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Reference Number EP/S005560/1
Title Smart Pumping for Subsurface Engineering
Status Started
Energy Categories Renewable Energy Sources(Geothermal Energy) 10%;
Other Power and Storage Technologies(Energy storage) 20%;
Not Energy Related 30%;
Fossil Fuels: Oil Gas and Coal(Oil and Gas, Other oil and gas) 20%;
Fossil Fuels: Oil Gas and Coal(CO2 Capture and Storage, CO2 storage) 20%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) 10%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering) 40%;
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences) 30%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 90%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Environmental dimensions) 10%;
Principal Investigator Professor ZK Shipton
No email address given
Civil Engineering
University of Strathclyde
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 November 2018
End Date 31 October 2024
Duration 72 months
Total Grant Value £2,488,443
Industrial Sectors Energy; Environment
Region Scotland
Programme Business Partnerships Fund
Investigators Principal Investigator Professor ZK Shipton , Civil Engineering, University of Strathclyde (99.992%)
  Other Investigator Dr V Stankovic , Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Strathclyde (0.001%)
Dr L Stankovic , Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Strathclyde (0.001%)
Dr B Dempster , Mechanical Engineering, University of Strathclyde (0.001%)
Dr CI McDermott , School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh (0.001%)
Dr JR (Jonathan ) Corney , Design Manufacture and Engineering Man, University of Strathclyde (0.001%)
Dr S Pytharouli , Civil Engineering, University of Strathclyde (0.001%)
Dr s yang , Civil Engineering, University of Strathclyde (0.001%)
Dr M Perry , Civil Engineering, University of Strathclyde (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , The Weir Group plc (0.000%)
Project Contact , British Geological Survey (BGS) - NERC (0.000%)
Project Contact , EGS Energy Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , GeoDynamics International, Belgium (0.000%)
Project Contact , Silixa Ltd (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract Geological engineering encompasses a range of applications from resource extraction (hydrocarbons, geothermal heat and power, water) to waste disposal (Carbon capture and storage, wastewater disposal) and energy storage (compressed air, hydrogen). All of these technologies rely on pumps to move fluid into or out of boreholes. This prosperity partnership brings together teams that have previously worked on pumps for well stimulation with new team members involved in geomechanics and monitoring systems. Our previous work has shown that the pumps used in well stimulation are often used in very simple ways to deliver a known pressure to the top of the wellbore, leading to inefficient processes that produce a lot of noise and waste. Our partnership aims to re-engineer such systems through three linked research themes. Firstly there is evidence that pulses in pressure or dynamic variations in mean pressure could be more effective in achieving the aims of geological engineering processes. To understand the potential of pulsed pumping we need a deeper understanding of the material response to dynamic variation of the system that is being pumped: the rock mass and the borehole (casing and cement). Secondly we need to understand how to control delivery of precise pressure variations into the borehole and how to monitor these as they travel down the bore and into the rock mass. This includes the need to monitor rock mass response to develop fully 'closed loop' control systems. Finally we want to integrate the systems understanding of the pumps, the pumped system and the control systems. We will trial our new pulse propagation and monitoring system in the UK (at a site where well stimulation will not take place) and test the new monitoring system at an active well stimulation site in N. America. A series of eight linked PhD projects will explore aspects of the problems, and investigate the application of smart pumping to other sectors such as water distribution systems or transport of mining slurry. Our overall goal is to reduce the cost and increase the efficiency of geological engineering through smart pumping, thereby reducing the environmental and social impact of such technologies.We have brought together a partnership of two industry and two university partners. The Weir Group and University of Strathclyde have a long history of collaboration on well stimulation pumps and other applications. The University of Edinburgh bring unique, world-leading geomechanical experimental capability to the partnership, and have previously collaborated with Strathclyde on carbon storage and compressed air energy storage. Silixa are young company specialising in optical fibres for sensing. Together this partnership will conduct the research that will underpin the development of smarter technologies in pumping and geological engineering.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 13/02/19