Friday, March 11, 2016

Science & Technology: Using a 3D Printer to Create Artificial Fracture Network Models of Enhanced Geothermal Systems

Reflections On Stanford Geothermal Workshop (Newberry Geothermal)

Example of a fracture network created by a 3D printer (Suzuki et al., 2016).
One of the key challenges in enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) is to understand how a fluid flows in the fracture network created by the stimulation processes. What is the extent of the fractures? What are their aperture? Are they connected? Is the surface of exchange between the fluid (water most of the time) and the hot rocks large enough to recover most of the heat present in the rocks? All these questions are fundamental for the success of any EGS project.

This “hot” topic was largely discussed during the last Stanford Geothermal Workshop held at Stanford University, Stanford, CA, between February 22nd and 24th, 2016 where more than 400 scientists from all over the world gather to present their last findings and discuss innovative ideas.

Among all the papers presented on this subject, one particularly caught my attention.

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