Fourth generation district heating (4GDH) materials technology and methods are making previously uneconomic conventional geothermal resources feasible for district heating development. Numerous low-temperature conventional geothermal resources exist near communities in the Western United States. To conduct assessments for these communities requires a new process of iterative software applications using existing public data. The data in this project includes revenue, cadastral, energy consumption surveys, geophysical, geochemical, water well, and component cost scaling factors. To aggregate the data, this technique leverages building-level heat demand mapping, GEOPHIRES techno-economic simulation, and Comsof Heat for automated district heating network generation. The output provides a whole-system levelized cost of heat (LCOH) analysis that can be done at most community level planning offices, through consultancy firms, or engineering agencies for existing system expansions. To prove the concept, a sparsely populated portion of Helena, Montana serves as a demonstration site.
District Heating & Direct Use: Feasibility to Implementation