Fully Coupled Geomechanics and Discrete Flow Network Modeling of Hydraulic Fracturing for Geothermal Applications

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The primary objective of our current research is to develop a computational test bed for evaluating borehole techniques to enhance fluid flow and heat transfer in enhanced geothermal systems (EGS). Simulating processes resulting in hydraulic fracturing and/or the remobilization of existing fractures, especially the interaction between propagating fractures and existing fractures, represents a critical goal of our project. To this end, we are continuing to develop a hydraulic fracturing simulation capability within the Livermore Distinct Element Code (LDEC), a combined FEM/DEM analysis code with explicit solid-fluid mechanics coupling. LDEC simulations start from an initial fracture distribution which can be stochastically ... continued below

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Fu, P; Johnson, S M; Hao, Y & Carrigan, C R January 18, 2011.

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The primary objective of our current research is to develop a computational test bed for evaluating borehole techniques to enhance fluid flow and heat transfer in enhanced geothermal systems (EGS). Simulating processes resulting in hydraulic fracturing and/or the remobilization of existing fractures, especially the interaction between propagating fractures and existing fractures, represents a critical goal of our project. To this end, we are continuing to develop a hydraulic fracturing simulation capability within the Livermore Distinct Element Code (LDEC), a combined FEM/DEM analysis code with explicit solid-fluid mechanics coupling. LDEC simulations start from an initial fracture distribution which can be stochastically generated or upscaled from the statistics of an actual fracture distribution. During the hydraulic stimulation process, LDEC tracks the propagation of fractures and other modifications to the fracture system. The output is transferred to the Non-isothermal Unsaturated Flow and Transport (NUFT) code to capture heat transfer and flow at the reservoir scale. This approach is intended to offer flexibility in the types of analyses we can perform, including evaluating the effects of different system heterogeneities on the heat extraction rate as well as seismicity associated with geothermal operations. This paper details the basic methodology of our approach. Two numerical examples showing the capability and effectiveness of our simulator are also presented.

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PDF-file: 13 pages; size: 2.5 Mbytes

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  • Presented at: 36th Stanford Geothermal Workshop, Stanford, CA, United States, Jan 31 - Feb 02, 2011

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  • Report No.: LLNL-CONF-466396
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1018779
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc843436

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  • January 18, 2011

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  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Nov. 28, 2016, 6:09 p.m.

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Fu, P; Johnson, S M; Hao, Y & Carrigan, C R. Fully Coupled Geomechanics and Discrete Flow Network Modeling of Hydraulic Fracturing for Geothermal Applications, article, January 18, 2011; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc843436/: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.