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WP 3.1

Direct and Indirect Impact of the Construction and Operation of Salt Caverns for the Storage of Compressed Air, CH4 or Natural as well as Synthetic Natural Gas and H2 including the Assessment of Appropriate Monitoring Concepts


Aim of work package WP 3.1 is a numerical study (in the sense of scenario analyses) of the quasistatic operation as well as of cyclic charging and discharging of a typical model cavern in salt rock considering different storage media (compressed air, hydrogen, natural gas). Within this context, process parameters like, e.g., characteristica of cycles, filling degree, temperature of the storage medium will be varied. The thermo-mechanical short-term behavior of the geological formation as well as the long-term stability of the cavern will be studied, and the developed model will be tested based on a realistic, typical operation scenario with defined operation conditions. In addition, instructions for developers, operators, planning as well as regulation authorities will be derived from model results. This includes the evaluation of critical processes, states and locations in order to design and to optimise appropriate monitoring techniques. Within this context will be determined which quantities should be measured at which location, and in which intervals using appropriate measuring concepts in order to detect potential alterations of the rock properties in the vicinity of a cavern during its establishment and its operation as early as possible. In addition, seismic, geoelectric and gravimetric model studies will be performed in ordert o assess the detectability of caverns. Within this context, e.g., the mappability of stress-induced modifications of seismic parameters in the vicinity of a cavern will be studied performing temporally shifted repeating measuring campaigns. The results of the geophysical simulations will be assessed considering aspects of stability of salt caverns. Based on previously detected relations between external loading and alterations of rock properties appropriate strategies will be derived for the optimisation of the design of caverns.

The working groups Environmental Informatics (UFZ), Foundation Engineering, Soil and Rock Mechanics (RUB), Applied Geophysics (CAU) and Geohydromodelling (CAU) are jointly working on work package WP 3.1. The typical model cavern is defined based on scenarios that are parameterised in WP 1.1 while the necessary model toolset is provided by WP 2.1. Codes simulating the seismic behaviour will be developed in work package WP 2.3. The results of the scenario analyses performed in WP 3.1 serve as basis for contributions to work packages realising a synthesis of data and information.