Correlation Of Surface Heat Loss And Total Energy Production For Geothermal Systems

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Conference Paper: Correlation Of Surface Heat Loss And Total Energy Production For Geothermal Systems

Abstract
Geothermal systems lose their heat by a site-specific combination of conduction (heat flow) and advection (surface discharge). The conductive loss at or near the surface (shallow heat flow) is a primary signature and indication of the strength of a geothermal system. Using a database of temperature gradient and heat flow points, surface heat flow maps of selected geothermal areas in the Western United States were constructed. Many of these areas have no published gradient or heat flow maps. Existing data from geothermal systems around the world were also compiled. There is an empirical correlation between total natural state surface heat loss, and maximum energy production from, a geothermal system. The relation strongly suggests that there is a practical limit to the amount of energy that can be reliably produced from a geothermal system expected to last 20-30 years (the standard life span for economic calculations). That limit is about ten times the natural heat loss for a system. While many systems produce energy well below the lox limit, very few produce more, and those that have, have often been unsustainable (i.e. The Geysers). This correlation should be a powerful tool in assessing the potential of conventional or Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS) development projects and reinforces the importance of mapping primary geophysical data (temperature, gradient or heat flow) when the exploration target is heat

Authors 
Kenneth W. Wisian, David D. Blackwell and Maria Richards








Published 
GRC, 2001





DOI 
Not Provided
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Citation

Kenneth W. Wisian,David D. Blackwell,Maria Richards. 2001. Correlation Of Surface Heat Loss And Total Energy Production For Geothermal Systems. In: (!) ; (!) ; (!) . (!) : GRC; p. (!)


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