Waste geothermal hot water for enhanced outdoor agricultural production

Robert Dell, Runar Unnthorsson, C. S. Wei, William Foley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


In Iceland there is a super abundance of waste hot water from geothermal power plants. Some of this is re-purposed (sequentially used) for district heating and heated swimming pools. This vast underused energy source can also enable the growth of out of zone plants, enhance agricultural production by 20% and extend the growing season. The authors have developed and field tested an energy intensive shallow system of bottom heat using the existing heated sidewalk materials. Tomatoes that do not survive outdoors in Iceland have produced ripe fruit. A zucchinis harvest was documented and the test banana plant was still alive in September after the first frost. These plants all died in the control garden which had the same piping system, and identical soil types and depths. Heat transfer data, infrared analysis and plant growth data were gathered to preliminarily document and quantify the system's viability and market potentials.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRAM; Plant Syst., Struct., Components and Mat. Issues; Simple and Combined Cycles; Adv. Energy Syst. and Renewables (Wind, Solar and Geothermal); Energy Water Nexus; Thermal Hydraulics and CFD;
PublisherThe American Society of Mechanical Engineers(ASME)
ISBN (Print)9780791856062
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventASME 2013 Power Conference, POWER 2013 - Boston, MA, United States
Duration: 29 Jul 20131 Aug 2013

Publication series

NameAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers, Power Division (Publication) POWER


ConferenceASME 2013 Power Conference, POWER 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBoston, MA

Other keywords

  • Cascade utilization
  • Enhanced growing season
  • Geothermal waste heat
  • Heated ground agriculture
  • Heated soil


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