Journal of Energy and Power Technology (JEPT) is an international peer-reviewed Open Access journal published quarterly online by LIDSEN Publishing Inc. This periodical is dedicated to providing a unique, peer-reviewed, multi-disciplinary platform for researchers, scientists and engineers in academia, research institutions, government agencies and industry. The journal is also of interest to technology developers, planners, policy makers and technical, economic and policy advisers to present their research results and findings.
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Modeling of Geothermal Systems
Submission Deadline: November 30, 2020 (Open) Submit Now
Andres Navarro Flores, PhD
Senior Professor, Department of Fluid Mechanics, Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain
Research Interests: geochemistry, geothermal, salt contaminats
About This Topic
Modeling plays a key role in understanding the nature and behaviour of geotermal systems and is the most powerful tool for predicting their response to future production.
Modeling may be subdivided in Conceptual Modeling and Numerical Modeling. A conceptual model is a representation of the current best understanding of a geothermal system and, usually, during the exploration phase a conceptual model of the resource is prepared (Figure 1). Once a conceptual model consistent with all available data has been constructed may form the framework of a numerical model for evaluate the future performance of the reservoir.
Figure 1 Example of conceptual model: La Selva Geothermal System (NE Spain).
If the numerical model may be validated can be used to test the validity of the conceptual model and to estimate the impact that geothermal exploitation will have on the resource. On the other hand, modeling methods can be classified as either static or dynamic methods. The volumetric method is the principal static modeling method whereas dynamic modeling apply simple analytical models or detailed numerical models to simulate the nature and production response of geothermal systems.
Numerical reservoir modeling has become the most powerful tolls of geothermal reservoir fluid dynamics and the principal steps of the method involve the domain discretization, the propierties assignation (hydraulic conductivity, porosity, thermal conductivity, et,), sinks, sources and boundary conditions and the resolution of differential equations (continuity, heat transport, groundwater flow, etc.) by different numerical methods (finite-difference, finite-element methods, etc.).
Geochemical modeling applied to geothermal fluids may be of three types: aqueous-speciation and saturation models, mass-transfer models (inverse or mass-balance models and forward reaction-part models) and reactive transport models. Thus, the calculation for a given geothermal fluid, of saturation indices with respect to a number of plausible hydrothermal alteration minerals, at varying temperature, can be used as an effective geothermometric tool.
The effects of mixing between thermal waters and cold waters may be calculated using inverse modeling and forward reaction-path models. In the simulation of reactive transport, groundwater flow, heat transfer and mass-transport are commonly calculated based of three main numerical methods: finite differences, finite volumes and finite elements. A computer code that incorporates a geochemical model is one of several possible tools for interpreting water-rock interactions in low-temperature geochemistry.
Finally, we must consider that the purpose of numerical modeling is to develop a computer model that reflects essential features of the phenomenon considered, not represents a real system. Therefore a model is a simplification of reality and model provide only approximate solutions.
Figure 2 Numerical modeling of Sierra Almagrera Geothermal System (SE Spain).
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Geothermal modeling; Numerical model; Heat transport; Finite-elements; Reservoir model; Geochemical model; Reactive transport
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