and challenging. Heat pumps are promising technolo-gies with strong dependencies on heat source temper-atures. Using heat sources with higher temperatures lead to better efficiencies of heat pumps. One heat source that is available in regions worldwide where mining used to be a part of economic activities is water from coal mining. This article investigates the possibility of reusing the abandoned mining areas in the Ruhr area, Germany, in particular the possibility of using the heat from mine water to distribute it to heating net-works. The former mine operator needs to pump mine water to the surface for eternity. For the analysis of the mining infrastructure, all existing and relevant data of the shaft locations were analysed. In the process, 7,800 documented shafts were identified. The totality of shafts was reduced by exclusion criteria in the first analysis to 119 potentially usable sites in the Ruhr area. Based on this, a categorised evaluation of the remain-ing sites was carried out with regard to their technically developable utilisation potential. This evaluation is based on the conditions of the shaft locations, sup-plemented by the underground main flow paths and volume flows of the mine water. Results show, that 150,000 households can be supplied with heat from mine water. The findings are generally transferable to other areas with former coal mining activities, e.g. in the UK and other regions worldwide.
Keywords renewable energy resources, exceed heat, ultra-low heating networks, geothermal mine water utilisation, decentralised heat pumps, abandoned mine infrastruc-ture