Development and Validation of an Advanced Stimulation Prediction Model for Enhanced Geothermal Systems Geothermal Project

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Last modified on July 22, 2011.

Project Title Development and Validation of an Advanced Stimulation Prediction Model for Enhanced Geothermal Systems
Project Type / Topic 1 Recovery Act: Enhanced Geothermal Systems Component Research and Development/Analysis
Project Type / Topic 2 Stimulation Prediction Models
Project Description The proposal is in response to DOE FOA DE-PS36-08GO99018/DE-FOA-0000075, specifically: the Topic Area: Stimulation Prediction Models – “To develop and validate models to predict a reservoir’s response to stimulation and/or to quantitatively compare existing stimulation prediction models,” and the Target Specification: “Development of stimulation prediction models capable of accurately predicting the location, spacing, orientation, and flow properties of created fractures.”
State Colorado
Objectives Develop and validate an advanced computer model that can be used in the planning and design of stimulation techniques to create engineered reservoirs for Enhanced Geothermal Systems.
Awardees (Company / Institution) Colorado School of Mines
Awardee Website

Funding Opportunity Announcement DE-FOA-0000075
DOE Funding Level (total award amount) $860,597.00
Awardee Cost Share $290,000.00
Total Project Cost $1,150,597.00

Principal Investigator(s) Dr. Marte Gutierrez
Other Principal Investigators Dr. Masami Nakagawa
Targets / Milestones - Develop a true three-dimensional hydro-thermal fracturing and proppant flow/transport simulator that is particularly suited for EGS reservoir creation.

- Perform laboratory scale model tests of hydraulic fracturing and proppant flow/transport using a polyaxial loading device, and use the laboratory results to test and validate the 3D simulator.
- Perform discrete element/particulate modeling of proppant transport in hydraulic fractures, and use the results to validate the proppant transport model.
- Test and validate the 3D hydro-thermal fracturing simulator against case histories of EGS energy production.
- Develop a plan to commercialize the 3D fracturing and proppant flow/transport simulator.

The project is expected to yield several specific results and benefits. Major intellectual products from the proposal include: 1) A true-3D hydro-thermal fracturing and proppant flow/transport computer code that is particularly suited to EGS, 2) Documented results of scale model tests on hydro-thermal fracturing and fracture propping in an analogue crystalline rock, 3) Documented procedures and results of discrete element/particulate modeling of flow and transport of proppants for EGS applications, and 4) Database of field monitoring data and results of simulations of case histories EGS. Results will be presented in technical reports which will discuss the theoretical background of the different models, model implementation, and results of the validation studies. The true-3D hydro-thermal fracturing and proppant flow/transport simulator will be made widely available to the EGS industry.

Location of Project Golden, CO
About the Area [via their website] Mines is located in Golden, Colo., only 15 miles west of Denver’s downtown business district. Golden, a thriving community of 17,000, offers outdoor adventure with small town atmosphere and convenient access to big city attractions.The school has some big-name neighbors in Golden, including the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a frequent research partner, and Coors Brewing Company.

Impacts Quantitative prediction and simulation abilities for the physical processes involved in EGS reservoir creation.
Funding Source American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
References EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs[1]


  1. EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs