School of GeoSciences

The GREAT Cell

The GREAT cell (Geo-Reservoir Experimental Analogue Technology) presented here represents a mixed type “polyaxial cell” capable of creating principal stresses from multiple directions, and even irregular distributions of stress without the need to re-position the sample.

The GREAT cell represents a significant advancement in testing capability with respect to sample size, stress control and monitoring technology.

 

Great Cell 5

The GREAT cell is designed to recreate in situ conditions found at depths of 3 to 4 km in geo-energy applications in terms of triaxial polyaxial stresses to 100 MPa, temperatures up to 100 °C and fluid pressure up to 40 MPa with flow.

The sample size of 0.2 m diameter facilitates the investigation of fracture networks, with specially-positioned fluid ports selecting specific fluid flow channels/features within the samples.

Rotation of the stress field during experiments enables investigation of the behavior of fractures and fracture networks under changing loading conditions.

 

GREAT Cell 3

The strain response and temperature response of the samples are monitored through the use of state of the art fibre optic cable providing thousands of detailed all around measurements. Multiple pressure sensors provide detailed real time stress and fluid pressure measurements of the loading applied.

 

Great Cell 4

The GREAT cell is rated to provide:

  • Up to 60MPa axial load and anisotropic radial confining pressure (σ1>σ2>σ3).
  • Up to 60MPa fluid pressure.
  • Up to 100oC rock temperature.
  • Up to 100oC injection fluid temperature.
  • Single and multiphase fluid flow including nitrogen, water and brines.
  • Flow rates from 0.001ml/min to 20ml/min depending on pump type.
    • ISCO Syringe pumps with 100ml capacity
    • CP Class dual-headed, positive displacement piston pumps with constant pressure or flow rate control.
  • Upstream, downstream and differential pressure measurement and logging.
  • Fluid sampling
  • Full labview control and logging
  • ~200mm diameter and length samples

 

The team within the GREAT Cell Laboratory welcomes scientific collaboration and are always happy to discuss new projects and experimental designs.  Please contact:

Dr. habil. Christopher I McDermott

Reader in Hydrogeology and Coupled Process Modelling

  • School of Geosciences

Contact details

Address

Street

Grant Institute,
The King's Buildings,
James Hutton Road,

City
Edinburgh
Post Code
EH9 3FE

Dr. Andrew Fraser-Harris

Post Doctoral Researcher

  • School of Geosciences

Contact details

Address

Street

Grant Institute,
The King's Buildings,
James Hutton Road,

City
Edinburgh
Post Code
EH9 3FE

And for technical support please contact:

Alexander Lightbody

Technical Officer

  • School of Geosciences

Contact details

Address

Street

Grant Institute,
The King's Buildings,
James Hutton Road,

City
Edinburgh
Post Code
EH9 3FE