The European Hot Dry Rock Geothermal Energy Project, located in the Rhine graben at Soultz-sous-Forets, Alsace, France, is entering a new phase in its development. Over the next few years the existing HDR system will be developed to form an operational Scientific Prototype HDR System. This paper provides an introduction to the collaborative reservoir modelling studies undertaken as part of the European Programme. In particular the paper addresses the general methodology adopted in the reservoir design process and focuses on one of the preliminary objectives of the study, assessment of the minimum HDR doublet separation required to meet the thermal performance objectives during circulation. Two preliminary reservoir designs are adopted as starting points for the study, the first based on exploitation of large scale planar fractures, the second on the development of a modular (multi-cell) system based on 3 cells supporting 5l/s production each. Estimates were obtained using models based on both idealised geometry and empirical observations of reservoir circulation at the Camborne School of Mines (CSM) HDR project. The results indicate that a wellbore separation of around 400m would be required for the multi-cell system to achieve the required thermal performance of 10% thermal drawdown, or less, during 10 years circulation at 15l/s production. Whereas, the wellbore separation required for the single fracture design would be in excess of 650m.
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