GEO AFS – Product data sheet

The automated sampling device AutoFluidSampler (GEO AFS) allows for a systematic, comparable and reliable acquisition of water samples in the frame of e.g. a long-term groundwater monitoring. Beside groundwater monitoring, the GEO AFS can also be used for tracer tests and long-term monitoring of earthquake and volcanic activity as well as in various industrial applications.

Please find more information about the GEO AFS here and the product data sheet below.

R&D project “GeoTief” – Fact sheet

The objective of the research project GeoTief was to develop an automatic sampler for all types of low-enthalpy fluids (cold groundwater and thermal water of hot springs and geothermal wells) and an automated data processing software for all types of geothermal fluids (low- and high-temperature resources). The automatization of sampling is beneficial for long-term monitoring of groundwater wells (environment) and hot springs at the flank of volcanoes (hazard assessment) as well as for individual sampling by less experienced geoscientists and assures a reliable and reproducible sampling procedure.

The sampler was tested at three groundwater wells in Germany. The analytical results of the samples taken automatically were crosschecked with manually sampled fluids of the same site. To our satisfaction, the laboratory analyses showed better results with the automatic sampling device!

R&D project “TRACE” – Fact sheet

TRACE – Deep Reservoir Analysis and Characterization from Surface (Upper Rhine Rift, Germany)

The three-year research project TRACE focused on the exploration of fault-related geothermal reservoirs in the Upper Rhine Rift, Germany, which are difficult to detect from the earth’s surface. The project therefore aimed at establishing low-cost methods for identification of permeable fault sections from the surface. The method is based on combinations of natural isotopic and geochemical tracers, that were before successfully tested in the East African Rift. The results will lead to reduced costs for a smaller sized 3D seismic survey and represent a strong indicator for the conceptual model as a basis for well targeting. Furthermore, it is possible to characterize the reservoir fluids prior to drilling work. In summary, the outcome of the project enhances the level of confidence and therefore reduces the drilling risk for geothermal projects in the Upper Rhine Rift. In addition, the method can be transferred to other areas with fault-related geothermal systems.
The project was initiated by GeoThermal Engineering GmbH and implemented jointly with the Institute of Geosciences and the Institute for Environmental Physics of the University of Heidelberg. GeoT coordinated the project scientifically and organizationally, provided expert know-how and a data base on existing fluid-chemical / isotopic analyses as well as specialized know-how on the geological / structural framework in the Upper Rhine Rift. Furthermore, GeoT assisted in sampling site selection, data exchange with water authorities and data interpretation. The company provided data collected from self-owned exploration concessions for calibration purposes and transformed the results into a versatile tool for project developers, including conference presentations concerning implications for a future enhanced geothermal exploration strategy.
The results have been presented at national and international conferences. There is evidence that the natural tracers indicate permeable parts of fault zones, which are characterized by elevated slip- and dilation-tendencies in later geomechanical models. Consequently, planning of the 3D seismic survey can be optimized in terms of best coverage and lowest price, which helps to reduce the exploration risk.

R&D project “SiMoN” – Fact Sheet

SiMoN – Seismic Monitoring in the northern Upper Rhine Rift (Germany)

Induced seismicity related to deep geothermal projects represents a significant factor of uncertainty in the realization of German geothermal projects, especially in the Upper Rhine Rift due to the special geological situation. These circumstances do not only lead to restraint by investors and project operators, but also to a strongly decreasing public acceptance. Especially since the seismic events in Basel, Landau and Insheim, German geothermal projects cannot be planned and implemented without a focus on the seismic risk. A declared aim is therefore to minimize induced seismicity.
Within the joint research project SiMoN the universities of Frankfurt and Stuttgart as well as the Hessian State Office for Environment and Geology (HLUG) carried out fundamental research to gain a deeper insight into the connection between natural nano-, micro- and macro-seismic and induced or triggered seismicity through technical measures. This leads to a better understanding of the regional stress field. Active fault zones can be identified better and the overall understanding of the tectonic setting of the region can be broadened. This can help to adapt the necessary steps related to the project implementation in a way that triggered or induced seismicity is minimized.
Within the scope of the project, a regional network for long-term seismic monitoring has been installed in the northern part of the Upper Rhine Rift where several geothermal projects are planned for the future. The monitoring network comprises 13 new stations at the university of Frankfurt as well as five permanent stations of other operators like the HLUG. A total of three nano-seismic measurement campaigns were performed, which even detect vibrations below perception level. The Überlandwerk Groß-Gerau GmbH (ÜWG) therefore provided information on its project planning for the best possible practical relevance. GeoThermal Engineering GmbH was acting as a service provider for ÜWG and was supplying its knowledge and experience in project development in the Upper Rhine Rift.

R&D project “AuGE” – Fact sheet

In order to minimize the exploration risk of geothermal drilling, detailed knowledge of the petro-physical properties of potential reservoir rocks are essential, for example in order to draw conclusions on expected flow rates. However, direct petro-physical measurements in several thousand meters depth are only feasible after an expensive well has been drilled. The development of tools which allow reliable predictions of reservoir properties prior to drilling are therefore of high priority.

Outcrop analogue studies can represent a tool for the prediction of petro-physical parameters under reservoir conditions. Surface outcrops are analyzed that correspond to reservoir rocks in several thousand meters depth. The tectonic structure of the Upper Rhine Rift is especially suitable for this method. Due to the great vertical displacement along the main border faults, rocks that are buried deep in the center of the graben can be exposed on the flanks just a few kilometers from the reservoir.

The project “AuGE”  investigated and described the applicability of outcrop analogue studies in geothermal exploration. In the course of the studies, outcrop analogues of the rift shoulders were examined with respect to relevant reservoir properties (especially porosity-permeability properties) and their transferability to analogue deep reservoirs. In this way the spatial prognosis of such properties was improved and an effective methodological inventory for geothermal exploration was created.

The three-year research project was mainly initiated by GeoThermal Engineering GmbH (GeoT). Project partners were the universities of Heidelberg, Göttingen and Erlangen as well as GeoEnergy GmbH.
Besides its own research activity in seismic attributes and their applicability in geothermal exploration, GeoT was taking charge of the project coordination, integration of the results and validation of results in actual geothermal projects as well as further development of exploration concepts for deep geothermal systems.