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Geothermal energy systems

Geothermal energy systems cover systems for both shallow and deep geothermal wells.

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Shallow geothermal boreholes, 50 - 200 m, are used as heat source or sink for heat pumping systems. Deep geothermal wells, typically 1-10 km, can retrieve heat with higher temperature. Heat with high temperature can be utilised directly, e.g. for district heating, or as a heat as source for running a heat-to-power cycle.

The research activities focussed by SINTEF Energy Research are related to development and design of top-side equipment, such as heat pumps and heat-to-power systems, thermal modelling of complete systems and component design.

Our current client base ranges from the major national and international companies, to smaller SMEs and technology developers.

We are currently working in the following fields

Shallow geothermal

  • Borehole thermal modelling and simulation of heat flow in wells and the surroundings
    • Stationary and dynamic models 1D, 3D, utilisation for heat pumps, free-cooling and development of thermal imbalance over time
  • Heat pump systems modelling, simulation and optimisation
    • Systems, Working fluids, Component development, hp and thermal storage as part of complex energy systems

Deep geothermal

  • Topside utilisation of heat
    • Direct use of energy, heat-to-power
  • Thermal and flow related modelling and simulations related to borehole
  • Heat exchanger development for challenging fluids
    • Design, simulation and optimisation of heat exchanger concepts for challenging fluids
  • Top side equipment in general


When developing new components or systems, we generally combine theory with modelling and simulation studies, and experiments. New concepts commonly require experimental verification. Our work is grounded in good thermodynamic libraries and component and system models developed over many years. Many of the models are based on programmes developed at SINTEF-NTNU. This provides us with unique opportunities to adapt the models to carry out the evaluation and development of new concepts, both for components and complete systems.

We typically carry out the following types of project

  • Multi-client projects co-funded by industry and the Research Council of Norway
  • Projects funded directly by industry in the fields of development, testing and consultation
  • Everything from basic skills development projects to applied research



Relevant projects




INTERACT shall develop methods, models and tools for efficient energy interaction between energy demand, surplus heat/cool and thermal storage and third part deliverance to the district heating/cooling.




COMPACTS aims to develop next generation design methodology and recommendations for materials standards that will allow design of more compact, lightweight and robust steam-based bottoming cycles that will promote their implementation across all...




Det overordnede målet med HeatUp er å oppgradere spillvarme til høytemperaturnivå ved bruk av varmepumper for å gjenbruke overskuddsenergi.