Cyclic Processes related to Underground Pumped Storage Power Plants (UPSP) using abandoned mines



Funding: German Research Foundation (DFG)- Project Number 449163970

Project duration: 2021-2023

Project Partners: IWW at RWTH Aachen, EMR at RWTH Aachen, ifm at RWTH Aachen, China University of Mining and Technology (CUMIT)

  Schematic illustration of an Underground Pumped Storage Power Plants (UPSP) Copyright: © LIH Fig1. Schematic illustration of an Underground Pumped Storage Power Plants (UPSP)

Pumped storage power plants represent an efficient and technically mature form of energy storage. The primary aim of this research project is to investigate the feasibility of using abandoned underground coal mines as a "lower reservoir" for pumped storage power plants. During the operating life of these systems, the surrounding rock in the lower reservoir is subjected to cyclic loading due to the variable internal pressure. Therefore, an accurate design of these underground structures requires a comprehensive understanding of rock behavior during the filling and emptying processes. To this end, an appropriate constitutive model is developed to characterize the strength and deformation of the host rock under cyclic loading (fatigue). The developed mechanical model will then be used in the finite element code MOOSE to investigate the long-term stability of an underground reservoir under different loading scenarios in terms of frequency and magnitude. The overall results of this collaborative project are expected to contribute to an optimal structural and operational design of underground pumped storage power plants.

Project team:
Pooya Hamdi
Florian Amann
Kavan Khaledi
Deyan Tian

Funding Agency and Project Partners:

EMR IWW Uni London ifm DFG   Workflow of the project Copyright: © LIH Fig.2 Workflow of the project: mechanical modeling of progressive failure under cyclic loading