Hot Dry Rock Geothermal Energy- Important Lessons From Fenton Hill

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Conference Paper: Hot Dry Rock Geothermal Energy- Important Lessons From Fenton Hill

Abstract
The concept of Hot Dry Rock (HDR) geothermalenergy originated at Los Alamos National Laboratoryin the early 1970s, to exploit the heat contained inthose vast regions of the earth�s crust that contain nofluids in place�by far more widespread than naturalhydrothermal resources.Two separate HDR reservoirs were created in deep,hot crystalline rock, at the Fenton Hill HDR Test siteabout 40 miles west of Los Alamos. These reservoirs,at depths of 2800 m and 3500 m and temperatures of195°C and 235°C respectively, were created withtechnology that was rapidly evolving at the time.They were flow-tested for a period of almost a yeareach. Thermal power production ranged from 4 MWfor extended routine production intervals to as highas 10 MW for a 30-day period. The testing provedbeyond a doubt that it is technically feasible torecover useful amounts of thermal energy from HDR.From tracer testing of the deeper reservoir, it wasfound that the flow patterns became more diffusewith time, suggesting that more of the reservoir wasbeing accessed as flow continued�with flowdefinitely not tending toward short-circuiting, whichhad been a worry.The major finding of the work at Fenton Hill is thatan HDR reservoir should first be created from theinitial borehole, and then accessed by two productionboreholes. It is almost impossible to create aneffective system by drilling the boreholes first andthen trying to connect them by hydraulicpressurization.

Author 
Donald W Brown






Conference 
34th Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering; Stanford, CA; 2009


Published 
Stanford University, 2009





DOI 
Not Provided
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Online 
Internet link for Hot Dry Rock Geothermal Energy- Important Lessons From Fenton Hill

Citation

Donald W Brown. 2009. Hot Dry Rock Geothermal Energy- Important Lessons From Fenton Hill. In: Proceedings. 34th Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering; 2009; Stanford, CA. Stanford, CA: Stanford University; p. 139-142