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Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) Well Construction Technology Evaluation Report.

This 108 page report covers electricity production from geothermal resources is currently based on the exploitation of hydrothermal reservoirs. Hydrothermal reservoirs possess three ingredients critical to present day commercial extraction of subsurface heat: high temperature, in-situ fluid and high permeability. Relative to the total subsurface heat resource available, hydrothermal resources are geographically and quantitatively limited. A 2006 DOE sponsored study led by MIT entitled 'The Future of Geothermal Energy' estimates the thermal resource underlying the United States at depths between 3 km and 10 km to be on the order of 14 million EJ. For comparison purposes, total U.S. energy consumption in 2005 was 100 EJ. The overwhelming majority of this resource is present in geological formations which lack either in-situ fluid, permeability or both. Economical extraction of the heat in non-hydrothermal situations is termed Enhanced or Engineered Geothermal Systems (EGS). The technologies and processes required for EGS are currently in a developmental stage. Accessing the vast thermal resource between 3 km and 10 km in particular requires a significant extension of current hydrothermal practice, where wells rarely reach 3 km in depth. This report provides an assessment of well construction technology for EGS with two primary objectives: (1) Determining the ability of existing technologies to develop EGS wells. (2) Identifying critical well construction research lines and development technologies that are likely to enhance prospects for EGS viability and improve overall economics. Towards these ends, a methodology is followed in which a case study is developed to systematically and quantitatively evaluate EGS well construction technology needs. A baseline EGS well specification is first formulated. The steps, tasks and tools involved in the construction of this prospective baseline EGS well are then explicitly defined by a geothermal drilling contractor in terms of sequence, time and cost. A task and cost based analysis of the exercise is subsequently conducted to develop a deeper understanding of the key technical and economic drivers of the well construction process. Finally, future research & development recommendations are provided and ranked based on their economic and technical significance.

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Date Of Record Release 2010-04-22 16:02:05
Alternate Title SAND2008-7866 Sandia Report
Description This 108 page report covers electricity production from geothermal resources is currently based on the exploitation of hydrothermal reservoirs. Hydrothermal reservoirs possess three ingredients critical to present day commercial extraction of subsurface heat: high temperature, in-situ fluid and high permeability. Relative to the total subsurface heat resource available, hydrothermal resources are geographically and quantitatively limited. A 2006 DOE sponsored study led by MIT entitled 'The Future of Geothermal Energy' estimates the thermal resource underlying the United States at depths between 3 km and 10 km to be on the order of 14 million EJ. For comparison purposes, total U.S. energy consumption in 2005 was 100 EJ. The overwhelming majority of this resource is present in geological formations which lack either in-situ fluid, permeability or both. Economical extraction of the heat in non-hydrothermal situations is termed Enhanced or Engineered Geothermal Systems (EGS). The technologies and processes required for EGS are currently in a developmental stage. Accessing the vast thermal resource between 3 km and 10 km in particular requires a significant extension of current hydrothermal practice, where wells rarely reach 3 km in depth. This report provides an assessment of well construction technology for EGS with two primary objectives: (1) Determining the ability of existing technologies to develop EGS wells. (2) Identifying critical well construction research lines and development technologies that are likely to enhance prospects for EGS viability and improve overall economics. Towards these ends, a methodology is followed in which a case study is developed to systematically and quantitatively evaluate EGS well construction technology needs. A baseline EGS well specification is first formulated. The steps, tasks and tools involved in the construction of this prospective baseline EGS well are then explicitly defined by a geothermal drilling contractor in terms of sequence, time and cost. A task and cost based analysis of the exercise is subsequently conducted to develop a deeper understanding of the key technical and economic drivers of the well construction process. Finally, future research & development recommendations are provided and ranked based on their economic and technical significance.
Classification
Resource Type
Format
Subject
Source Sandia National Laboratories
Selector Selection Committee
Date Of Record Creation 2010-04-22 15:52:17
Education Level
Date Last Modified 2010-04-22 16:02:05
Creator Polsky, Y., Capuano, L. Jr., Finger, J., Huh, M., Knudsen, S., Mansure, A.J.C., Raymond, D., Swa
Language English
Date Record Checked: 2010-04-22 00:00:00 (W3C-DTF)

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