Geothermal energy research Europe-Mexico (GEMEX) is funded by the European Commission and the Mexican Government. It wants to couple the extended Mexican know-how of discovering, developing, and deploying conventional geothermal energy systems with European expertise from similar geothermal energy systems (Italy, Iceland etc.).
I want to assess the feasibility of an enhanced geothermal system in the Acoculco field in Puebla, Mexico. I use a 3-fold approach. First, I perform fieldwork in Mexico to identify and characterize a natural fracture network, which will lead to a 2D fracture flow model. Second, I will quantify rock mechanical properties using laboratory experiments. Third, I will combine these results in a Finite Element fracture propagation and flow model.
Supervisor: David Bruhn
Also involved: Richard Bakker, Nima Gholizadeh Doonechaly, Alex Daniilidis
The project is sponsored by the China Scholarship Council (CSC).
I will focus on the phase-transition induced nonlinear flow problem, in combination with chemical reactions, within high-enthalpy geothermal systems. To solve the physical and chemical problems by numerical simulation, I need to solve several challenges: firstly, the sharp saturation change between neighboring grids will generate difficulties for the numerical solver; secondly, chemical reactions in combination with phase transitions requires a coupling of the chemical and thermodynamic equilibrium equations; thirdly, strong nonlinearities occur in the system when certain phases disappear or reappear.
Supervisors: David Bruhn and Denis Voskov.