A New Concept for Geothermal Energy Extraction: The Radiator – Enhanced Geothermal System

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 8:40 AM
Markus Hilpert1, Peter Geiser2, Bruce D Marsh1, Peter E Malin3 and Steven Moore4, (1)Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, United States, (2)Global Geophysical Services, Inc., Houston, TX, United States, (3)University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand, (4)ATK, Elkton, MD, United States
Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) in hot dry rock frequently underperform or fail due to insufficient reservoir characterization and poorly controlled permeability stimulation. Our new EGS design is based on the concept of a cooling radiator of an internal combustion engine, which we call the Radiator EGS (RAD-EGS). Within a hot sedimentary aquifer, we propose to construct vertically extensive heat exchanger vanes, which consist of rubblized zones of high permeability and which emulate a hydrothermal system. A “crows-foot” lateral drilling pattern at multiple levels is used to form a vertical array that includes S1 and Shmax. To create the radiator, we propose to use propellant fracing. System cool-down is delayed by regional background flow and induced upward flow of the coolant which initially heats the rock. Tomographic Fracture Imaging is used to image and control the permeability field changes. Preliminary heat transfer calculations suggest that the RAD-EGS will allow for commercial electricity production for at least several tens of years.