Direct use (for heating) geothermal projects have been implemented in the Netherlands with success, but to upscale and ensure efficient and safe use, many questions (both practical and fundamental) are still open. These include classical issues such as the uncertainty about productivity and temperature of the resource prior to drilling, but also problems related to downhole processes and fluid chemistry. These fundamental issues can lead to operational problems such as poor injectivity, corrosion of installations and precipitation of solids.
By tackling these issues at field scale, laboratory and simulation studies can be fed with real data and validation can occur.
1. Improve the predictive power of flow models;
This will ensure that planning of new projects and operations of existing projects can be optimised. A process of continually improving models with new data, can reveal how data can be best collected and used throughout the geothermal project lifecycle.
2. Improve understanding on Hydraulic-Thermal-Chemical-Mechanical behaviour, including;
- Chemistry of geothermal fluids and their interaction with reservoir rocks and technical installations;
- Monitoring of travelling fluid and cold fronts;
- Advanced flow estimation and therefore energy production;
- Initial and changes to the stress state;
This will allow a better prediction of the life time of a geothermal doublet, i.e. when the breakthrough of the cold front at the production well occurs, allow better control over potential problems such as reductions in possible injection rates and reduce required intervensions.
3. Monitor and improve understanding of the effect of human activities in the subsurface on the natural and urban environment at surface;
This can ensure that geothermal projects can be brought into the urban environment where the majority of the heat demand exists, and to ensure disadvantages are able to be monitored and controlled.
4. Carry out a detailed site specific characterisation: geological history, heterogeneities, reservoir fluids.
This will allow all currently planned and future research have a sound basis and to be able to be placed in the correct context. We aim that our research results can be applied to a wide range of conditions, but can only do this, but understanding this specific site in as much detail as possible.