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A particle-tracking formulation of advective-diffusive heat transport in deformable fracture networks

Abstract : Modeling heat transfer in complex heterogeneous fractured system is key for geothermal energy applications. Discrete fracture network (DFN) modeling is the classical framework to reproduce the advective part of the transport, which is determined by the fracture connectivity and heterogeneity. This approach in general sacrifices the representation of the rock matrix, disregarding both its diffusive heat exchange with the fractures and the effects of its thermo-mechanical deformation on the fracture aperture. Here we propose a new semi-analytic formulation that can be implemented in a DFN simulator with particle tracking approach. The contribution of the rock matrix in terms of diffusive heat exchange and thermal contraction/expansion is analytically evaluated, which respectively impact the advective heat transfer and the fracture aperture variation. The method is proved to be accurate and robust. Results from simulations of cold fluid injection show that rock contraction affects the transmissivity, which accelerates the advective transport resulting in a faster recovery of cold fluid at the outlet. The methodology enables investigating the reservoir behavior and optimizing the geothermal performance while keeping the computational effort within reasonable values. This allows exploring the uncertainty in cases when the in-situ characterization is poor, which is the spirit of the DFN modeling.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, November 17, 2021 - 8:30:34 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, May 11, 2022 - 4:22:45 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, February 18, 2022 - 6:37:21 PM

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Silvia De Simone, Benoît Pinier, Olivier Bour, Philippe Davy. A particle-tracking formulation of advective-diffusive heat transport in deformable fracture networks. Journal of Hydrology, Elsevier, 2021, 603 (D), pp.127157. ⟨10.1016/j.jhydrol.2021.127157⟩. ⟨insu-03431972⟩

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