Sedimentary Geothermal Feasibility Study: October 2016

Chad Augustine, Luis Zerpa, Chad Augustine (NREL Technical Monitor)

Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


The objective of this project is to analyze the feasibility of commercial geothermal projects using numerical reservoir simulation, considering a sedimentary reservoir with low permeability that requires productivity enhancement. A commercial thermal reservoir simulator (STARS, from Computer Modeling Group, CMG) is used in this work for numerical modeling. In the first stage of this project (FY14), a hypothetical numerical reservoir model was developed, and validated against an analytical solution. The following model parameters were considered to obtain an acceptable match between the numerical and analytical solutions: grid block size, time step and reservoir areal dimensions; the latter related to boundary effects on the numerical solution. Systematic model runs showed that insufficient grid sizing generates numerical dispersion that causes the numerical model to underestimate the thermal breakthrough time compared to the analytic model. As grid sizing is decreased, the model results converge on a solution. Likewise, insufficient reservoir model area introduces boundary effects in the numerical solution that cause the model results to differ from the analytical solution.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages58
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

NREL AOP Task FY15 Final Report

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/SR-6A20-66552


  • enhanced recovery
  • geothermal
  • Lyons
  • reservoir modeling
  • sedimentary
  • Wattenberg


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