Mathematical modelling of energy flow in a geothermal reservoir

 Project ID: 09-01-029
 Project Coordination:  University of Iceland
 Name of Coordinator:  Halldór Pálsson
 Other Partners: ISOR
 Duration: 1 year
 Total Project cost:  3.570.000 ISK
 GEORG Funding: 1.000.000 ISK
 Project Website: 
 Publications / Reports: 
    Project Plan: - Download pdf -
    Project progress presentation 1:  - Download pdf -
    Project progress presentation 2: - Download pdf -

Project Abstract 

The purpose of this project is twofold.

 The first objective is to define a framework for models and software that can be used for solving partial differential equations that are associated with flow in geothermal reservoirs. The framework is the first step of developing an Icelandic reservoir modeling software package that can be used for educational and research purposes. The intention is that this software will be three dimensional and based on the finite volume method or the finite element method. Furthermore it will be designed to simulate decomposed problems on computer clusters if the modeling problems are very big and computations time consuming. A crucial part of software development such as this is the initial design phase before any programming takes place. This project will address that issue.

 The second purpose is to build a relatively simple two dimensional mathematical model of a geothermal system, involving basic Rayleigh-Bernard convection. In this particular case the flow is assumed to follow a pressure gradient in the domain under consideration through the Darcy equation which is dictated by permeability, fluid viscosity and density, as well as gravity. In this model the Darcy equation is accompanied by an equation describing the conservation of energy. The energy equation incorporates three phenomena: flow of energy through convection, flow through diffusion (heat conduction) and changes in energy content over time. In its simplest form the system involves only one parameter which is the dimensionless porous Rayleigh number.