In-Situ Thermal Response Testing

EPFL has developed test equipment for in-situ thermal response testing and performs test for research and consulting. The development of the test equipment started in 1998 and has been financially supported by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE/OFEN) through several projects. The latest equipment, the “mini-module”, developed in 2005, is compact and fits into a flight case (0.6m x 0.3m x 0.7m). It contains a data transmission system where the test can be followed on the internet in real time.


LMS has tested the ground of the Solar Impulse Project

Thermal response tests have recently been performed for geothermal heating for a watch factory in Breuleux (Canton JU), a school in Schmitten (Canton FR) and in Payerne (Canton VD) on a site which is part of the framework for the challenge “Solar Impuls” (The first tour around the world in an aircraft run on solar energy).

Further projects are foreseen including tests in Switzerland (Geneva, Rolle…), in Italy, in Germany and in Spain (western Pyrenees and Barcelona). Collaborations with private companies and universities are also under discussion.

The modifications of the Mini-module during 2006 have shown to be especially useful. The remote data transmission system with GPRS is less susceptible to interruptions. Moreover, adding a cleaning system and replacing the flow regulator have simplified and improved the test performance.


Test equipment setup in Perpignan In-situ thermal response test
(Bahnhof – South, Aarau)



Recent references:

► Mattsson N., Steinmann G., Laloui L. In-Situ Thermal Response Testing – New Developments. Proceedings European Geothermal Congress 2007 , Unterhaching, Germany.

► Poppei J., Schwarz R., Mattsson N., Steinmann G., Laloui L. Innovative Verbesserungen bei Thermal Response Tests. 9th Geothermal trade conference: More energy from the ground, pp. 281-292, GTV, 2006.


Other Publications

►In-situ characterisation of thermal properties of soils (G. Steinmann & L. Laloui). Géothermie CH- Bulletin de la Société Suisse pour la Géothermie (SSG). No. 38, pp. 8-9, March 2005

►Le Musée des Confluences à Lyon (Daniel Gourmez). L’énergie du sous-sol: La Géothermie en Ile-de France. No. 6, pp. 4-7, October 2004

►Tests de Réponse Géothermique/ Geothermische Response Tests (W.J. Eugster & L. Laloui). Proccedings of the Europäischer Workshop européen sur les tests de réponse. EPFL, 25 & 26 October 2001. 130 pages. Editor: GTV. ISBN: 3-932570-43-X