Cyclical processes related to Underground Pumped Storage Power Plants (UPSP) using abandoned mines



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The storage of energy in underground pumped storage power plants can be seen as an important part in the process of transition from fossil to renewable energies. This project investigates the feasibility of installing pumped storage power plants in the Ruhr area.

The central geological objective of this research is the investigation of geomechanical properties and spatial distribution of subsurface lithologies in the Ruhr area that can potentially host underground pumped storage power plants (UPSP). We will study outcrop analogues of potential host rocks as well as seismic-reflection data and borehole information. Stratigraphic-sedimentological features as well as structural elements (e.g. fault zone geometry, fracture networks) will be mapped and analysed. A three-dimensional structural framework model of the target area will be constructed, serving as a base for geomechanical modelling.

This project is closely linked to projects “KarboEx” und “Geothermal reservoir characterization of deep limestones in the Rhine-Ruhr region”. At RWTH Aachen University, the Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management, the Institute for Mine Surveying, Mining Subsidence Engineering and Geophysics in Mining, and the Chair of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology of the RWTH Aachen University are involved in this project. The project is furthermore in direct collaboration with the China University of Mining and Technology (CUMT).

Contact: Elisa Colas