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Rock Mass Response for Lined Rock Caverns Subjected to High Internal Gas Pressure


The storage of hydrogen gas in underground lined rock caverns (LRCs) enables the implementation of the first fossil-free steelmaking process to meet the large demand for crude steel. Predicting the response of rock mass is important to ensure that gas leakage due to rupture of the steel lining does not occur. Analytical and numerical models can be used to estimate the rock mass response to high internal pressure; however, the fitness of these models under different in situ stress conditions and cavern shapes has not been studied. In this paper, the suitability of analytical and numerical models to estimate the maximum cavern wall tangential strain under high internal pressure is studied. The analytical model is derived in detail and finite element (FE) models considering both two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) geometries are presented. These models are verified with field measurements from the LRC in Skallen, southwestern Sweden. The analytical model is inexpensive to implement and gives good results for isotropic in situ stress conditions and large cavern heights. For the case of anisotropic horizontal in situ stresses, as the conditions in Skallen, the 3D FE model is the best approach

Funding source: This work has been conducted as part of the HYBRIT research project RP-1. This research was financially supported by the Swedish Energy Agency (Grant No. 42684-2).
Countries: Sweden

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