CRYSTAL clear energy storage

In the years to come, the number of Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage (ATES) systems in cities will increase sharply. In very built-up areas, these systems can affect each other. There is still little coordination of ATES systems and the adopted remedy has been to maintain large distances between them. ATES managers are concerned that neighbouring ATES installations will have a negative effect on their own systems and so no permits are being granted for extra storage.

The CRYSTAL research project provides a picture above the ground of how energy storage is developing below the surface. Previous research has already shown that glass fibre can be used to monitor and improve subsurface energy systems. This new study continues the development of the monitoring system and is also developing software (a dashboard) that makes data from the monitoring system clear to read. The dashboard can be linked to building management systems in order to optimise ATES. The information can be used by municipal and provincial authorities, as well as private bodies, to implement coordination and make new agreements. Ultimately, these are the bodies who determine the extent to which agreements are made to collaborate at the area level.