When an exploration company drilled for crude oil in Erding, Bavaria, in the early 1980s, it made a discovery, but did not find what it was looking for: In the depths below the old Bavarian dukedom, just 40 kilometers northeast of Munich, no “black gold” was found, but rather 65 degree hot thermal water – today the basis for one of the most forward-looking geothermal projects in all of Germany. One fifth of the heat demand of the county town with 35,000 inhabitants is now covered by geothermal energy. And THERME ERDING, one of Bavaria’s main attractions with over 1.8 million visitors annually, is also supplied with climate-friendly heat from the bowels of the earth.
Hot thermal water is pumped from a depth of 2,300 meters and distributed to two heating plants. There, the thermal water heats the district heating water via heat exchangers, absorption heat pumps and downstream natural gas-fired hot water boilers. It is then conveyed to the customers in a supply line and back to the heating plant in the return line.
"We were lucky to find the STEAG solution for us: It was right underneath our feet."
Jörg Wund,Managing Director of THERME ERDING
Jörg Wund, managing director of THERME ERDING and our largest geothermal customer, not only purchases geothermal energy for buildings and hot shower water, he also heats all the water for the baths of the spa in this way. “We were lucky to find the STEAG solution for us: It was right underneath our feet,” the entrepreneur says. Over the past 20 years, his family business has attracted 25 million visitors to Erding with adventure pools and relaxation baths and saunas. “We still have a lot of new ideas. We want to develop the facility even further in the next ten to twenty years.”
STEAG has now laid the foundation stone for that development in the form of an extension with a new energy center: Since the autumn of last year, teams from STEAG New Energies and STEAG Technischer Service have been working on the construction of an innovative combined heat and power unit (CHP) in combination with two heat exchangers and a compression heat pump of the latest generation. “Our new CHP will have an electrical capacity of around one megawatt and will supply us with the electricity to drive the new compression heat pump,” explains Anton Schmitt, plant manager at STEAG New Energies in Erding.
The new thermal storage units – two thermally insulated steel boilers with a capacity of 150 cubic meters each – are also technically at the cutting edge. “At times of low heat consumption by our customers, we can store water in these boilers at temperatures of up to around 110 degrees Celsius,” Anton Schmitt explains. “This stored thermal energy is then additionally available at times of high heat consumption. That also increases security of supply.”