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Please join us for a talk with Teresa Jordan of Cornell University

Contributed by Jill Ackerman on 11/18/19 

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The Department of Physics & Astronomy invites you to join us for a talk with:

Teresa Jordan of Cornell University

Feasibility of Direct District Heating for the Cornell Campus Utilizing Deep Geothermal Energy: Coupling Subsurface Properties to Campus Heat Demands to Efficient Engineering Designs

Cornell University is attempting to use heat extracted from rocks several kilometers deep to provide geothermal baseload district heating as a key component of its strategy to reach carbon neutrality for its campus of 30,000 people. This project, referred to as Earth Source Heat (ESH), provides the framework to show how geothermal heating can be integrated as a part of a community's transformation to a renewable energy supply. Importantly, a successful demonstration of ESH at Cornell could catalyze the deployment of geothermal district heating as an economically scalable and carbon neutral option for other communities in New York State and the Northern Tier of the U.S. where seasonal heating demand is high and low-temperature geothermal resources are widespread.

Analysis of ESH feasibility has been conducted by a collaborative combination of faculty, students, and facilities staff engineers and geologists. The analysis includes both technical topics, such as the depth and rock conditions needed to establish a sufficiently high flux of heat to the surface, and economic feasibility, such as the comparative costs of a successful geothermal system relative to existing natural gas-fired heat. The analysis steps include the following:

1.   Analysis of regional and local geology, heat flow, and temperature gradients

2.   Geophysical characterization of the subsurface including seismic imaging, gravity and aeromagnetic surveys

3.   Target reservoir selection, well design and placement, and performance modeling

4.   Drilling site selection

5.   Modeling of integration of geothermal heating into Cornell’s energy infrastructure

6.   Overall techno-economic assessment    

 The colloquium will focus on the geological resource, assessment of the heat demand for Cornell, the simulation of heat production from target reservoirs, the design of an integrated and efficient heat distribution system, and the predicted cost of heat delivery.

Tuesday Nov. 19, 2019
12:10 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
CNS 204

Pizza will be provided for $1. Please bring your own cup. Recycle, Reuse, Reduce

Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact the department administrative assistant at We ask that requests for accommodations be made as soon as possible.




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