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TerraTherm routinely prepares mass and energy balances during the initial design period for all of our thermal projects.
An accurate energy balance for a thermal treatment volume must include:
- Energy added to the subsurface (electric, steam)
- Energy removed as steam, heated air and liquids
- Heat losses through the top, bottom and sides
- Heat stored in the ground (hot rock, soil, and water)
Water mass balances are kept in order to document hydraulic control. During SEE and ERH projects, where fluids are injected, it is important to extract enough fluids to prevent spreading of contaminants. During TCH projects, no fluids are injected, and the water balance is simply an account of the mass removed as steam with the extracted vapors.
These balances are essential for predicting durations and energy demands, and adjusting the thermal remedy during operations, as needed. An example energy balance is shown below.