Development of Advanced Thermal-Hydrological-Mechanical-Chemical (THMC) Modeling Capabilities for Enhanced Geothermal Systems Geothermal Project

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Last modified on July 22, 2011.

Project Title Development of Advanced Thermal-Hydrological-Mechanical-Chemical (THMC) Modeling Capabilities for Enhanced Geothermal Systems
Project Type / Topic 1 Recovery Act: Enhanced Geothermal Systems Component Research and Development/Analysis
Project Type / Topic 2 Integrated Chemical, Thermal, Mechanical and Hydrological Modeling
Project Description The proposed research will make significant contributions to assessing, developing, and managing EGS systems. The research results will directly address many of key aspects of developing EGS and traditional geothermal reservoirs from site selection and characterization, reservoir creation, stimulation, and validation to reservoir sustainability. In particular, the proposed development provides a practical approach to assess long-term performance of EGS systems as well as optimum design and operation strategies, by consideration of fully coupled processes of thermal, hydrological, geochemical, and rock deformation effects. This research is strategically important to DOE’s mission in the national energy resource and security. Furthermore, once the research goals are achieved, the developed simulator will substantially enhance the ability to characterized EGS systems, predict long-term performance of EGS systems, and optimize production strategies, and help energy extraction from EGS reservoir commercially feasible.
State Colorado
Objectives Develop a comprehensive and efficient reservoir simulator for modeling multiphase fluid and heat flow, coupled with effects of rock deformation and chemical reaction, in geothermal reservoirs Specifically, the developed simulator is able to quantify and model physical and chemical processes, and long-term performance of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) and evaluate optimum design, production, and operation strategies of EGS.
Awardees (Company / Institution) Colorado School of Mines
Awardee Website
Partner 1 Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

Funding Opportunity Announcement DE-FOA-0000075
DOE Funding Level (total award amount) $1,191,893.00
Awardee Cost Share $300,000.00
Total Project Cost $1,491,893.00

Principal Investigator(s) Yu-Shu Wu and Hossein Kazemi, Colorado School of Mines
Other Principal Investigators Keni Zhang and Tianfu Xu, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Targets / Milestones - Develop a general framework model for multiphase and heat flow in porous and fractured geothermal reservoirs;

- Develop a computational module for handling coupled effects of pressure and temperature variation induced rock deformation;
- Develop/implement a chemical reaction module to include important chemical species and their reactions in EGS geothermal systems;
- Develop/implement the most advanced parallel simulation technologies;
- Develop a general fracture conceptual model; and
- Verify and apply the EGS simulator using laboratory and field data of geothermal reservoirs.

Location of Project Golden, CO

Impacts Provides a numerical, quantitative method to manage the long-term fluid flow, quantity, chemistry, and rock temperature combined with the evolution of subsurface reservoir physical properties.
Funding Source American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
References EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs[1]


  1. EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs