1992-08-03

Geohydrologic Characterization for Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage 929156

Successful operation of an aquifer thermal energy storage system depends on three elements: 1) the presence of a suitable aquifer for ground-water supply and energy storage; 2) the availability of a source of free or low-cost thermal energy, such as industrial waste heat or environmental chill; and 3) a temporal mismatch between thermal energy availability and thermal energy use. Using conventional hydrogeologic methods for aquifer characterization, the presence of a suitable aquifer is the most difficult of these three elements to assess quantitatively. By combining conventional methods with drift-and-pumpback and point-dilution single-well tracer tests, however, the rate of ground-water flow, the effective porosity, and the vertical distribution of hydraulic conductivity of the aquifer can be estimated quickly and economically.

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