published at 21/10/2014

BRGM geothermal science platform

The BRGM has set up an experimental platform in Orléans (45). It is designed to test the underground heat exchangers of geothermal heat pumps.
Formation :

The aim is to qualify the performance via underground thermal exchangers, develop new products and control the impact on the subsoil.

The platform will eventually comprise:

  • R&D activity to improve the underground sensor systems and their implementation (material, drilling, cementing and new types of sensors)
  • the evaluation and certification of systems
  • the implementation of a network of demonstrators.


BRGM, Centre Region, Carnot Institute, the European “Energy 2020” programme

Focus on the device

Multiform heat exchangers representative of the market

  • 1 horizontal heat exchanger measuring 400m2
  • 3 vertical heat exchangers: 2 probes at 50m, 1 probe at a depth of 100m
  • 7 innovative compact heat exchangers of the cylindrical bin type installed at a depth of between 1m and 10m and designed with different materials.
  • 2 earth-cooling/warming tubes.

Hot/cold thermodynamic machinery

  • Injection of glycolated water at a temperature range of -10 to 55°C.
  • Simulation of the operation of all types of heat pump.

Innovative instrumentation

  • Virtual-3D measurement of ground temperature distributed via fibre optic.
  • Measuring of water content of the soil via a capacitance probe.
  • Meteorological measurements: dry and wet temperatures, rainfall, solar radiation, ground albedo.