Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Optimization of Integrated Reservoir, Wellbore, and Power Plant Models for Enhanced Geothermal Systems
by Peluchette, Jason, M.S., West Virginia University, 2013, 48; 1524651
Abstract (Summary)

Geothermal energy has the potential to become a substantially greater contributor to the U.S. energy market. An adequate investment in Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) technology will be necessary in order to realize the potential of geothermal energy. This study presents an optimization of a waterbased Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS) modeled for AltaRock Energy’s Newberry EGS Demonstration location. The optimization successfully integrates all three components of the geothermal system: (1) the present wellbore design, (2) the reservoir design, and (3) the surface plant design.

Since the Newberry EGS Demonstration will use an existing well (NWG 55-29), there is no optimization of the wellbore design, and the aim of the study for this component is to replicate the present wellbore conditions and design. An in-house wellbore model is used to accurately reflect the temperature and pressure changes that occur in the wellbore fluid and the surrounding casing, cement, and earth during injection and production. For the reservoir design, the existing conditions, such as temperature and pressure at depth and rock density, are incorporated into the model, and several design variables are investigated. The engineered reservoir is modeled using the reservoir simulator TOUGH2 while using the graphical interface PetraSim for visualization. Several fracture networks are investigated with the goal of determining which fracture network yields the greatest electrical output when optimized jointly with the surface plant. A topological optimization of the surface is completed to determine what type of power plant is best suited for this location, and a parametric optimization of the surface plant is completed to determine the optimal operating conditions.

The conditions present at the Newberry, Oregon EGS project site are the basis for this optimization. The subsurface conditions are favorable for the production of electricity from geothermal energy with rock temperatures exceeding 300°C at a well depth of 3 km. This research was completed in collaboration with AltaRock Energy, which has provided our research group with data from the Newberry well. The purpose of this thesis is to determine the optimal conditions for operating an Enhanced Geothermal System for the production of electricity at Newberry.

It was determined that a fracture network consisting of five fractured zones carrying 15 kg/s of fluid is the best reservoir design out of those investigated in this study. Also, it was found that 100 m spacing between the fractured zones should be implemented as opposed to only 50 m of spacing. A double-flash steam power plant provides the best method of utilization of the geothermal fluid. For the maximum amount of electricity generation over the 30-year operating lifetime, the cyclone separator should operate at 205°C and the flash vessel should operate at 125°C.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Anderson, Brian
Commitee:
School: West Virginia University
School Location: United States -- West Virginia
Source: MAI 52/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Geological, Geophysical, Chemical engineering
Keywords: EGS, Enhanced Geothermal System, Geothermal optimization, Geothermal surface plant, Reservoir modeling, Wellbore model
Publication Number: 1524651
ISBN: 9781303558467
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