Geothermal Technologies, Inc. (GTI) engaged WSP UK Limited to model fluid flow within a hot sedimentary aquifer using a hybrid discrete fracture network (DFN) – Finite Volume (FV) hybrid approach. This modeling was used to simulate a new type of heat harvesting system, called GenaSys technology, that can be used to exploit the heat within water-filled, porous, permeable formations. The modeling was presented at the 57th US Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium held in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 25-28 June 2023 by Mark Cotrell from WSP: “Evaluating The Geothermal Potential of Hot Sedimentary Aquifers Using A Hybrid Approach”. The paper was selected for presentation at the symposium by an ARMA Technical Program Committee based on a technical and critical review of the paper by a minimum of two technical reviewers.
The modeling clearly demonstrated that GTI’s GenaSys technology can provide the flow, heat, and longevity needed for power generation with lower temperature water than conventional geothermal systems. This is because extremely large volumes of water are available in the rock matrix of the aquifer. Extracting the heat in both the in-situ fluids and the solid skeleton of the rock by stimulating matrix flow and convective recharge is integral to GenaSys technology.
The modeling confirmed long system life and favorable project economics. In contrast, conventional geothermal systems rely on fracture flow in rocks with little to no porosity within relatively rare geologic settings typically only found near plate boundaries. GenaSys technology is also significantly different than the widely-marketed attempts at harvesting heat from hot dry rocks through conduction. GenaSys power generation systems are engineered to be more analogous to proven traditional hydrothermal systems that are in operation today while greatly expanding the areas for geothermal exploration.
The American Rock Mechanics Association (ARMA) is a professional and international engineering and scientific society, which promotes interaction among specialists, practitioners, scholars, and educators in rock mechanics and geomechanics. We advocate for individuals and firms in all aspects of rock mechanics and geomechanics, including multi-disciplinary rock physics and rock engineering technology advancement and technological applications for civil engineering, mining engineering and tunneling, oil and gas recovery, and geo-related socioeconomic problem-solving. We provide a forum and information resources for our members, related organizations, and the public, while our strong student membership ensures future continuity.
About WSP UK Limited
WSP is one of the world’s leading engineering and professional services firms. Its 68,000 passionate people are united by the common purpose of creating positive, long-lasting impacts on the communities they serve through a culture of innovation, integrity, and inclusion.
About Geothermal Technologies, Inc.:
Geothermal Technologies (GTI) was founded in 2018 to commercialize technology that was developed at the Johns Hopkins University. GTI’s GenaSys™ Geothermal Energy Harvesting System revolutionizes how we harness renewable energy. GTI’s innovative technologies, when coupled with recently developed oil & gas and power generation technologies, enable the company to produce clean, renewable, low cost, baseload electricity, throughout the world, for decades to come. The company has recently secured a series of GenaSys geothermal power well permits from the state of Colorado and hopes to begin construction soon.