Nicolò Giordano

Programme: Post-doctoral fellow

Advisor: Jasmin Raymond

Title of the project: Shallow geothermal potential of Northern Québec

Short summary of the project:

Remote communities of Northern Québec are not connected to the national grid and they usually rely on local fossil fuel generation for providing both electricity and heating. The aim of this post-doc project is to evaluate the possible application of shallow geothermal systems for food production, drinking water needs or space heating. The main idea is to exploit the local natural resources in a completely sustainable way in order to cut down energy consumption from costly and high-impact conventional fossil fuels. In particular, a detailed analysis of Kuujjuaq, the capital of Nunavik, is being performed to evaluate the feasibility of underground thermal energy storage systems. The main activities involve field surveys, laboratory analysis of thermal and hydraulic properties and numerical simulations. The characterization of the underground from geological, hydrogeological and thermal points of view is critical to understand its behavior in the long term, in order to ensure the environmental sustainability of the systems.

María Isabel Vélez Márquez

Programme: Master’s in Earth Sciences

Advisor: Jasmin Raymond, Daniela Blessent

Title of the project: Distributed thermal response tests with heating cables

Short summary of the project:

Thermal response tests (TRT) are used to assess the subsurface thermal conductivity to design ground-coupled heat pump systems. Conventional tests require a source of high power to heat water circulating in a pilot ground heat exchanger. A new test method using heating cable has been developed as an alternative to conduct this field experiment with a low power source and a compact equipment. Two thermal response tests using heating cables had been performed in two experimental heat exchangers on different sites. The temperature evolution during the test had been monitored using submersible sensors and fiber-optic distributed temperature sensing (FO-DTS). Temperature data from the submersible sensors were used to estimate the subsurface thermal conductivity and fiber optic temperature data was employed to assess free convection in the heat exchanger using the Rayleigh number stability criteria.

Sebastián López Zuluaga

Programme: Undergraduate student  

Advisor: Daniela Blessent, Jacqueline López-Sánchez

Title of the project: Evaluation of different simulation scenarios of heat transfer and solute transport in a fractured porous medium using HydroGeoSphere

Short summary of the project:

This modeling exercise indicates how feasible is the application of HydroGeoSphere (HGS) (Aquanty Inc. 2013)  for geothermal reservoir modeling, which will allow a preliminary costs drop off in projects due to the synthesis and consolidation of information and data (Marzolf, 2014). Thus, it is necessary to calibrate the model doing simple simulations of heat transfer and solute transport in a fractured porous medium and compare them with the corresponding analytic solution in order to ascertain the accuracy of the conceptual model and the software itself. After this calibration, follows the creation of a numerical model applying the numerical code HydroGeoSphere to simulate, as reliably as possible, the observed data obtained in a field experiment in Plomeur, France; and determinate which is the most accurate model approach to this case.

Maria Alejandra Taborda Ortiz

Programme: Undergraduate student 

Advisor: Idalia Jaqueline López Sanchez and Daniela Blessent

Title of the project: Estimation of the geothermal potential of the Nereidas area (Nevado del Ruiz, Colombia) from hydrogeochemical analyses and evaluation of thermal and hydraulic rock properties.

Short summary of the project:

Maria Alejandra research work aims to identify geothermal potential in the Nereidas region (volcano Nevado del Ruiz) through the use of geothermometres, which are tools that allow predicting the equilibrium temperature of the geothermal reservoir and understand the geochemical processes that take place at depth. She will compare the data obtained from the analysis of water samples taken at hot springs, with those available in the data base of the Colombian Geological Service.  In the Geothermal Open Laboratory of the INRS-ETE, she will evaluate the thermal and hydraulic properties of rock samples collected in the field. Maria Alejandra is planning fieldwork in July 2018. She then will conduct the work at the Geothermal Open Laboratory between January and May 2019, if she will receive the ELAP (Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program) scholarship she applied in April 2018.

Daniel Stiven Balzan Alzate

Programme: Undergraduate student  

Advisor: Daniela Blessent, Idalia Jacqueline López Sánchez

Title of the project: Numerical modeling of heat transfer and mass transport applied to geothermal systems

Short summary of the project:

This work focuses on the numerical solution using the OpenGeoSys (OGS) software for three geothermal modeling scenarios. Two scenarios are supported by the examples provided in the HydroGeoSphere user manual (Aquanty, 2013), in order to verify the OGS modeling capability in the solution of simple geothermal scenarios. Subsequently, the degree of complexity is increased with the third scenario. This scenario is supported by field data from the H+ laboratory located at the Ploemeur site (France) provided by researchers from the IGCP636 group. This scenario consists of the simulation of heat transfer and mass transport in a fractured geological medium where two wells, an injection well and extractions well, provide the experimental setup to conduct heat and solute tracer tests.

Rajaobelison Miora Mirah

Programme: PhD

Advisor: Jasmin Raymond, Michel Malo

Title of the project: Geothermal potential of Madagascar

Short summary of the project:

Among of geothermal regions of Madagascar, the distribution of thermal anomalies manifested on surface by hot springs in the northern is poorly documented. It is important to know their origins in order to explain them. This project will try to show if there are links between these thermal anomalies, their distribution and the geological context including the tectonic setting of this region. The main component of this project will focus on the role of the extensional faults, their influence on fluids migration and on the heat transfer processes at depth in heterogeneous roc formations such as the fractured geothermal reservoirs of northern of Madagascar. A second component will be to provide up-to-date and accurate data as well qualitative and quantitative assessment of geothermal resources associated with these reservoirs to determine if they are economically viable. The methodology will be based on surface observation coupled to a modeling approach, from field to laboratory scales using the infrastructures and laboratory equipment at INRS.

Nehed Jaziri

Programme: MSc candidate

Advisor: Jasmin Raymond

Title of the project: Performance Evaluation of a Large-Scale Ground-Coupled Heat Pump System

Short summary of the project:

A ground-coupled heat pump system has been installed at the Carignan-Salières elementary school located on the south shore of Montreal. The school is located near two quarries, one of where water is being irregularly pumped to maintain dry working conditions. The heat pump system consists of thirty-one vertical ground heat exchangers, backfilled with olivine sand, coupled to fifty distributed heat pumps for cooling and heating of the building. Pumping water in the quarry induces variable groundwater flow conditions variable. A heat injection test has been carried out to evaluate the thermal response of the entire GHE field. Numerical modelling was then carried out to predict and evaluate long term GHE performance. Heat injection test results served to calibrate the numerical model. Geological field investigations and laboratory measurements of thermal conductivity of rock samples were carried out to characterize the subsurface with respect to thermal and hydrogeological parameters. A numerical model has been built to predict the long term ground performances of the system. Several scenarios were simulated to evaluate the impact of the main physical parameters affecting the system operating temperature, which are the thermal conductivity of the filling material, the thermal conductivity of the subsurface and the hydraulic gradient.

Kanzari Ines

Programme: Master degree of research in Earth Sciences, geothermal energy

Advisor: Jasmin Raymond

Title of the project: Geothermal Heat Pump Potential Assessment for the Kuujjuaq Northern Community

Short summary of the project:

This research focuses on evaluating the effectiveness of superficial geothermal systems in Kuujjuaq, the regional capital of Quebec's fourteen Inuit communities. Thermal properties play a major role in heat transfer processes. Twenty quaternary sediment samples and twenty-four rock samples were collected to analyze their thermal conductivity and capacity under saturated in situ conditions, using a double-needle probe and a heat flow meter, respectively. Simulation of a reference building was carried out with SIMEB to estimate its overall energy consumption according to the hourly and monthly heating and cooling loads.  In a second step, another analytical simulation was initiated with GLHEPro to evaluate the energy savings that could be generated by an absorption geothermal heat pump system coupled to vertical heat exchangers.

Geophysical data were also obtained through the ERT electrical resistivity tomography technique to image subsurface structures, in particular to identify the presence of permafrost.

Abdek Hassan Aden

Programme: PhD student

Advisor: Jasmin Raymond and Bernard Giroux

Title of the project: Characterization and modeling of a geothermal reservoir in the Asal rift (Djibouti).

Short summary of the project:

My doctoral project is organized around the subject "characterization and modeling of a geothermal reservoir for electricity production".  The geological context of the project is within an extension zone of the Earth's crust (the Afar depression in Djibouti). I intend to make a multidisciplinary study, starting with the determination of sites with high geothermal potential using available geophysical methods and data. Correlation of deep borehole temperature profile with field geology using geophysical data will be achieved. This will be used to define the geometry of the reservoir and identify hot and cold areas in the study area. In addition, the development and design of a conceptual model of the geothermal reservoir will be made. Numerical simulation of the reservoir heat transfer process coupling multiphase flow and heat transfer will be realized. The main goal is to quantify this source of geothermal energy and understand its origin and evolution in time and space. In addition, it is necessary to know if there are different types of reservoirs according to the depth. For example, this can be an intermediate or deep reservoir depending on the identification of temperature anomalies and the geological structure.  The amount of heat available in the reservoir will be assessed by the end of the project to evaluate if economic production of electricity is feasible.

Estefanía Ramírez Restrepo

Programme: Undergraduate student 

Advisor: Idalia Jaqueline López Sanchez and Daniela Blessent

Title of the project: Social perception of geothermal energy and its possible use in Colombia

Short summary of the project:

Considering the possible use of geothermal energy in the area of ​ the Nevado del Ruiz volcano (VNR), and the importance of the acceptance and participation of the communities for the proper development of these projects, an analysis of the social perception of the geothermal energy, its associated environmental impacts and its possible use in Colombia, through the realization of 467 online surveys during the second semester of 2016. In addition, 44 personal surveys were conducted in the rural and urban area of ​​the Influence zone of the geothermal project VNR, in July 2017. This work is part of the Project the unification of the international research forces to unlock and strengthen the geothermal exploitation of America and Europe (UNESCO PICG 636), in which information about the Development of Geothermal Energy in some countries of America and Europe, with a total of 1269 surveys.

Kevin Stiven Arango Montoya

Programme: Undergraduate student

Advisor: Daniela Blessent, Idalia Jacqueline López Sanchez

Title of the project: 2D groundwater flow and heat transfer modeling as a tool to support the creation of renewable energy in an area close to Nevado del Ruiz, Colombia

Short summary of the project:

Renewable energy is currently an international target to ensure sustainable development as answer to environmental problems. The geothermal energy is a renewable resource poorly used and studied in South America, but thanks to international strivings researchers in several countries have generated studies of great importance for the characterization and use of those resources.  My research project focuses on the importance that a fault system has in groundwater flow and heat transfer using 2D models with the numerical tool HydroGeoSphere. The main goal is to clarify the geothermal potential in a zone located close to the Nevado del Ruiz volcano, Colombia. If he will receive the ELAP (Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program) scholarship he applied in April 2018, he will travel to Canada, for a research stay at the Université Laval (Québec) to conduct there part of his modeling work.

Maria Alejandra Palacio Villa

Programme: Undergraduate student  

Advisor: Daniela Blessent, Idalia Jacqueline López Sánchez

Title of the project: Analysis of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS)

Short summary of the project:

The objective of the work conducted by Maria Alejandra is to describe and compare the techniques used for the realization of fracking in shale gaz and hydraulic stimulation in geothermal systems. She will gather information about existing EGS systems around the world, through a detailed literature review. She will identify the environmental impacts associated with the enhanced geothermal systems and analyze the social perception on hydraulic stimulation in Colombia, based on the survey previously carried out within the framework of the UNESCO geothermal project.

Mafalda Miranda

Program: PhD

Advisor: Jasmin Raymond and Chrystel Dezayes

Title of the project: Assessment of the deep geothermal energy resource potential in Nunavik, Northern Québec, Canada

Short summary of the project:

In this research project, geothermal energy is under study as a potential alternative source of energy for heating purposes in the northern communities. The Inuit community of Kuujjuaq was selected as a case study to provide an example for other Nunavik communities. This project will be focused on the deep geothermal resources and on the technical and economic viability of their exploration via Enhanced/ Engineered Geothermal Systems (EGS) and deep Borehole Heat Exchangers (DBHE) for direct use purposes as to feed a district heating system. Nunavik is characterized by low to moderate heat flow density. Electrical power production is economically non-feasible at short-term, but the use of the deep geothermal resource seems a long-term promising option for heating purposes.

Edgardo Alvarado

Programme: MSc candidate

Advisor: Jasmin Raymond, geo., Ph.D.

Title of the project: Geothermal energy potential of active mines in northern regions: The Éléonore Mine case study

Short summary of the project:

Several mines in northern regions must heat underground workings, surface buildings or process water due to very cold weather conditions. The power demand for electrical heating is high and entails significant energy expenses. Mining companies therefore use fossil fuels for heating, which creates environmental challenges. An eco-conscious alternative, based on local resources and low electricity consumption, is the use of geothermal energy from the mine dewatering system. The Goldcorp Éléonore mine, an active mine located on the Eeyou Istchee territory of James Bay in Northern Quebec, was selected as a case study. The objective of the project is to characterize the geothermal resource to design a geothermal heat pump system (GHPS) adapted to mining operations that will help achieve sustainable mineral extraction while increasing profitability.

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