UNDERGROUND COAL MINES IN OHIO AS A POSSIBLE GEOTHERMAL ENERGY RESOURCE
Mines selected for characterization were chosen based upon proximity to population centers and the availability of water within the mines. Using GIS software and data from the Ohio Geological Survey, mines within roughly 1 mile of cities and towns that are characterized as either below, or partially below drainage were selected for further study. Using data on the physical characteristics of the mines, groundwater recharge, groundwater flow directions, average ambient temperatures, and regional heat flow gradients, a number of parameters were calculated. These include: maximum and minimum residence times, maximum and minimum recharge to the mines, effective mine volumes, linear groundwater velocities, and minimum average mine temperatures. The total maximum theoretical amount of heat extraction possible was calculated based upon the volume of water within the mines, groundwater velocities, and the estimated mine temperatures.
This study identified 147 possible mine sites, spanning 21 counties, for GSHP implementation in Ohio. The mines have an estimated average maximum residence time of 6 years and an estimated average minimum residence time of 3.5 years. It was estimated here that, on average, 1010 kJ of heat energy could be extracted from the mines per 1⁰C change in mine water temperature. The cities located close to these mines could benefit from this geothermal resource.