Hydrochemical changes induced by underground pumped storage hydropower: influence of aquifer parameters in coal mine environments

Pujades, Estanislao; Jurado, Anna; Orban, Philippe; Dassargues, Alain

Underground pumped storage hydropower (UPSH) induces hydrochemical changes when water evolves to reach equilibrium with the atmosphere (in the surface reservoir) and with the surrounding medium (in the underground reservoir). These hydrochemical changes may impact the environment and the efficiency of the system (i.e., the UPSH plant), especially in coal mine environments where the presence of sulphide minerals is common. For this reason, it is needed to assess the variables that control the behavior of the system in order to establish criteria for the selection of abandoned mines to be used as underground reservoirs in future UPSH plants.

Coupled hydro-chemical numerical models are used for investigating the influence of hydraulic parameters on the hydrochemical changes when pyrite is present in the surrounding medium. Results show the role of the hydraulic conductivity and the porosity on the system behavior, which is helpful for selecting those abandoned mines where the hydrochemical changes and their associated consequences will be less.

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Pujades, Estanislao / Jurado, Anna / Orban, Philippe / et al: Hydrochemical changes induced by underground pumped storage hydropower: influence of aquifer parameters in coal mine environments. 2018. Copernicus Publications.

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