Title Redefining geothermal fluid properties at extreme conditions
PLink to website REFLECT
Programme Horizon 2020
Project duration 05/2020 – 01/2023
GeoZS role in the project EFG Linked Third Parties through the Slovenian Geological Society
GeoZS contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The efficiency of geothermal utilisation depends on the behaviour of fluids that transfer heat between the geosphere and the engineered components of a power plant. REFLECT aims to prevent problems related to fluid chemistry rather than treat them. The physical and chemical fluid properties are often poorly defined, as in situ sampling and measurements at extreme conditions are difficult to date. Therefore, large uncertainties in current model predictions prevail, which will be tackled in REFLECT by collecting new, high-quality data in critical areas. These data will be implemented in a European geothermal fluid atlas and in predictive models allowing to provide recommendations on how to best operate geothermal systems for sustainable use.

Based on known operational problems and observations, REFLECT will determine the effect of relevant fluid properties and reactions in order to enhance predictive geochemical modelling and thus the energy exploitation and life-time of geothermal power plants. By moving from reacting to occurring problems, to reflecting in advance (and acting proactively), the project outcomes can fundamentally change the problem-solving strategies of geothermal operators.

By fulfilling these goals, REFLECT aims at solving many severe problems of geothermal operation. This matches the goals of the EU Strategic Energy Technology (EU-SET) plan by ultimately reducing the cost of key renewable technologies and increasing the resilience and security of the energy system.

Addressing the key problem of almost all geothermal operations, REFLECT will have a major impact on the operational efficiency, project economics and viability as well as on the environmental footprint. By redefining geothermal fluid properties and their geochemical reaction constants over a large range of salinities and temperatures, a huge knowledge gap can be closed, leading to more reliable predictions of geothermal performance. The improved databases and modelling tools can be used by geoscientists and engineers to help operators optimise power plant layout and reduce maintenance costs, caused by clogging or insufficient production/injection rates.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement nº 850626.