Velocity-dependent heat transfer controls temperature in fracture networks

  • Heat transfer between a fluid and the surrounding rock in the subsurface is a crucial process not only, but most obviously, in geothermal systems. Heat transfer is described by Newton's law of cooling, relating the heat transferred to a coefficient, the specific surface area, and the temperature difference between rock and fluid. However, parameterizing the heat transfer coefficient in fracture networks poses a major challenge. Here we show that within a fracture network the heat transfer coefficient is strongly heterogeneous but that laboratory single fracture experiments can provide a reasonable estimate in dependence of flow rate. We investigate the distribution of the heat transfer coefficient experimentally as well as numerically and analyze the heat transfer at individual fractures. Our results improve the prediction of temperatures in engineered and natural geothermal systems and allow sustainable management and design of reservoirs considering the role of individual fractures.

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Author:Thomas HeinzeORCiDGND, Nicola PastoreGND
Parent Title (English):Nature communications
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group UK
Place of publication:London
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2023/12/22
Date of first Publication:2023/01/23
Publishing Institution:Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universitätsbibliothek
Tag:Open Access Fonds
Issue:Article 362
First Page:362-1
Last Page:362-10
Article Processing Charge funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and the Open Access Publication Fund of Ruhr-Universität Bochum.
Institutes/Facilities:Institut für Geologie, Mineralogie und Geophysik
Institut für Geologie, Mineralogie und Geophysik, Arbeitsgruppe Hydrogeochemie und Hydrogeologie
Dewey Decimal Classification:Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / Geowissenschaften, Geologie
open_access (DINI-Set):open_access
faculties:Fakultät für Geowissenschaften
Licence (English):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY 4.0 - Attribution 4.0 International