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Abstract

When identifying the conditions required for the sustainable and long-term exploitation of geothermal resources it is very important to assess the dynamics of processes linked to the formation, migration and deposition of particles in geothermal systems. Such particles often cause clogging and damage to the boreholes and source reservoirs. Solid particles: products of corrosion processes, secondary precipitation from geothermal water or particles from the rock formations holding the source reservoir, may settle in the surface installations and lead to clogging of the injection wells. The paper proposes a mathematical model for changes in the absorbance index and the water injection pressure required over time. This was determined from the operating conditions for a model system consisting of a doublet of geothermal wells (extraction and injection well) and using the water occurring in Liassic sandstone structures in the Polish Lowland. Calculations were based on real data and conditions found in the Skierniewice GT-2 source reservoir intake. The main product of secondary mineral precipitation is calcium carbonate in the form of aragonite and calcite. It has been demonstrated that clogging of the active zone causes a particularly high surge in injection pressure during the fi rst 24 hours of pumping. In subsequent hours, pressure increases are close to linear and gradually grow to a level of ~2.2 MPa after 120 hours. The absorbance index decreases at a particularly fast rate during the fi rst six hours (Figure 4). Over the period of time analysed, its value decreases from over 42 to approximately 18 m3/h/MPa after 120 hours from initiation of the injection. These estimated results have been confi rmed in practice by real-life investigation of an injection well. The absorbance index recorded during the hydrodynamic tests decreased to approximately 20 m3/h/MPa after 120 hours.
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Abstract

M embrane-based water desalination processes and hybrid technologies are often considered as a technologically and economically viable alternative for desalination of geothermal waters. This has been confirmed by the results of pilot studies concerning the UF-RO desalination of geothermal waters extracted from various geological structures in Poland. The assessment of the feasibility of implementing the water desalination process analysed on an industrial scale is largely dependent on the method and possibility of disposing or utilising the concentrate. The analyses conducted in this respect have demonstrated that it is possible to use the solution obtained as a balneological product owing to its elevated metasilicic acid, fluorides and iodides ions content. Due to environmental considerations, injecting the concentrate back into the formation is the preferable solution. The energy efficiency and economic analysis conducted demonstrated that the cost effectiveness of implementing the UF-RO process in a geothermal system on an industrial scale largely depends on the factors related to its operation, including without limitation the amount of geothermal water extracted, water salinity, the absorption parameters of the wells used to inject water back into the formation, the scale of problems related to the disposal of cooled water, local demand for drinking and household water, etc. The decrease in the pressure required to inject water into the formation as well as the reduction in the stream of the water injected are among the key cost-effectiveness factors. Ensuring favourable desalinated water sale terms (price/quantity) is also a very important consideration owing to the electrical power required to conduct the UF-RO process.
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