Key complex process couplings and challenges in the effective recovery of deep geothermal energy

Quan Gan, Yi Fang, Kyungjae Im, Derek Elsworth

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Despite attempts to engineer viable deep reservoirs for the recovery of thermal energy at high enthalpy and mass flow rates – dating back to the 1970s – this goal has been surprising elusive. The record is replete with failed attempts, examples on life support and some successes. The key difficulties are in (i) accessing the reservoir inexpensively and reliably at depth, (ii) in penetrating sufficiently far through the reservoir, and (iii) in stimulating the reservoir in a controlled manner to transform permeability from microDarcy to higher than milliDarcy levels with broad and uniform fluid sweep and (iv) to create and retain adequate fluid throughput and heat transfer area throughout the project lifetime. We discuss key controls on permeability evolution in such complex systems where thermo-hydro-mechanical-chemical and potentially biological (THMC-B) effects and feedbacks are particularly strong. At short-timescales of relevance, permeability is driven principally by deformations – in turn resulting from changes in total stresses, fluid pressure or thermal and chemical effects. We explain features of reservoir evolution with respect to both stable and unstable deformation, the potential for injection-induced seismicity and its impact on both reservoir performance and in interrogating the evolving state of the reservoir.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationISRM International Symposium - 10th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium, ARMS 2018
PublisherInternational Society for Rock Mechanics
ISBN (Electronic)9789811190032
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Event10th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium, ARMS 2018 - Singapore, Singapore
Duration: Oct 29 2018Nov 3 2018

Publication series

NameISRM International Symposium - 10th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium, ARMS 2018

Conference

Conference10th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium, ARMS 2018
CountrySingapore
CitySingapore
Period10/29/1811/3/18

Fingerprint

Geothermal energy
geothermal energy
recovery
Recovery
Fluids
permeability
Thermal energy
energy
Large scale systems
Enthalpy
Flow rate
Throughput
Heat transfer
Feedback
Engineers
induced seismicity
chemical effects
biological effects
fluid pressure
fluid

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics

Cite this

Gan, Q., Fang, Y., Im, K., & Elsworth, D. (2018). Key complex process couplings and challenges in the effective recovery of deep geothermal energy. In ISRM International Symposium - 10th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium, ARMS 2018 (ISRM International Symposium - 10th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium, ARMS 2018). International Society for Rock Mechanics.
Gan, Quan ; Fang, Yi ; Im, Kyungjae ; Elsworth, Derek. / Key complex process couplings and challenges in the effective recovery of deep geothermal energy. ISRM International Symposium - 10th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium, ARMS 2018. International Society for Rock Mechanics, 2018. (ISRM International Symposium - 10th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium, ARMS 2018).
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Gan, Q, Fang, Y, Im, K & Elsworth, D 2018, Key complex process couplings and challenges in the effective recovery of deep geothermal energy. in ISRM International Symposium - 10th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium, ARMS 2018. ISRM International Symposium - 10th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium, ARMS 2018, International Society for Rock Mechanics, 10th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium, ARMS 2018, Singapore, Singapore, 10/29/18.

Key complex process couplings and challenges in the effective recovery of deep geothermal energy. / Gan, Quan; Fang, Yi; Im, Kyungjae; Elsworth, Derek.

ISRM International Symposium - 10th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium, ARMS 2018. International Society for Rock Mechanics, 2018. (ISRM International Symposium - 10th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium, ARMS 2018).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Gan Q, Fang Y, Im K, Elsworth D. Key complex process couplings and challenges in the effective recovery of deep geothermal energy. In ISRM International Symposium - 10th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium, ARMS 2018. International Society for Rock Mechanics. 2018. (ISRM International Symposium - 10th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium, ARMS 2018).