Deep Learning for Modeling Enhanced Geothermal Systems



Key Words:

Enhanced Geothermal Systems, Geothermal Design Toolkit, Deep learning, Sensitivity Analysis, Techno-Economics


Stanford Geothermal Workshop




Enhanced Geothermal Systems



Paper Number:


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1533 KB

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Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) offer a vast potential to expand the use of geothermal energy. Heat is extracted from this engineered system by injecting cold water into a subsurface fractures, which are in contact with hot dry rock, and brought back to surface through production wells. Creating EGS requires improving the natural permeability of hot crystalline rocks. To develop economically- viable EGS reservoirs, significant technical barriers (e.g., better stimulation technologies without adequate water and/or permeability) and non-technical barriers (e.g., land access, permitting, finance) must be overcome. In this short conference paper, we present a workflow to address a part of this challenge – “How to develop economically viable EGS using existing technologies?”. Our workflow called the GeoThermalCloud (GTC) for EGS, leverages recent advances in machine learning, deep learning, and cloud computing. This GTC framework is open-source and available at https://github.com/SmartTensors/GeoThermalCloud.jl. The GTC framework provides trained deep learning (DL) models to estimate the undiscounted cashflow of a given EGS design scenario. The Geothermal Design Tool (https://github.com/GeoDesignTool/GeoDT.git), a fast and simplified multi-physics solver, is used to develop a database for training DL models. The database consists of EGS design parameters (inputs to DL model) and their undiscounted cashflow (output of DL model) in uncertain geologic systems. The EGS design parameters for constructing this training database are based on UtahFORGE but include the options of more wells and deeper depths. The DL models are trained by ingesting the EGS design parameters and estimating the corresponding undiscounted cashflow. Such an emulation allows us to screen various EGS designs quickly and identify good development strategies by coupling them with optimization techniques. Our preliminary results show promise in DL emulation of undiscounted cashflow. However, a lot more work is needed to improve the predictive capability of DL models (i.e., extensive hyperparameter tuning is necessary). This will be the primary focus of our future work.

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