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Geothermal Energy

, 2:19

First Online: 23 December 2014Received: 21 August 2014Accepted: 25 November 2014


This paper reviews the state-of-the-art in hydrothermal systems in China with emphasis on current studies of potential and reservoir engineering. Three hydrothermal systems, namely, Yangbajing, Xianyang, and Xiongxian, are used as case studies to represent high temperature granite reservoirs, medium-to-low temperature sandstone reservoirs, and medium-to-low temperature carbonate reservoirs, respectively. There is a huge potential of hydrothermal resources in China that have not been fully studied for possible exploitation. The study reveals that the potential of developing hydrothermal resources is preferable to exploitation of hot-dry-rock HDR systems in the near future. In order to enhance the utilization efficiency and prolong the economic lifetime of a geothermal field, reinjection needs to be increased, including treated wastewater as an option. In this regard, deep karstic aquifers containing hot water are the most ideal targets for development due to their favorable characteristics including high single-well yield, low salinity, easy reinjection, and fewer environmental impacts when exploited. The next challenge lies in the geothermal reservoir management for sustainable production. Numerical models describing the full complexity of coupled physicochemical thermodynamic processes such as the open source OpenGeoSys modeling platform are powerful tools for production planning as well as for assessing the possible environmental impacts. Comprehensive reservoir simulation should be employed to provide an optimal fluid production scheme and to maximize the sustainability in the development of a hydrothermal field.

KeywordsHydrothermal systems Geothermal energy in China Reinjection technology Reservoir engineering OpenGeoSys Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-s40517-014-0019-8 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Yanlong Kong - Zhonghe Pang - Haibing Shao - Shengbiao Hu - Olaf Kolditz


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