Keeping Cool in the Desert: Turning Solar Heat into Sustainable Cooling Capacity

The Impact of Reservoir Heterogeneities on High-Temperature Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage Systems. A Case Study from Northern Oman.

Publication date: July 2018 Source:Geothermics, Volume 74 Author(s): G. Winterleitner, F. Schütz, C. Wenzlaff, E. Huenges We conducted a geoscientific feasibility study for the development of a high-temperature thermal aquifer energy storage system (HT-ATES) outside the capital of Muscat, northern Oman. The aquifer storage is part of a solar-geothermal cooling project for the sustainable and continuous cooling of office buildings. The main concept is that excess solar energy will be stored in the subsurface through hot water injection and subsequently utilised as auxiliary energy source during peak demand times. The characterisation of aquifer heterogeneities is thus essential to predict subsurface thermal heat plume development and recovery efficiency of the storage system. We considered two aquifer systems as potential storage horizons, (i) a clastic-dominated alluvial fan system where individual channel systems in combination with diagenetic alterations constitute the main heterogeneities and (ii) a carbonate-dominated system represented by a homogenous layer-cake architecture. The feasibility study included a multidisciplinary approach from initial field work, geocellular reservoir modelling to finite element fluid flow and thermal modelling. Our results show that for the HT-ATES system, with a high frequency of injection and production cycles, heat loss mainly occurs due to heterogeneities in the permeability field of the aquifer...

  • ScienceDirect Publication: Geothermics
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