Optimizing the power output, and economic value, of geothermal power plants over decades of operation is a major challenge. Optimizing the output requires the ability to predict output temperatures and pressures of production wells based on the inputs of injection wells, production mass flow rates, and the history of the field. Machine Learning (ML) that incorporates the known physics of geothermal systems is one possible solution to this challenge. In this work, we explore the ability of ML algorithms to predict future temperature outputs based on historical data. Considering the challenges with obtaining an empirical dataset from field data that is large enough to enable reliable ML, we propose an alternate approach: developing a high-fidelity reservoir model and using computational resources to build a dataset that enables ML. As a first step towards achieving this goal, we present preliminary results from applying ML to predict the temperature timeseries of simple modeled geothermal systems. We describe the application of relevant state-of-the-art ML approaches, such as the Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) networks and Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN), to extract temporal structures in the model data. We assess the accuracy of the forecasts we obtain, compare the selected approaches, and share the lessons learned that would inform the process of training and utilizing ML algorithms for larger and more complex geothermal systems.
Machine Learning in Geothermal Development