Geothermal Energy Exploration and Production
Submission Deadline: October 31, 2019 (Open) Submit Now
Andres Navarro Flores, PhD
Senior Professor, Department of Fluid Mechanics, Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain
Email: [email protected]
Research Interests: geochemistry, geothermal, salt contaminats
About This Topic
Geothermal systems are found in a range of geological settings and each of the different types has distinct characteristics which may be reflected in the superficial features of these systems and the chemistry of fluids. The geothermal exploration could minimize risks related to resource temperature, depth, productivity and sustainability prior to drilling. The surveying techniques used may include surface studies (active surface features, etc.), geothermometry (fluid and soil sampling) and geophysical surveying (gravity, ER, magnetotelluric, seismic, temperature gradient, etc.).
The estimation of reservoir temperatures is a major goal in geothermal exploration. Geothermometric calculations were used in order to assess the possible temperatures that may allow the exploitation of reservoirs. Chemical geothermometers are based on temperature dependent water-rock equilibrium, and give the last temperature of water-rock equilibrium attained in the aquifer. Nonetheless, the application of some geothermometers to mixed waters or partially equilibrated waters may produce poor results. Furthermore, the evaluation of thermal energy potential may be estimated by using mathematical models, which resolves heat, flow and mass transport equations in order to estimate the efficiency of geothermal applications. At final stage of the geothermal exploration begins the test drilling in order to demonstrate the feasibility of commertial production.
Flooded underground mines also may constitute a potential geothermal resource for low-temperature uses, or even for electricity production, if the reservoir reaches a sufficiently high temperature. The closure of deep abandoned mines involve the cessation of the expensive pumping systems and the progressive mine flooding and groundwater rebound may cause the transport of contaminants and energy. In these cases, mine waters may be a source of renewable energy and their hydrogeochemistry may be useful to determine the origin and nature of fluids. Thus, the use of mine water for geothermal purposes may provide an innovative opportunity to extract low-grade geothermal energy.
The conversion of geothermal energy into electrical energy may require the use of traditional power plants: direct dry-steam, flash steam and binary plants. The study of advances systems (super-critical fluids, etc.) may be of great interest for future geothermal exploitation.
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Exploration; Geothermal surface features; Hot springs; Geochemical surveying; Geothermometry; Multicomponent geothermometry; Geophysical surveying; Numerical modeling; Heat and mass transport modeling; Test drilling; Geothermal power plants; Enhanced geothermal systems; Geothermal mine water