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Modelling permeability and stimulation for deep heat mining

English title Modelling permeability and stimulation for deep heat mining
Applicant Driesner Thomas
Number 153971
Funding scheme NRP 70 Energy Turnaround
Research institution Institut für Geochemie und Petrologie ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Geophysics
Start/End 01.11.2014 - 31.07.2018
Approved amount 540'539.00
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All Disciplines (5)

Discipline
Geophysics
Fluid Dynamics
Geology
Information Technology
Mathematics

Keywords (5)

numerical simulation; supercomputing; geothermal; fluid dynamics; geomechanics

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Für die Gewinnung geothermischer Energie aus dem tiefen Untergrund wird kaltes Wasser über ein Bohrloch eingeleitet, heizt sich im tiefen Gestein auf und wird dann heiss durch ein zweites Bohrloch an die Oberfläche gefördert. Damit das Wasser zwischen den beiden Bohrlöchern überhaupt fliessen kann, müssten im Gestein Klüfte vorhanden sein. In der Regel sind diese nicht durchlässig genug und müssen durch Einpressen von Wasser unter Druck erweitert werden (die sogenannte “hydraulische Stimulation”). Unser Projekt untersucht mittels Computersimulationen die dabei ablaufenden Mechnismen, um zu klären, wie man den Prozess möglichst effizient und sicher durchführen kann.
Lay summary

Die Gewinnung geothermischer Energie aus dem Schweizer Untergrund peilt heisses Gestein in Tiefen von 4000 Metern und mehr an. Um diese Wärme zur Stromproduktion zu gewinnern, wird kaltes Wasser über ein Bohrloch eingeleitet, heizt sich im tiefen Gestein auf und soll dann heiss durch ein zweites Bohrloch an die Oberfläche gefördert werden. Damit das Wasser zwischen den beiden Bohrlöchern überhaupt fliessen kann, müssten im Gestein Klüfte vorhanden sein. In der Regel sind die  Klüfte in solchen Tiefen nicht durchlässig genug und müssen durch Einpressen von Wasser unter Druck erweitert werden (die sogenannte “hydraulische Stimulation”). Dabei ist bisher noch nicht vollständig verstanden, wie man dieses Erweitern steuern und die Stärke der dabei entstehenden Mikroerdstösse kontrollieren kann. Unser Projekt untersucht mittels Computersimulationen die dabei ablaufenden Mechnismen, um zu klären, wie man den Prozess möglichst effizient und sicher durchführen kann. Dazu haben sich international führende Experten aus den Gebieten Geothermie (ETH Zürich), Gesteinsmechanik und Seismizität (Universität Neuenburg), numerische Mathematik (Universität der italienischsprachigen Schweiz, Lugano) und Reservoir Engineering (Montanuniversität Leoben, Österreich) zusammengetan und werden mit vier Doktoranden zu diesem Thema forschen.


 

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 13.10.2014

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
NFR Studies Austria (Europe)
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Prof. Sebastian Geiger, Reservoir Engineering, Heriot Watt University Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Prof. Stephan K. Matthai, Univ. Melbourne Australia (Oceania)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
Laboratory for Waste Management, Paul Scherrer Institut Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
SCCER-SoE Annual Conference 2018 Poster Simulations of hydro-mechanical processes based on the Immersed Boundary Method 14.09.2018 Horw, Switzerland von Planta Cyrill; Krause Rolf;
SCCER-SoE Annual Conference 2018 Poster High-performance C++ code for forecasting induced seismicity 14.09.2018 Horw, Switzerland Krause Rolf; Driesner Thomas;
SCCER-SoE Annual Conference 2018 Poster Contact Simulations in Rough Fractures 13.09.2018 Horw, Switzerland Krause Rolf; von Planta Cyrill;
Swiss Geoscience Meeting 2017 Poster A MATLAB package for thermo-hydraulic modeling and fracture stability analysis in fractured reservoirs 18.11.2017 Davos, Switzerland Miller Stephen; Jansen Gunnar;
Swiss Geoscience Meeting 2017 Talk given at a conference Overview of the hydraulic stimulation experiments at the Grimsel Test Site 18.11.2017 Davos, Switzerland Driesner Thomas;
SCCER-SoE Annual Conference 2017 Poster Numerical Modeling of Natural Convection in Fractured Media 14.09.2017 Birmensdorf, Switzerland Patterson James; Driesner Thomas;
SCCER-SoE Annual Conference 2017 Poster Efficient Finite Element Simulation Methods for Fracture Networks 14.09.2017 Birmensdorf, Switzerland Krause Rolf;
SCCER-SoE Annual Conference 2017 Poster Mixed finite element method for recovering stress and displacement fields 14.09.2017 Birmensdorf, Switzerland Driesner Thomas;
SCCER-SoE Annual Conference 2017 Poster A matlab package for thermo-hydraulic modeling and fracture stability analysis in fractured reservoirs 14.09.2017 Birmensdorf, Switzerland Miller Stephen; Jansen Gunnar;
SCCER-SoE Annual Conference 2017 Poster Reactive flow patterns in fractured media 14.09.2017 Birmensdorf, Switzerland Driesner Thomas;
SCCER-SoE Annual Conference 2017 Poster Parallel Methods for Contact Problems in Rough Rock Surfaces 14.09.2017 Birmensdorf, Switzerland Krause Rolf; von Planta Cyrill;
AGU Fall Meeting Talk given at a conference Current Challenges in Geothermal Reservoir Simulation 12.12.2016 San Francisco, United States of America Driesner Thomas;
AGU Fall Meeting Talk given at a conference 3D Numerical Modeling of Thermal Convection in Multiple Fractures 12.12.2016 San Francisco, United States of America Driesner Thomas; Patterson James; Matthai Stephan Konrad;
Swiss Geoscience Meeting 2016 Poster Slip induced stress transfer in the embedded discrete fracture method 19.11.2016 Genf, Switzerland Jansen Gunnar; Krause Rolf;
Swiss Geoscience Meeting 2016 Poster HULK – Simple and fast generation of structured hexahedral meshes for improved subsurface simulations 19.11.2016 Genf, Switzerland Jansen Gunnar; Miller Stephen;
SCCER-SoE Annual Conference 2016 Poster Finite element modeling of three - dimensional fracture growth using unstructured tetrahedral meshes 12.09.2016 Sion, Switzerland Driesner Thomas;
SCCER-SoE Annual Conference 2016 Poster A slip induced stress transfer mo del for embedded discrete fractures 12.09.2016 Sion, Switzerland Jansen Gunnar; Miller Stephen;
SCCER-SoE Annual Conference 2016 Poster Towards modeling geochemical effects on long-term permeability evolution and heat extraction 12.09.2016 Sion, Switzerland Driesner Thomas;
SCCER-SoE Annual Conference 2016 Poster A new software for modeling seismic velocity dispersion and attenuation in realistically fractured media 12.09.2016 Sion, Switzerland Krause Rolf;
SCCER-SoE Annual Conference 2016 Poster Discretization and Multigrid Methods for Modeling permeability and stimulation for deep heat mining 12.09.2016 Sion, Switzerland von Planta Cyrill; Krause Rolf; Driesner Thomas;
SCCER-SoE Annual Conference 2016 Poster Numerical Modeling of Natural Convection in Fractured Media 12.09.2016 Sion, Switzerland Driesner Thomas; Patterson James;
SCCER-SoE Annual Conference 2016 Talk given at a conference Innovative technologies and computational energy science 12.09.2016 Sion, Switzerland Driesner Thomas;
Swiss Geoscience Meeting Poster Towards high resolution modeling of deep geothermal reservoirs using parallel computing 21.11.2015 Basel, Switzerland Miller Stephen; Jansen Gunnar;
SCCER SoE Annual Conference 2015 Talk given at a conference Reservoir exploration, characterisation, modeling, and validation 10.09.2015 Neuchatel, Switzerland Driesner Thomas;
SCCER-SoE Annual Conference 2015 Talk given at a conference High-end modeling requirements for the energy sector 10.09.2015 Neuchatel, Switzerland Krause Rolf;
SCCER SoE Annual Conference 2015 Poster Modelling permeability and stimulation for deep heat mining 10.09.2015 Neuchatel, Switzerland Krause Rolf; von Planta Cyrill;
SCCER SoE Annual Conference 2015 Poster Modern techniques in high performance computing for modeling the stimulation process of deep geothermal systems 10.09.2015 Neuchatel, Switzerland Miller Stephen; Jansen Gunnar;
SCCER SoE Annual Conference 2015 Poster Numerical modeling of highly fractured media for Enhanced Geothermal Systems 10.09.2015 Neuchatel, Switzerland Driesner Thomas; Patterson James;
SCCER-SoE Annual Conference 2015 Poster Large-scale simulaion of pneumatic and hydraulic fracture with a phase-field approach 10.09.2015 Neuchatel, Switzerland Krause Rolf;
SCCER SoE Annual Conference 2015 Poster High Performance Computing of Evolving Fracture Networks 10.09.2015 Neuchatel, Switzerland Jansen Gunnar; Miller Stephen;
Platform for advanced scientific computing (PASC15) Talk given at a conference Modeling 3D THM Processes in Geothermics with Continuum Mechanics 01.06.2015 Zürich, Switzerland Jansen Gunnar; Miller Stephen;
Platform for advanced scientific computing (PASC15) Talk given at a conference Prediction of Elastostatic Friction for Rock-Like Surfaces with FEM 01.06.2015 Zürich, Switzerland von Planta Cyrill; Krause Rolf;
Platform for advanced scientific computing (PASC15) Talk given at a conference Challenges of Simulating Geothermal Reservoir Processes; 01.06.2015 Zürich, Switzerland Driesner Thomas;


Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Workshop with Equinor Workshop 11.07.2018 Zuerich, Switzerland Driesner Thomas; Patterson James;
Workshop with Reykjavik Energy Workshop 17.01.2018 Zuerich, Switzerland Driesner Thomas; Patterson James;
Meeting at Alstom Talk 01.06.2015 Baden, Switzerland Krause Rolf;


Use-inspired outputs

Software

Name Year
THERMAID 2018


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
172851 Key problems of heat and mass transfer in the earth's crust 01.05.2017 Project funding (Div. I-III)
160757 COTHERM2 - COmbined hydrological, geochemical and geophysical modelling of geotTHERMal systems II. 01.09.2015 Sinergia

Abstract

Permeability is the decisive reservoir property for the economic success of geothermal operations as it determines the flow rates that can be achieved when circulating fluid to mine heat from the reservoir. However, at the depth of deep geothermal reservoir targets, permeability is typically too low for commercial circulation rates and therefore requires enhancement by (hydraulic) stimulation. There is currently no quantitative theory that can predict by how much reservoir permeability may be enhanced during stimulation at a given site. This uncertainty is one of the major investment risks in the future development of deep geothermal energy in Switzerland. In addition, seismicity induced by hydraulic stimulation is the biggest technical and societal acceptance risk.Our project develops and applies novel numerical simulation techniques for the quantification of permeability enhancement during hydraulic stimulation, its spatial evolution during reservoir development, and the seismicity-related processes of fault slip during stimulation.
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