Compressed air flow within aquifer reservoirs of CAES plants

R. Kushnir, A. Ullmann, A. Dayan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A model on the air flow within aquifer reservoirs of Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) plants was developed. The design of such CAES plants requires knowledge of the reservoir air pressure distribution during both the charging and discharging phases. Also, it must assure air/water interface stability to prevent water suction during discharge. An approximate analytical solution for the pressure variations within the anisotropic reservoir porous space was developed, subject to the Darcy equation and for conditions of partially penetrating wells. Sensitivity analyses were conducted to identify the dominant parameters affecting the well pressure and the critical flow rate (water suction threshold). It is demonstrated that water coning is a factor that could severely limit the discharge air flow rate. A significant diminishment of that limitation and reduction of the pressure fluctuation can be achieved by enlargement of the air layer height and discharge period. Likewise, aquifers with larger horizontal permeability impose less restrictive critical flows. A conclusion on the preferred screen length could not be merely drawn from technological considerations, but should also involve important economic aspects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-240
Number of pages22
JournalTransport in Porous Media
Volume81
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2010

Keywords

  • Compressed air energy storage (CAES)
  • Critical flow rates
  • Partially penetrating well
  • Porous reservoirs
  • Water coning

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