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Numerical Study on Application Conditions of Equivalent Continuum Method for Modeling Heat Transfer in Fractured Geothermal Reservoirs

Published: 10 June 2021
 by  MDPI AG
Processes , Volume 9; doi:10.3390/pr9061020

Abstract: The equivalent continuum method an effective approach for modeling heat transfer in fractured geothermal reservoirs. However, presently there is a lack of systematical and profound study on application conditions of the equivalent porous media (EPM) method. In this study, we numerically investigated the application conditions of the EPM method based on geological data of Yangbajing geothermal field. The results indicate that when fracture spacing is within 3–25 m, the results of the EPM method are basically in the same levels as those of the MINC method. However, when the fracture spacing is within 25–300 m, differences of the EPM method from the MINC method increase with the fracture spacing, so when the fracture spacing is within 25–300 m, it is unreasonable to adopt the EPM method to simulate the fractured reservoirs. With the fracture spacing increasing within 25–300 m, the system production temperature and electric power will gradually decrease; the injection pressure, reservoir impedance and pump power will gradually increase; and the energy efficiency will gradually decrease.
Keywords: equivalent continuum method / fractures / application conditions / equivalent porous media / multiple interacting continua

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