Geothermal Monitoring for the Future of CEE

Distributed fiber optic sensors (DFOS) can be used for a wide variety of applications. Among them, distributed temperature sensing (DTS) uses the physical changes in a fiber core, as observed by probing light pulses, to measure the temperature of the environment surrounding the fiber. This is extremely useful to measure continuous temperature profiles in the subsurface for geothermal exploration.

SRG recently installed DTS in a geotechnical borehole in a collaboration with ENGEO. The purpose is to observe the seasonal changes in the ground temperature as a function of depth. The exploration is to the northeast of O’Brien Hall on the UC Berkeley campus. A new civil and environmental engineering building is being planned for this site, and geothermal heat pumps are proposed to provide low-energy consumption HVAC to the building. Data will be acquired throughout 2021. This project is supported by the UC Berkeley Office of Sustainability and is part of the campus effort to reach carbon neutrality by 2025.

Installation team in action