Large-scale mine water geothermal applications with abandoned mines

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



This paper reports on the first large-scale project in the U.S. for utilizing water from abandoned mines for geothermal applications. This project proved the high potential of turning water in deep abandoned mines into a renewable energy resource, which is safer, greener, and more abundant than other conventional low-enthalpy geothermal applications. In this paper, a real demonstration project is introduced for recovering geothermal energy from the mine water for heating and cooling to a 1022 m2 building in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. A field test in a mine shaft with a depth of 1219.2 m is then presented to show the key issue in the use of the mine water as a geothermal resource: the temperature distribution. Complex multiphysics simulation with unique non-isothermal hydrodynamics is conducted to provide a physical explanation for the data obtained in the field test. Simulation results shed light on the scientific myth regarding water stratification and energy flow observed in the field study.

Publisher's Statement

© 2018 Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. Publisher's version of record: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-0017-2_69

Publication Title

Proceedings of GeoShanghai 2018 International Conference: Tunnelling and Underground Construction