A Comparison of Two Heat Transfer Models for Estimating Thermal Drawdown in Hot Dry Rock Reservoirs


B.A. Robinson, P. Kruger

Geo Location:

Fenton Hill, New Mexico; Valles Caldera, New Mexico


Stanford Geothermal Workshop







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Estimates of thermal drawdown in Hot Dry Rock geothermal systems have been made with two different models of heat transfer from hydraulically fractured reservoir rock blocks to water circulated through the fracture permeability. One model is based on deconvolution of experimental tracer response curves into a network of flowpaths connected in parallel with heat transfer calculated individually in each flowpath. The second model is based on one-dimensional flow through the rock with a block size distribution described as a group of equivalent-radius spheres for which the heat transfer equations can be solved analytically. The two models were applied to the planned Phase I1 long-term thermal drawdown experiment at Penton Bill, NU. The results show good agreement between the two models, with estimates of temperature cooldown from 210V to 150% in a few years depending on selected operation parameters, but with somewhat differing cooldown curve characteristic shapes. Data from the long-term experiment will be helpful in improving the two models.

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