Using multiple partially-penetrating wells (MPPWs) to improve the performance of high-temperature ATES systems: Well operation, storage conditions and aquifer heterogeneity
“The occurrence of free thermal convection negatively affects thermal recovery efficiencies of High-Temperature Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage (HT-ATES) systems. In this study the potential of applying a Multiple Partially Penetrating Well (MPPW) configuration to counteract the impact for seasonal HT-ATES is tested through numerical modeling with SEAWATv4. For scenarios where the thermal front is close to the HT-ATES well-screen and free thermal convection has considerable effect on the thermal recovery efficiency, the use of a MPPW configuration has great potential. Storage at a moderate temperature contrast (ΔT = 40 °C) between the hot injection volume and cold ambient groundwater in a high-permeability aquifer resulted in significant improvement of the thermal recovery efficiency with a MPPW configuration targeting injection in lower parts of the aquifer and recovery in the upper parts. For conventional, fully screened HT-ATES a thermal recovery efficiency of 0.43 is obtained while this is 0.59 with the MPPW scheme in the first recovery cycle. This recovery efficiency of 0.59 is only 0.11 less than a theoretical case with no buoyancy effects. For seasonal HT-ATES cases that face severe free thermal convection, rapid accumulation of heat in the upper part of the aquifer is observed and the MPPW configuration is less effective due to the long period between injection and recovery. Especially for HT-ATES cases that require a cut-off temperature, thermal recovery can be significantly improved and prolonged. For storage temperatures of 60 and 80 °C in a high-permeability aquifer, approximately 4 times more abstracted usable heat is obtained with the MPPW setup while considering a cut-off temperature of 40 °C. Moreover, the present study shows that the use of MPPW configurations in heterogeneous aquifers should be carefully planned. Improper application of MPPW is particularly vulnerable for simplification of the aquifer characteristics, and therefore proper site heterogeneity investigation and operational monitoring are required to benefit from optimal MPPW operation during HT-ATES.”
(Citation: van Lopik, J.H., Hartog, N., Schotting, R.J. – Using multiple partially-penetrating wells (MPPWs) to improve the performance of high-temperature ATES systems: Well operation, storage conditions and aquifer heterogeneity – Geothermics 105(2022)art. no. 102537 – DOI: 10.1016/j.geothermics.2022.102537)
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