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Full Coupling of Flow, Thermal and Mechanical Effects in COMSOL Multiphysics® for Simulation of Enhanced Geothermal Reservoirs

D. Sijacic[1], P. Fokker[1]
[1]TNO, Utrecht, The Netherlands

The effective modeling of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) requires the coupling of geomechanics, fluid flow and thermal processes. An understanding of the complete system with these coupled processes is vital, not just for reservoir stimulation targeted at enhancing reservoir performance, but also for the understanding, prediction and prevention of induced seismicity. Thermal effects however tend to be neglected in models for reservoir stimulation. We developed a full model for EGS in COMSOL Multiphysics® using Darcy’s Law, Solid Mechanics and Heat Transfer in Porous Media. The model has been verified and benchmarked against existing models and is currently being related to actual EGS field operations in France (Soultz) and in Iceland. Preliminary results show that neglecting thermal effects is not justified.