Saulius Sliaupa, Gediminas Motuza, Vykintas Motuza, Vytautas Puronas, Larisa
Korabliova, Kirstina Ciuraite
The utilization of high-enthalpy geothermal aquifers is well recognized and proved in practice. Still, the combination of favourable conditions, e.g. high content of water vs. high temperatures, is not common that urges to look for alternative geothermal resources. The technology to extract useful amounts of energy from hot dry rock – nehanved geothermal system (HDR/EGS) resource has been under development for more than twenty years. Many field experiments showed that it is possible to extract HDR/EGS energy using techniques originally conceived and tested in the different sites, e.g. Soultz, Urach, Los Alamos, Rosemanowes, Fenton Hill.
The process entails drilling a well to reach high enough temperatures 5150oC, injecting water at high pressure to open artificial and natural fractures in the rock, and returning the water, heated by the rock, to the surface through one or more additional wellbores. After extraction of its thermal energy, the water is recirculated through the hot rock to mine more heat. In this closedloop process, nothing is released to the environment except heat, and no long-term wastes accumulate. This kind of geothermal energy using HDR/EGS systems is included in the geothermal strategies of other countries. Moreover, they can be used in combination to congenital energy power plants.
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