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Underground Hydrogen Storage to Balance Seasonal Variations in Energy Demand: Impact of Well Configuration on Storage Performance in Deep Saline Aquifers


Grid-scale underground hydrogen storage (UHS) is essential for the decarbonization of energy supply systems on the path towards a zero-emissions future. This study presents the feasibility of UHS in an actual saline aquifer with a typical dome-shaped anticline structure to balance the potential seasonal mismatches between energy supply and demand in the UK domestic heating sector. As a main requirement for UHS in saline aquifers, we investigate the role of well configuration design in enhancing storage performance in the selected site via numerical simulation. The results demonstrate that the efficiency of cyclic hydrogen recovery can reach around 70% in the short term without the need for upfront cushion gas injection. Storage capacity and deliverability increase in successive storage cycles for all scenarios, with the co-production of water from the aquifer having a minimal impact on the efficiency of hydrogen recovery. Storage capacity and deliverability also increase when additional wells are added to the storage site; however, the distance between wells can strongly influence this effect. For optimum well spacing in a multi-well storage scenario within a dome-shaped anticline structure, it is essential to attain an efficient balance between well pressure interference effects at short well distances and the gas uprising phenomenon at large distances. Overall, the findings obtained and the approach described can provide effective technical guidelines pertaining to the design and optimization of hydrogen storage operations in deep saline aquifers.

Funding source: The static geological model information was taken from the Strategic UK CCS Storage Appraisal Project, funded by DECC, commissioned by the ETI, and delivered by Pale Blue Dot Energy, Axis Well Technology, and Costain.
Countries: Germany ; United Kingdom

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