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Researchers mapping geothermal energy conditions in Quebec

The detailed resource map of ground thermal conductivity at depths up to 200 meters (650 ft) will help engineers recommend ground heat exchangers for clients.


The Canadian GeoExchange Coalition (CGC), the industry association representing geothermal heat pump technology, has announced that work has begun to create a detailed resource map of ground thermal conductivity at depths up to 200 meters (650 ft) in the densely populated area covering the Montréal – Québec City corridor.

The project team at Quebec’s Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) is applying original algorithms to vertical geothermal borehole data reported under CGC System Certification, with support from engineering firm SNC-Lavalin and a grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

“Our team at INRS has been working on this concept steadily and quietly over the past year” stated Dr. Jasmin Raymond, Professor and Principal Investigator at the INRS Eau Terre Environnement Research Centre in a media release.

“The intention is, resources permitting, to apply tested geostatistical simulations and anticipate ground properties to better design geothermal heat pump systems in all jurisdictions where significant numbers of vertical boreholes are or have been reported via CGC System Certification.”

“The new data will facilitate prefeasibility studies for geothermal heat pump systems,” said Guillaume Comeau, hydrogeologist. “SNC-Lavalin currently conducts energy efficiency projects for clients with large operations globally. The ultimate goal is to help engineers recommend ground heat exchangers for clients seeking significant energy savings in their commercial, institutional and industrial applications.”

The project will use interpolation to produce ground thermal conductivity estimates at a range of depths, between boreholes, in the Montréal to Québec City corridor.

The final product will be made available to researchers and potentially incorporated in the industry’s heat pump system design tool at www.geoanalyser.com.

“We live in an age defined by data, and our industry must and will lead from the front” said Ted Kantrowitz, CEO of CGC. “Hundreds of CGC-Qualified companies have contributed their time and the data required to build up our industry’s database, the world’s largest on geothermal heat pump technology. Credit goes to them; CGC will continue to seek and welcome partners to help apply this data and create new industry tools.”