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Underground Gas Storage

Modeling and simulation of large scale gas storage

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Underground gas storage and in particular Undergroud Hydrogen Storage (UHS) plays a growing role in the shift to a sustainable hydrogen-based energy market, offering the potential for large-scale subsurface energy storage.

At SINTEF, our expertise involves developing accurate numerical simulators to assess UHS feasibility and gain insights into the essential physical processes within storage sites, enhancing effective project development and implementation. The simulators are calibrated by extensive and advanced laboratory experiments on representative rock cores. Accurate simulation of influencing factors within storage sites is crucial for successful UHS projects. However, simulating underground hydrogen storage presents unique challenges due to the specific characteristics of hydrogen – a highly reactive and low-density gas with distinct behavior resulting from its small molecular size and rapid diffusion properties. Furthermore, the wide range of temperatures and pressures expected for efficient storage necessitates the use of complex thermodynamic models. Hydrogen's high mobility through rock formation materials also requires specialized attention to containment and sealing strategies. Therefore, long-term exposure of different rock formations to hydrogen are performed with analysis of exposure effect on petrophysical and mechanical properties.

Our multidisciplinary group consists of researchers with expertise in Reservoir Modeling and Simulation, transport-related and thermodynamic modeling, and open-source development, making us well-suited for the development of simulation tools and optimization routines for subsurface flow processes involving a mixture of gases. We utilize open-source software to develop innovative solutions, offering our clients advantages in designing new systems and experimenting with operational strategies.

What we offer:

  • Model prototyping and validation for underground gas storage modeling and simulations,
  • Supporting laboratory hydrogen exposure tests in core flooding equipment,
  • Laboratory evaluation of exposure effects on core samples such as porosity, strength and stiffness changes to calibrate input to models,
  • Simulation tools for phase equilibria, transport, and thermodynamic properties of gas mixtures,
  • Development of robust and efficient optimization routines for designing and optimizing operational strategies.