Hydrodynamics has found that CAES in aquifer storage medium is problematic. We found that geological data for aquifer structures is typically very limited, resulting in costly exploration, field testing, and analysis development programs. Otrher challenges include constraint of air storage pressure around the hydrostatic pressure of the aquifer, limitations on well productivity, the potential for oxygen depletion, and the potential of water production with the air. We have found that the mitigation of the challenges of CAES development is dependent on the selection of an anticline structure at the proper depth, and the choice of highly permeable porous medium.

Since, 2000, Hydrodynamics CAES aquifer experience is divided into 1) site selection and characterization, and 2) CAES system performance analysis. We have conducted 7 CAES site selection studies in California, Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, Texas, and Alberta Canada. Each of these studies identified candidate CAES storage aquifer structures that were evaluated for CAES potential. Our CAES analysis of depleted gas aquifer structures consisted of the numerical modeling of the aquifer system to determine how it would behave during CAES operations. The Pittsfield CAES field experiment and Iowa Stored Energy Plant Agency (ISEPA) Dallas Center aquifer research required exploratory drilling and testing to first characterize the aquifer storage system and then to model CAES peformance.

Pittsfield CAES Field Experiment

Hydrodynamics Principal Michael King was an technical oversight consultant to the Electric Power Research Pittsfield air injection experiment. Mr. King performed air flow testing resulting in the development of an analytic

al reservoir model of the air storage. Hydrodynamics subsequently evaluated the commerical CAES potential of Pittsfield for Nicor Energy Partners.

ISEPA Dallas Center CAES Project

Hydrodynamics has been the primary geological engineering consultant for the ISEPA Dallas Center CAES aquifer project since 2002. Following our candidate site slection study that involved geophysical surveys, we drilled 3 exploration core wells to depths of over 3,000 feet to map the geologic structure and evaluate hydraulic aquifer properties. Core samples were laboratory tested for hydrologic properties. We developed several numerical CAES system performance models of the aquifer first based on a nearby natural gas storage field and then on our data drilling program.

Hydrodynamics CAES Aquifer Services includes:

  • Exploratory Core Well Drilling
  • Aquifer Testing
  • Core Laboratory Analysis
  • Seismic Reflection Surveys
  • Numerical Reservoir Simulation Modeling
  • Geochemical Reaction Modeling