Over 80% of energy used in the Canadian residential sector is for space heating and provision of domestic hot water; natural gas provides much of this primary energy, with attendant GHG issues related to climate change. Aquifer thermal energy storage (ATES) is one way to increase heating efficiency. ATES systems in shallow geothermal configurations have the ability to reduce heating and cooling costs of buildings by 20-40%, with as associated reduction in GHG emissions. The efficiency of an ATES system depends in part on the thermal front growth, which can be investigated to a first-order approximation by thermo-hydraulic modeling. In this study we addressed parameters such as the well-spacing and water flowrate that affect the thermal front to avoid premature thermal breakthrough by defining a dimensionless ratio ?. The area of study is located in the Williston Basin, as a sub-basin of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB). Stress and strain changes due to fluid flow are enhancements of this model, executed using a finite element computational platform. Results show that increasing flowrate increases the length of heat propagation and stress/strain magnitude but increasing well spacing has the opposite effect.

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