Improving Geothermal System Performance through Collective Knowledge Building and Technology Development - PERFORM


The work in PERFORM focuses on implementation and evaluation of capabilities to control mineral scaling, particles clogging, corrosion and temperature/stress related effects of geothermal flow and injectivity.

Despite years of experience with geothermal systems, the geothermal sector still faces a significant number of underperforming doublets, posing a strong limitation on a region’s growth of geothermal energy utilization. A key operational challenge in geothermal energy production is restricted flow. Major obstacles for geothermal flow are scaling (mineral deposition), clogging (solid micro-particle deposition), corrosion and inefficient injection strategies. These issues result in high and mostly unforeseen costs for workovers, and additionally reduce production. In order to overcome these challenges, the consolidation and sharing of knowledge, including validated strategies for prevention and mitigation needs to be in place.

Aim of the project

The overarching target of PERFORM is to improve geothermal system performance, lower operational expenses and extend the life-time of infrastructure by the concept of combining data collection, predictive modelling, innovative technology development and in-situ validation. The improvement of geothermal plant performance from the proposed work is expected to result in an increase of the energy output by 10 to 50%. In order to reach this goal PERFORM will establish a single and shared knowledge database, build predictive models and demonstrate new and improved, cost-effective technologies which will reduce or even eliminate flow-obstructive scaling, clogging, and resistance to fluid (re-)injection at eight geothermal plants across Europe.

Based on experiences from operating geothermal sites within the EU, PERFORM will establish a single knowledge database containing information on operational, chemical and physical aspects of geothermal energy production. The database enables sharing experiences from operating geothermal doublets located in various countries and comparing the performance of the different geothermal reservoirs.

PERFORM builds predictive models that allow for pinpointing the most likely sources and causes of failure, as well as the best options for injectivity improvement. The integrated models will provide forecasting for scaling, productivity, and injectivity on short- and long-time scales, supporting early warning and planning of mitigation measures. Coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical-chemical simulators will allow for evaluation of injection temperature that apart for increasing flow will also increase the energy output.

Data and knowledge gathering and technology demonstration is planned for eight geothermal plants across Europe. Demonstration of new and improved, cost-effective technologies will allow for the reduction or even elimination of flow-obstructive scaling, clogging, and resistance to fluid (re-)injection. The technologies include low-cost cation extraction filters, self-cleaning particle removal appliances, H2S removal technology and soft-stimulating injection procedures (thermal and CO2-injection). The goal is to provide a set of new and improved, low-cost and environmentally friendly technology alternatives.

PERFORM integrates the knowledge database, predictive modelling and advanced technologies into a design and operation toolbox, which will be tied to economical calculations. The toolbox will enable stakeholders and specifically geothermal operators to plan future operations, mitigate existing obstructions, and optimise production/injection procedures, thus ensuring maximum energy production when needed.

Die Zielsetzung der deutschen Partner (GFZ und Hydroisotop GmbH) ist die Entwicklung, der Einsatz und die Evaluierung operativer Methoden, um Scaling, Clogging und Korrosion zu verhindern (AP 3). Zusätzlich werden Betriebsdaten und geochemische Daten durch das Monitoring von geothermischen Anlagen gesammelt und für die Erstellung einer Datenbank zur Verfügung gestellt (AP1). Die Aufgaben des GFZ im Rahmen des Gesamtprojektes liegen insbesondere im Testen der neu entwickelten Technologien zunächst im Technikumsmaßstab (Geothermie-nahe Laborbedingungen) sowie an geothermischen Anlagen mittels Bypass (AP 3). Die wichtigsten Ziele dabei sind:

  1. Aufnahme eines kompletten Datensatzes physikochemischer Betriebsdaten von 2-3 geothermischen Anlagen (Dänemark, Deutschland, Niederlande) mit dem Fluidmonitoringsystem FluMo-1 inklusive Probennahme und Analytik von Fluiden und Scaling bei einer Betriebsdauer von jeweils 3-5 Tagen.
  2. Entwicklung von Methoden zur adsorptiven Bindung der Scale-bildenden Metalle an Filtermaterialien, die eine Abreicherung der gelösten Metalle im Thermalwasser bewirken. Die Stabilität und Effektivität der Materialien soll im Technikumsmaßstab unter Geothermie-nahen Bedingungen (FluMo-2) sowie im Bypass geothermischer Anlagen getestet werden.
  3. Bestimmung der Stabilität und Effektivität der Partikelfilterung im Technikumsmaßstab (FluMo-2) sowie im Bypass geothermischer Anlagen.
  4. Charakterisierung und Quantifizierung einer Methode zur H2S-Entfernung durch Monitoring mit FluMo-1, sowie durch Probennahme und Analyse von Thermalwasser und Gas in der Anlage Oberlaa.
  5. Charakterisierung galvanischer Korrosion, ausgelöst durch Reaktion von gelöstem Cu und Pb im Thermalwasser mit den metallischen Anlagenmaterialien und Auswahl geeigneter korrosionsresistenter Materialien.

Duration: 01.06.2018 - 31.05.2021

BMWi - Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy
Grant no.: 0324265B

This project has been subsidized through the ERANET Cofund GEOTHERMICA (Project no. 731117), from the European Commission, Topsector Energy subsidy from the Ministry of Economic Affairs of the Netherlands, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy of Germany and EUDP.


Simona Regenspurg
Group Leader
Priv. Doz. Dr. Simona Regenspurg
Building A 69, Room 202
14473 Potsdam
+49 331 288-1437