Thermal performance and heat transport in aquifer thermal energy storage

W.T. Sommer, P.J. Doornenbal, B.C. Drijver, P.F.M. van Gaans, I. Leusbrock, J.T.C. Grotenhuis, H.H.M. Rijnaarts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Aquifer thermal energy storage (ATES) is used for seasonal storage of large quantities of thermal energy. Due to the increasing demand for sustainable energy, the number of ATES systems has increased rapidly, which has raised questions on the effect of ATES systems on their surroundings as well as their thermal performance. Furthermore, the increasing density of systems generates concern regarding thermal interference between the wells of one system and between neighboring systems. An assessment is made of (1) the thermal storage performance, and (2) the heat transport around the wells of an existing ATES system in the Netherlands. Reconstruction of flow rates and injection and extraction temperatures from hourly logs of operational data from 2005 to 2012 show that the average thermal recovery is 82% for cold storage and 68% for heat storage. Subsurface heat transport is monitored using distributed temperature sensing. Although the measurements reveal unequal distribution of flow rate over different parts of the well screen and preferential flow due to aquifer heterogeneity, sufficient well spacing has avoided thermal interference. However, oversizing of well spacing may limit the number of systems that can
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-279
JournalHydrogeology Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • temperature sensing data
  • systems
  • simulations

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