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New services for geothermal exploration

By March 14, 2023April 12th, 2024No Comments
Pumping test set-up for a hard-ground borehole.

Townrock has expanded its services with the addition of Thermal Response Tests (TRT) and pumping tests. These techniques give us another great tool for analysing geothermal heating technology options, as part of our Prove phase of project development.  

Pumping tests measure the response of a borehole to pumping, and measure the associated drawdown of the water column. This allows us to determine the efficiency of the borehole and the available yield, as well as characteristics about the target aquifer or mine system. It also allows for water samples to be collected to determine groundwater chemistry. These tests are important to determine the potential and considerations of open-loop geothermal technologies.

Thermal response tests involve injecting a known constant heating power into a borehole, to then measure the resultant temperature response. An adequate test can provide critical information on undisturbed ground temperature, thermal conductivity and borehole thermal resistance. These parameters are central to determining closed-loop geothermal system configurations. 

After acquiring testing equipment and training our team, we conducted our first TRT and pumping tests to quantify the potentials of ongoing projects under the supervision of experienced colleagues. We acquired quality data and solidified our skills for how to conduct these experiments in the field. The results were processed to obtain key system parameters using modern analysis techniques. We then ran training sessions for our entire team reflecting on our learnings and teaching how best to interpret the results. 

TRE are delighted to add the TRT and PT capability to its repertoire, crucial tools for assessing a geothermal system option, providing accurate parameters that help determine the cost-effectiveness and optimisation of a system. Being able to conduct exploration tests in-house will allow us to deliver the best services for our clients thanks to our qualified team.

Geothermal engineer Emmet Strachan supervising a TRT on an exploration borehole.