Introducing Modeling and Simulation Forum

The Utah FORGE Team is pleased to announce the inaugural FORGE Modeling and Simulation Forum commencing April 15 at 11 am MDT.  It is intended to be an open forum to present modeling and simulation, both completed and planned, activities being conducted by the Utah FORGE Team. The Forum will be a recurring event (frequency to be determined) which will help to keep the EGS community updated on our activities and, most importantly, to gain the community's feedback.

In preparation for the Forum, details on the reference earth and native state models can be found at the following links:

Earth Model

Numerical Modeling

The Forum will be hosted by Dr. Robert Podgorney, the modeling and simulation lead for the Utah FORGE team.  Registration is required, please sign-up via link below

SIGN-UP

Questions? Please submit them below:

Golder

Renowned for technical excellence, Golder is a leading, global employee-owned engineering and consulting firm with over a half century of successful service to its clients. With over 165 offices, Golder’s 7,500 professionals are driven by a passion to deliver results, offering unique specialized skills to address the ever-evolving challenges that earth, environment and energy present to clients across the infrastructure, mining, oil and gas, manufacturing and power sectors.

Golder’s contribution to FORGE has been to use our FracMan® software to analyze data from a test well to develop a model of the fractures in the target rock mass. The test well yielded data on the natural fractures that exist in the rock mass, and the hydraulic properties of those fractures. The rock surrounding the wells at the appropriate depth will be subjected to hydraulic fracturing to improve the fluid-carrying ability of the natural fractures. The models developed by Golder are being used to predict how the reservoir rock will respond to hydraulic fracturing and to simulate the long-term thermal response of the site. Over the course of the FORGE program, Golder will continue supporting teams of researchers using a variety of technologies to develop viable, commercially feasible solutions for geothermal energy.

Click here to read more about Golder’s work with FORGE

 

2019 in Review

The Utah FORGE project made a number of important advances in 2019 in preparation for the start of deep drilling in 2020. Instrumentation for seismic monitoring was enhanced with the drilling of two new vertical holes, 68-32 (1000’ deep) and 78-32 (3200’ depth), which house permanently installed downhole geophones (68-32) and a distributed acoustic sensing cable (78-32). The new downhole seismic monitoring was augmented with the temporary installation of a Schlumberger multi-level geophone string in 78-32, plus surface deployment of a high-density nodal array. All of this high-resolution seismic monitoring was put in place for stimulation experiments in well 58-32 that were run over a two and a half week period in late April.

Key outcomes of the stimulation include verification that the existing reservoir fracture network can be activated to transmit injected water. The work showed that there were multiple favorable intervals for stimulation in the well, including behind perforated casing. Microseismic events down to -2 magnitude tracked fluid flow in the stimulated intervals, proving the detection sensitivity of the seismic monitoring network. The resulting large data sets were processed and modeled using state of the art computer processing to understand the interplay of fracture dilation and fluid flow in the crystalline reservoir rock. A synthesis of this work is described in the Phase 2C topical report available from GDR.

Other notable outcomes in 2019 include improved understanding of geoscientific attributes. The Mineral Mountains West fault system was shown to terminate south of the Utah FORGE site. A flow test during the drilling of the shallow part of 78-32 proved adequate supply of non-potable groundwater for future needs. InSAR surveys indicate there was no induced ground deformation. Much of the research findings obtained from 2015 to 2018 were published by the Utah Geological Survey in an open access bulletin (UGS MP 169) entitled “Geothermal Characteristics of the Roosevelt Hot Springs System and Adjacent FORGE EGS site, Milford, Utah”, comprising 14 separate chapters.

INL

INL and Modeling Research for the Utah FORGE Project

The Idaho National Laboratory has joined the Utah FORGE project at the downselect of the Milford, Utah site as the DOE's FORGE laboratory choice location.

The modeling team from INL headed by Dr. Robert Podgorney has been on the forefront of constructing an earth model for the project

Read more HERE

Chem. Eng Students Win AIChE

READ ABOUT IT

Two teams of undergraduate students from the University of Utah’s Department of Chemical Engineering dominated the first ever AIChE K–12 STEM Outreach Competition. The teams, advised by associate professor (lecturer) Tony Butterfield, took first and second place with teaching modules on how thermoelectric energy works and how to build working air quality sensors with plastic toy blocks.

“We have spent about a decade putting together an exemplary outreach program here in the department,” Butterfield said. “It was a really rewarding experience to have our students go there and not only compete and win but to be able to interface with leaders in chemical engineering industry.”

The competition was held Nov. 12 at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Annual Meeting and Student Conference in Orlando and was designed to “showcase interactive experiments that demonstrate the wonders of chemical engineering and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) to K–12 students,” according to the organization.

The first-place team comprised of students Katrina Le, Matt Dailey and Shaylee Larson presented a teaching module based on building working portable air quality sensors with toy building blocks similar to LEGOs. The module already is being taught in high school classrooms all over Salt Lake County.

For full story click here: https://www.che.utah.edu/2019/11/25/students-win-national-aiche-competition/

Hearing: Water and Geothermal Power

"...The thermal energy beneath our feet is enormous (...) if we could capture even 2% of the thermal energy at depths between 2 and 6 miles, we would have more than 2000 times the yearly amount of energy used in the U.S. ..."

 

Dr. Joseph Moore, Manager and PI of the FORGE project gives testimony on geothermal to the Subcommittee on Energy of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology at a hearing titled "Water and Geothermal Power: Unearthing the Next Wave of Energy Innovation"
The purpose of this hearing is to examine research, development and demonstration needs for advancing water power and geothermal energy technologies.

Read the full testimony here

View and listen to the full hearing here

 

 

STAT formed for FORGE Initiative

Science and Technology Analysis Team Formed for FORGE Initiative.

As part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) initiative, a diverse group of experts, referred to as the Science and Technology Analysis Team (STAT), has been formed to support the Utah FORGE team. The STAT is comprised of the following members:

  • Doug Blankenship (Chair) – Sandia National Laboratories
  • Joseph Morris (Vice Chair) – Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • Kate Baker – Independent Consultant
  • Stephen Hickman – U.S. Geological Survey
  • Mack Kennedy – Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • George King – GEK Engineering PLLC
  • Ernest Majer – Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Affiliate
  • Jean-Claude Roegiers – Independent Consultant
  • Eric Sonnenthal – Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • Herbert Wang – University of Wisconsin, Madison

The STAT provides technical guidance to ensure that the Geothermal Technologies Office’s (GTO) objectives are considered and incorporated into the execution of FORGE and associated research and development (R&D). Specifically, the STAT will assess R&D needs in accordance with GTO roadmaps and goals, establish technical baseline information and performance specifications, review ongoing site characterization and monitoring efforts, develop topics for recurring FORGE R&D solicitations, provide guidance for review and selection of R&D projects, and develop out-year R&D strategies. The STAT will also assess the progress and results of R&D technology and techniques implemented at FORGE and provide input to the Utah FORGE team for the development of annual reports.

In April, the STAT convened for the first time in Salt Lake City. In addition to members of STAT, personnel from DOE and the Utah FORGE team also attended. The meeting served as a powerful reminder of the potential of the FORGE initiative to advance EGS to a place of commercial readiness. Initial public outputs of the meeting will be the release of the first round of FORGE R&D funding opportunity announcements (FOAs), scheduled for later in calendar year 2019.

FORGE will be a dedicated site where the subsurface science and engineering community will be able to develop, test and improve new technologies and techniques directed at the development of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS).

The Geothermal Technologies Office would like to thank the University of Utah team and the STAT members for their hard work and leadership. Their contributions serve as a powerful reminder of the potential of advancing EGS to a place of commercial readiness through this groundbreaking initiative!

At the Governor’s Energy Summit

Among the many speakers and participants at this year's Summit were leaders and proponents of renewable energy sources.  This was the Eight's Annual Governor's Energy Summit and second  for the UtahFORGE team to represent the project which was among the few mentioned in the speeches by the Utah Governor's Energy Advisor Laura Nelson, Utah's Governor Gary Herbert, U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, and the EERE Assistant Secretary Daniel Simmons.

You can listen to the opening speech by the Utah's Governor Gary Herbert featured in this post by FOX13 news (scroll down to the second video, mention @ 4:25 time).

There is "enormous untapped potential for geothermal energy in the United States" said U.S. Secretary Rick Perry on the heels of the newly released study by the Department of Energy: GeoVision: Harnessing the Heat Beneath Our Feet.

 

 

Generating Power:

These small hands-on modules developed by Dr. Anthony Butterfield and Andy Simonson from the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Utah  are some of the tools that help in understanding how energy can be produced, eg. heat transfer.

Phase 2C Activities at the Site

In March, 2019, the two new vertical wells for monitoring were completed. The shallow well (68-32) was drilled to 970 ft depth, penetrating alluvial sands and gravel. The deeper well (78-32) was drilled to about 3300 ft depth, having intersected the contact with granitic basement rock aroun d 2600 ft depth.  Both wells were instrumented with state-of-the-art sensors.  Two borehole seismometers were installed into the bottom of well 68-32, whereas an optoelectronic Distributed Acoustic Sensor (DAS) cable was installed into well 78-32.

 

During the drilling of 78-32, an aquifer test was performed, which proved production of 46°C water from about 700-900 ft depth at 200 gallons per minute. This warm water represents subsurface outflow from Roosevelt Hot Springs, and it is non-potable due to high TDS, making it ideal for future use at the Utah FORGE project.

In April the stimulation phase was completed with great success. Injection tests were run at three distinct depth intervals in the reservoir granite; the first was in the open-hole section, whereas the other two were at slightly higher level within the cased section of the well.

During these tests, fluid flow and fracture opening were detected by both the Schlumberger geophone string array and the DAS cable in well 78-32. Televiewer logs were run in the open-hole section of 58-32 to assess the injection test effects. All of the data are now being processed.