Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Germany: Looking for a Site for EGS Laboratory in the Southern Black Forest

Criteria and geological setting for the generic geothermal underground research laboratory, GEOLAB (Geothermal Energy)

High flow rate injection and related hydromechanical interaction are the most important factors in reservoir development of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS). GeoLaB, a new generic geothermal underground research laboratory (URL), is proposed for controlled high flow rate experiments (CHFE) to address limited comprehension of coupled processes connected to EGS reservoir flow conditions.

As analogue for typical EGS development, CHFE require specific hydromechanical conditions including a connected fracture network in crystalline basement rock, sufficient hydraulic fracture transmissivities, a strike-slip to normal faulting tectonic regime, controllable hydraulic boundary conditions, and hydrothermal alteration fracture fillings that improve conditions for hydromechanical interaction.

Besides favourable geological, hydraulic, and stress conditions, the vicinity to long-term EGS production favours the southern Black Forest as potential region for GeoLaB. Therefore, an exemplary site assessment has been carried out at “Wilhelminenstollen” in the southern Black Forest (Germany).

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