The aim of the study is to evaluate the warming effect (thermal contamination) of city centres with high building density. This phenomenon has a number of scientific and practical implications. The case study was conducted in Bratislava (Slovakia), in the geological environment of alluvial gravels of the Danube River, where a permanent warming of the subsurface in the city centre is experienced, which is mainly affected by high building density and underground utilities. Thanks to this thermal contamination, the heat pumps efficiency is greater in winter, while in summer, their effectiveness is lower. Economically, this negative phenomenon in the case of heat pumps has a positive effect, since it increases energy efficiency during the heating period. This phenomenon is not universal and depends on the specific boundary conditions of the geological settings and hydrogeological conditions.
Groundwater Warming effect Heat pump Alluvial gravels Bratislava Slovakia
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This study was financially supported by the Slovak Research and Development Agency under the contract No. APVV-14-0174. Authors are also deeply grateful to the anonymous reviewers for their very constructive comments which led to the improvement in the quality of the paper.
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