SAIC has transferred technology used to simulate oil and gas reservoirs to model geothermal energy production. The SAIC study focused on turbulent dual phase water and steam flowing in geothermal wells, a complex and hitherto intractable analytical problem. SAIC’s Sabodh Garg explained, ‘One critical task is to understand the dramatic difference between the liquid and gas velocities, known as the liquid hold-up correlation.’
SAIC’s team used its Welbor proprietary well-simulation package
to determine a generalized liquid hold-up correlation that can be applied to
any geothermal well. The technique now accurately predicts fluid flow in geothermal
well bores and will aid in the search for economically recoverable geothermal
energy sources. The study ‘A new liquid hold-up correlation for geothermal wells’
was published in Volume 33 of Geothermics. The research was sponsored by the
U.S. Department of
Energy, and used well data from Unocal Corporation and Caithness Energy.
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