Large Hadron Collider will heat nearby villages for free

CERN has found a way to use the cooling system of the Large Hadron Collider. It was decided to connect it to a geothermal energy storage unit in the neighboring commune of Ferne-Voltaire. The excess heat from the installation will be able to heat housing for 8, 000 people free of charge.

The collider, and even more so its latest modification, which will be completed this year and will begin full-scale work in 2022, is the largest machine in the history of mankind. In addition, the most important equipment here operates in space cold conditions, which requires the removal of enormous amounts of heat from the system. The previous scheme, with numerous cooling circuits and huge cooling towers, was found to be irrational.

Instead, the scientists agreed to give a gift to local residents. Hot water from the collider's cooling system will be transported to the geothermal storage area via a new 2 km pipeline. Surplus energy from all over the area flows here - from solar panels, wind turbines, industrial facilities, etc., and then accumulates in a coolant and is stored underground until it is needed.

The share of heat from the collider in the total storage volume will be significant, but more importantly, there are already plans to expand the transfer of heat from other scientific facilities to the grid. And for this you do not have to redesign the buildings as part of the collider - you just need to lay several pipelines to the specified points. In the future, the operation of the installation will be able to supply thousands of people with free heat in neighboring settlements.