The site is intended to showcase and test in real time, the performance of superficial geothermal exchangers. The geothermal exchangers are used in residential developments for the supply of heat energy and also have the potential to provide air conditioning.  The exchangers are used for shallow geothermal energy production, from 10m below the surface to a maximum of 200m in certain circumstances.

The platform is host to differing types of geothermal exchangers (horizontal, vertical, compact) connected which are all connected to thermodynamic machinery. It is possible to follow, in real time, the evolution of the underground environment following the thermal stresses imposed by the geothermal exchangers. It is also possible to measure the output from the exchangers during different seasonal conditions. The instillation of optical fibres make it possible to monitor the temperature variation of the subsurface medium during the exchanger experiments.

The platform team supports manufacturers in their Research & Development projects for setting up tailor-made experiences. These tests allow us to develop precise models of thermal of exchange.

BRGM Geothermal Testing Facility Plan

Shallow geothermal energy resources will be a vital means of energy production as energy industries decarbonises to meet sustainability targets. As the industry grows, it is increasingly important to manage its development, measuring potential resources and possible conflicts of use. BRGM are currently working with other European agencies within the GeoERA project – Managing Urban Shallow geothermal Energy (MUSE), which focuses on the management of this growing technology.

Find out more:

BRGM geothermal platform website here:

BRGM Geothermal Platform Video
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BRGM – French Geological Survey