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Flow Model Development for the Idaho National Laboratory OU 10-08 Sitewide Groundwater Model

Description: A two-dimensional (2D), steady-state groundwater flow model was developed for the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) sitewide groundwater model. A total of 224 wells inside the model domain were used to calibrate the 2D flow model. Three different calibration techniques, zonation approach, pilot point approach and coupled zonation/pilot point approach, were explored and applied during the model development. The pilot point approach allows modelers to model aquifer heterogeneities at various scales, and extract the maximum amount of data from available monitoring data, permitting the best possible representation of flow and transport at the INL.
Date: September 1, 2005
Creator: Huang, Hai; Magnuson, Swen & Wood, Thomas
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Discrete element modeling of rock deformation, fracture network development and permeability evolution under hydraulic stimulation

Description: Key challenges associated with the EGS reservoir development include the ability to reliably predict hydraulic fracturing and the deformation of natural fractures as well as estimating permeability evolution of the fracture network with time. We have developed a physics-based rock deformation and fracture propagation simulator by coupling a discrete element model (DEM) for fracturing with a network flow model. In DEM model, solid rock is represented by a network of discrete elements (often referred as particles) connected by various types of mechanical bonds such as springs, elastic beams or bonds that have more complex properties (such as stress-dependent elastic constants). Fracturing is represented explicitly as broken bonds (microcracks), which form and coalesce into macroscopic fractures when external and internal load is applied. The natural fractures are represented by a series of connected line segments. Mechanical bonds that intersect with such line segments are removed from the DEM model. A network flow model using conjugate lattice to the DEM network is developed and coupled with the DEM. The fluid pressure gradient exerts forces on individual elements of the DEM network, which therefore deforms the mechanical bonds and breaks them if the deformation reaches a prescribed threshold value. Such deformation/fracturing in turn changes the permeability of the flow network, which again changes the evolution of fluid pressure, intimately coupling the two processes. The intimate coupling between fracturing/deformation of fracture networks and fluid flow makes the meso-scale DEM- network flow simulations necessary in order to accurately evaluate the permeability evolution, as these methods have substantial advantages over conventional continuum mechanical models of elastic rock deformation. The challenges that must be overcome to simulate EGS reservoir stimulation, preliminary results, progress to date and near future research directions and opportunities will be discussed. Methodology for coupling the DEM model with continuum flow and heat transport ...
Date: February 1, 2011
Creator: Deng, Shouchun; Podgorney, Robert & Huang, Hai
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

MASSIVELY PARALLEL FULLY COUPLED IMPLICIT MODELING OF COUPLED THERMAL-HYDROLOGICAL-MECHANICAL PROCESSES FOR ENHANCED GEOTHERMAL SYSTEM RESERVOIRS

Description: Development of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) will require creation of a reservoir of sufficient volume to enable commercial-scale heat transfer from the reservoir rocks to the working fluid. A key assumption associated with reservoir creation/stimulation is that sufficient rock volumes can be hydraulically fractured via both tensile and shear failure, and more importantly by reactivation of naturally existing fractures (by shearing) to create the reservoir. The advancement of EGS greatly depends on our understanding of the dynamics of the intimately coupled rock-fracture-fluid system and our ability to reliably predict how reservoirs behave under stimulation and production. In order to increase our understanding of how reservoirs behave under these conditions, we have developed a physics-based rock deformation and fracture propagation simulator by coupling a discrete element model (DEM) for fracturing with a continuum multiphase flow and heat transport model. In DEM simulations, solid rock is represented by a network of discrete elements (often referred as particles) connected by various types of mechanical bonds such as springs, elastic beams or bonds that have more complex properties (such as stress-dependent elastic constants). Fracturing is represented explicitly as broken bonds (microcracks), which form and coalesce into macroscopic fractures when external load is applied. DEM models have been applied to a very wide range of fracturing processes from the molecular scale (where thermal fluctuations play an important role) to scales on the order of 1 km or greater. In this approach, the continuum flow and heat transport equations are solved on an underlying fixed finite element grid with evolving porosity and permeability for each grid cell that depends on the local structure of the discrete element network (such as DEM particle density). The fluid pressure gradient exerts forces on individual elements of the DEM network, which therefore deforms and fractures. Such deformation/fracturing in turn changes ...
Date: February 1, 2010
Creator: Podgorney, Robert; Huang, Hai & Gaston, Derek
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Simulated evolution of fractures and fracture networks subject to thermal cooling: A coupled discrete element and heat conduction model

Description: Advancement of EGS requires improved prediction of fracture development and growth during reservoir stimulation and long-term operation. This, in turn, requires better understanding of the dynamics of the strongly coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical (THM) processes within fractured rocks. We have developed a physically based rock deformation and fracture propagation simulator by using a quasi-static discrete element model (DEM) to model mechanical rock deformation and fracture propagation induced by thermal stress and fluid pressure changes. We also developed a network model to simulate fluid flow and heat transport in both fractures and porous rock. In this paper, we describe results of simulations in which the DEM model and network flow & heat transport model are coupled together to provide realistic simulation of the changes of apertures and permeability of fractures and fracture networks induced by thermal cooling and fluid pressure changes within fractures. Various processes, such as Stokes flow in low velocity pores, convection-dominated heat transport in fractures, heat exchange between fluid-filled fractures and solid rock, heat conduction through low-permeability matrices and associated mechanical deformations are all incorporated into the coupled model. The effects of confining stresses, developing thermal stress and injection pressure on the permeability evolution of fracture and fracture networks are systematically investigated. Results are summarized in terms of implications for the development and evolution of fracture distribution during hydrofracturing and thermal stimulation for EGS.
Date: February 1, 2013
Creator: Huang, Hai; Plummer, Mitchell & Podgorney, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

THERMO-HYDRO-MECHANICAL MODELING OF WORKING FLUID INJECTION AND THERMAL ENERGY EXTRACTION IN EGS FRACTURES AND ROCK MATRIX

Description: Development of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) will require creation of a reservoir of sufficient volume to enable commercial-scale heat transfer from the reservoir rocks to the working fluid. A key assumption associated with reservoir creation/stimulation is that sufficient rock volumes can be hydraulically fractured via both tensile and shear failure, and more importantly by reactivation of naturally existing fractures (by shearing), to create the reservoir. The advancement of EGS greatly depends on our understanding of the dynamics of the intimately coupled rock-fracture-fluid-heat system and our ability to reliably predict how reservoirs behave under stimulation and production. Reliable performance predictions of EGS reservoirs require accurate and robust modeling for strongly coupled thermal-hydrological-mechanical (THM) processes. Conventionally, these types of problems have been solved using operator-splitting methods, usually by coupling a subsurface flow and heat transport simulators with a solid mechanics simulator via input files. An alternative approach is to solve the system of nonlinear partial differential equations that govern multiphase fluid flow, heat transport, and rock mechanics simultaneously, using a fully coupled, fully implicit solution procedure, in which all solution variables (pressure, enthalpy, and rock displacement fields) are solved simultaneously. This paper describes numerical simulations used to investigate the poro- and thermal- elastic effects of working fluid injection and thermal energy extraction on the properties of the fractures and rock matrix of a hypothetical EGS reservoir, using a novel simulation software FALCON (Podgorney et al., 2011), a finite element based simulator solving fully coupled multiphase fluid flow, heat transport, rock deformation, and fracturing using a global implicit approach. Investigations are also conducted on how these poro- and thermal-elastic effects are related to fracture permeability evolution.
Date: January 1, 2012
Creator: Podgorney, Robert; Lu, Chuan & Huang, Hai
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

REACTIVE TRANSPORT MODELING USING A PARALLEL FULLY-COUPLED SIMULATOR BASED ON PRECONDITIONED JACOBIAN-FREE NEWTON-KRYLOV

Description: Systems of multicomponent reactive transport in porous media that are large, highly nonlinear, and tightly coupled due to complex nonlinear reactions and strong solution-media interactions are often described by a system of coupled nonlinear partial differential algebraic equations (PDAEs). A preconditioned Jacobian-Free Newton-Krylov (JFNK) solution approach is applied to solve the PDAEs in a fully coupled, fully implicit manner. The advantage of the JFNK method is that it avoids explicitly computing and storing the Jacobian matrix during Newton nonlinear iterations for computational efficiency considerations. This solution approach is also enhanced by physics-based blocking preconditioning and multigrid algorithm for efficient inversion of preconditioners. Based on the solution approach, we have developed a reactive transport simulator named RAT. Numerical results are presented to demonstrate the efficiency and massive scalability of the simulator for reactive transport problems involving strong solution-mineral interactions and fast kinetics. It has been applied to study the highly nonlinearly coupled reactive transport system of a promising in situ environmental remediation that involves urea hydrolysis and calcium carbonate precipitation.
Date: June 1, 2012
Creator: Guo, Luanjing; Lu, Chuan; Huang, Hai & Gaston, Derek R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Development Report on the Idaho National Laboratory Sitewide Three-Dimensional Aquifer Model

Description: A sub-regional scale, three-dimensional flow model of the Snake River Plain Aquifer was developed to support remediation decisions for Waste Area Group 10, Operable Unit 10 08 at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) Site. This model has been calibrated primarily to water levels and secondarily to groundwater velocities interpreted from stable isotope disequilibrium studies and the movement of anthropogenic contaminants in the aquifer from facilities at the INL. The three-dimensional flow model described in this report is one step in the process of constructing a fully three-dimensional groundwater flow and contaminant transport model as prescribed in the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory Operable Unit 10-08 Sitewide Groundwater Model Work Plan. An updated three-dimensional hydrogeologic conceptual model is presented along with the geologic basis for the conceptual model. Sediment-dominated three-dimensional volumes were used to represent the geology and constrain groundwater flow as part of the conceptual model. Hydrological, geochemical, and geological data were summarized and evaluated to infer aquifer behavior. A primary observation from development and evaluation of the conceptual model was that relative to flow on a regional scale, the aquifer can be treated with steady-state conditions. Boundary conditions developed for the three-dimensional flow model are presented along with inverse simulations that estimate parameterization of hydraulic conductivity. Inverse simulations were performed using the pilot-point method to estimate permeability distributions. Thermal modeling at the regional aquifer scale and at the sub-regional scale using the inverted permeabilities is presented to corroborate the results of the flow model. The results from the flow model show good agreement with simulated and observed water levels almost always within 1 meter. Simulated velocities show generally good agreement with some discrepancies in an interpreted low-velocity region near the toe of the Arco Hills. This discrepancy persisted in each of the aquifer bottom thickness scenarios that were ...
Date: September 1, 2007
Creator: Wood, Thomas R.; Helm-Clark, Catherine M.; Huang, Hai; Magnuson, Swen; McLing, Travis; Orr, Brennon et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

EMSL Pore Scale Modeling Challenge/Workshop

Description: Report covers the background for the workshop, objectives, important research directions, necessary capabilities and overall recommendations.
Date: August 9, 2011
Creator: Hess, Nancy J.; Oostrom, Martinus; Celia, Michael A.; Hilpert, Markus; Kang, Qinjun; Pyrak-Nolte, Laura J. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department