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Seminar, Hunter Knox

October 19 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm MDT

Hunter Knox, Earth Scientist, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

The EGS Collab Geothermal Experiments: Building A Bridge Across the Valley of Death

In applied science, the “Valley of Death” is used to refer to the phase where basic research transitions into successful and commercially viable public implementation. In the geothermal community, basic research and resource quantification have shown that development of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) could result in approximately 60-gigawatt electric baseload power by 2050. The challenge lies in full scale implementation through technological advancements and policy improvements, thereby charting the course through the valley of death. One of the advancements required for broadscale implementation of EGS is the ability to accurately predict the flow rates and temperatures in production wells over the life of a system. While EGS is simple in concept, these systems are constructed with complex heterogeneous fracture networks, whose thermal performance may vary as a function of time. In order to understand fracture initiation and long-term performance of these complex systems, the Department of Energy Geothermal Technologies Office established the EGS Collab Experiment.  By coupling comprehensively instrumented intermediate scale experiments with predictive and iterative modeling, the team performs research related to stress, induced seismicity, permeability enhancement, and long-term fracture performance. These experiments are being performed at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in Lead, South Dakota and results, tools, and lessons learned are being actively applied at the Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE).

Authors: Tim Kneafsey1, Doug Blankenship2, Pengcheng Fu3, Paul Schwering2, Joe Morris3, Pat Dobson1, and the EGS Collab Team*

When: October 19th, 2020
Time: 3:00 PM
Where: Zoom Meeting ID: 965 7434 3616