Optimisation of the reuse of decommissioned open cast pit coal mines for district heating and cooling

Meeting the future-emission reduction targets requires innovative ideas that, all combined, will help meting this goal.

In traditionally coal mining intensive regions, common to both Australia and Germany, the use of decommissioned mines remains and intensive debate topic between local officials, residents and technical experts.

This study will focus on numerical modelling tools to evaluate the best back-filling arrangement of open cast coal mines for their exploitation as sources of heat for district heating purposes. For example, the use of materials with different thermal gradients can have a positive effect on the energy production of such installations and this will be investigated as other variables such as well depth and positions, and groundwater flow.

Principal Investigators:

The University of Melbourne: Associate Professor Guillermo Narsilio

RWTH Aachen: Prof. Dr. Raul Fuentes