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Title: The effect of spatial aperture variations on the thermal performance of discretely fractured geothermal reservoirs

Abstract

The effect of spatial aperture variations on the thermal performance of discretely fractured geothermal reservoirs was investigated using finite element method solutions to the convective heat transfer in the fracture coupled with a boundary integral description of conductive heat transfer in the rock. The dipolar flow was generated by a source of fluid volume at an injection well and a sink at a production well within a circular fracture. The statistics of the thermal performance of an ensemble of fracture realizations was evaluated. Fractures with self-affine aperture fields where long range correlations dominant over short range correlations were generated. The results showed that spatial aperture variations most frequently lead to diminished thermal performance by creating flow channeling that reduces the heat transfer area. Enhanced thermal performance occurred in the less common cases when the aperture was small in the region between the wellbores, causing fluid flow to sweep out greater areas of the fracture and extract heat from a larger area. The standard deviation of the apertures had the largest influence on the thermal performance, while the spatial correlation of the aperture played a secondary role. Larger values of the standard deviation led to more adverse thermal performance. For themore » range of standard deviations investigated, the fraction of fractures exhibiting enhanced thermal performance compared to the base case of no aperture variations ranged from 34 to 49 %. The degradation of thermal performance due to aperture variations was largest when the well bore spacing was a larger fraction of the fracture diameter. Reservoirs consisting of two non-intersecting fractures connected to the same injection and production wells were also modeled. The uneven split of the flow between the reservoirs in this case caused a further deterioration of thermal performance compared with the single fracture reservoirs. However, flow control was able to overcome nearly all of the additional loss of thermal performance for the multifracture reservoir.« less

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1503035
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1843948
Grant/Contract Number:  
EE0000842; EE0006764
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Geothermal Energy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Geothermal Energy Journal Volume: 3 Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2195-9706
Publisher:
Springer Science + Business Media
Country of Publication:
Germany
Language:
English
Subject:
15 GEOTHERMAL ENERGY; Enhanced geothermal systems; Aperture variations; Roughness; Discrete fractures; Heat transport in fractures; Coupled convective conductive heat transport; Thermal hydraulic modeling; Geothermal reservoir performance modeling

Citation Formats

Fox, Don Bruce, Koch, Donald Lyle, and Tester, Jefferson William. The effect of spatial aperture variations on the thermal performance of discretely fractured geothermal reservoirs. Germany: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.1186/s40517-015-0039-z.
Fox, Don Bruce, Koch, Donald Lyle, & Tester, Jefferson William. The effect of spatial aperture variations on the thermal performance of discretely fractured geothermal reservoirs. Germany. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40517-015-0039-z
Fox, Don Bruce, Koch, Donald Lyle, and Tester, Jefferson William. Wed . "The effect of spatial aperture variations on the thermal performance of discretely fractured geothermal reservoirs". Germany. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40517-015-0039-z.
@article{osti_1503035,
title = {The effect of spatial aperture variations on the thermal performance of discretely fractured geothermal reservoirs},
author = {Fox, Don Bruce and Koch, Donald Lyle and Tester, Jefferson William},
abstractNote = {The effect of spatial aperture variations on the thermal performance of discretely fractured geothermal reservoirs was investigated using finite element method solutions to the convective heat transfer in the fracture coupled with a boundary integral description of conductive heat transfer in the rock. The dipolar flow was generated by a source of fluid volume at an injection well and a sink at a production well within a circular fracture. The statistics of the thermal performance of an ensemble of fracture realizations was evaluated. Fractures with self-affine aperture fields where long range correlations dominant over short range correlations were generated. The results showed that spatial aperture variations most frequently lead to diminished thermal performance by creating flow channeling that reduces the heat transfer area. Enhanced thermal performance occurred in the less common cases when the aperture was small in the region between the wellbores, causing fluid flow to sweep out greater areas of the fracture and extract heat from a larger area. The standard deviation of the apertures had the largest influence on the thermal performance, while the spatial correlation of the aperture played a secondary role. Larger values of the standard deviation led to more adverse thermal performance. For the range of standard deviations investigated, the fraction of fractures exhibiting enhanced thermal performance compared to the base case of no aperture variations ranged from 34 to 49 %. The degradation of thermal performance due to aperture variations was largest when the well bore spacing was a larger fraction of the fracture diameter. Reservoirs consisting of two non-intersecting fractures connected to the same injection and production wells were also modeled. The uneven split of the flow between the reservoirs in this case caused a further deterioration of thermal performance compared with the single fracture reservoirs. However, flow control was able to overcome nearly all of the additional loss of thermal performance for the multifracture reservoir.},
doi = {10.1186/s40517-015-0039-z},
journal = {Geothermal Energy},
number = 1,
volume = 3,
place = {Germany},
year = {2015},
month = {10}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
https://doi.org/10.1186/s40517-015-0039-z

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Cited by: 9 works
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