To extract shale oil from up to 750 meters below the surface of a location on the Western slope in Colorado, the trapped organic matter (kerogen) must be slowly heated over a period of several years. Heater(s) will be placed throughout the rock shale to increase the temperature to as close to 400 C as possible without going over. As the organic matter is cooked, it needs to be contained by setting up a freeze wall consisting of a closed-loop piping system with cooled liquid. This will freeze the ground water around the piping containing the area. Before approval is granted for this project, this concept is to be tested on a smaller field approximately the size of a football field. Initial calculations and simulations for various heater configurations are depicted and discussed in this report.
Two 1-dimensional temperature profiles were estimated through the middle of the field using one heater in the center. The temperature profiles were derived analytically from the Cartesian general heat conduction equation which simplifies to T=c1x+c2. There are three boundary conditions for each direction, so there are two equations for each direction. For the x-direction the …show more content…
Twenty-one nodes were used in each direction, with the boundary nodes set to 0C and the center node set to 400C. The equation T= (Tm+1+Tm-1)/2 was used in all the interior nodes and excel was set to provide in-cell iterative calculations. The graph for the numerical temperature profile is shown in Figure 1 of the appendix. These numerical temperature profiles closely resemble to the analytically derived profiles. This is valid because of the simplicity of the model and both profile types only consider the boundary temperatures and the x or y coordinate. The total heat input should be the same for both the analytical and numerical temperature profiles because of the simplicity of the