Currently monstrous trucks are driving slowly through the city of Munich in Bavaria, Germany. An unusal sight, these trucks are currently looking to find geothermal resources under the city in the economic power house of Germany, Bavaria. This is a project by the local utility, Stadtwerke Muenchen.
Under the city, there are huge reservoirs with hot thermal water that could provide for environmentally-friendly heating for the city, according to Stadtwerke München. With this ambitious plan, the city hopes to derive lots of its heating from geothermal. By 2040, Munich hopes to be the first major German running district heating systems fuelled entirely from renewable sources. Now the first “vibro trucks” rare olling through the streets. With the help of short convulsions run until March 2016, mainly in the south of Munich, the trucks are working on seismic surveys to find suitable locations for new geothermal plants.
District heating has been offered by the utility for some time, but so far they are mainly fuelled by natural gas, coal and waste. Geothermal power plants on the other hand are providing a great opportunity and working examples can be found already in Sauerlach, south of Munich and in the Riem exhibition grounds. By 2025, five additional locations are planned.
The site selection is complicated. The “vibro trucks drive slowly through the streets. All 50 meters they stop, put plates on the floor to vibrate three times for about 12 seconds. Along the route laid geophones record the vibrations in the ground and take the data via cable to a measuring carriage. With this 3D seismic it is hoped to receive an accurate picture of the subsoil. The measurements are integrated into the research project GRAME, which is funded by the Federal Department of Energy of Germany.