Heat transport modeling for the design of a low enthalpy open-loop system

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Leonardo Piccinini *
Valentina Vincenzi
Alessandro Pontin
Federico Tonet
(*) Corresponding Author:
Leonardo Piccinini | leonardo.piccinini@unipd.it

Abstract

A case study of hydrogeological characterization and heat transport modeling for the design of a low enthalpy system in the Province of Treviso (Italy) is here presented. It is an open loop system that pumps and re-injects groundwater from a confined aquifer of the high Veneto plain. This type of systems is the most efficient in terms of yield, but its construction is highly conditioned by the availability of groundwater resource and by the environmental laws related to groundwater exploitation. Groundwater flow modeling with MODFLOW 2005 led to a good aquifer parameters estimation, by means of the quantitative calibration of a pumping test made on the pumping well and an observation piezometer. Then, with the heat transport modeling with SEAWAT 4 the distance between pumping well and re-injecting well has been optimized, avoiding so the thermal feedback effect. The lack of sitespecific data for dispersivity parameters has been solved through a sensitivity analysis on the main dispersivity parameters of heat transport. Finally, in order to comply with the environmental laws, a long-term forecasting simulation (duration of 20 years) has been set up in order to evaluate the open loop system thermal impact on the aquifer. The obtained results put in evidence that the design of low enthalpy systems strongly needs a detailed hydrogeological characterization of the aquifer interested by the pumping and that numerical modeling is the most effective tool in support of the definition of the optimal distance between pumping and re-injecting wells in the open loop systems.

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