A numerical simulation for the determination of geothermal power production from abandoned oil wells by injecting and retrieving a secondary fluid was performed. The analysis takes into consideration local geothermal gradients and typical well depths and pipe diameters. Isobutane is chosen as the secondary fluid, which is injected in the well at moderate pressures and allowed to heat up and produce vapor. The computational model that was developed takes into account mass, energy, and momentum conservation equations for the well flow, and the simulation helps determine the state of the fluid from injection to retrieval. It is observed that the operation of such systems attains a maximum power that depends on the temperature of the well bottom and the injection pressure. In general, 2-3 MW of electric power may be produced from wells that are typical in the South Texas region.
Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: Technical Proceedings of the 2009 Clean Technology Conference and Trade Show
Published: May 3, 2009
Pages: 5 - 8
Industry sector: Energy & Sustainability
Topic: Sustainable Materials