Internship | Scaling in geothermal wells

Scaling is a profound issue in geothermal wells resulting in a loss of energy production and increase of maintenance costs. In this project a methodology is developed to integrate the uncertainties in available scaling models with hydrodynamic models



Education type

university (wo)


Internship and graduation project

Hours a week

Fulltime – 40


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What will you be doing?

Scaling (mineral deposition) is a profound issue in geothermal wells. The geothermal brines usually contain a vast amount of dissolved minerals. During production or injection the pressure and temperature changes in the well and therefore also the mineral solubility. Hence, some minerals will precipitate and deposit at the walls of the well or topside piping. For the Dutch wells these minerals are usually Calcite or Barite. Furthermore, the injection of inhibitors could mitigate mineral precipitation.

For an EU project called REFLECT, TNO is developing a methodology to integrate the uncertainties in coupled hydrodynamic-chemical models. For this effort we would like to employ an enthusiastic student to assist us during this task. The aim of this assignment is to adjust the existing in-house developed solver to the current application and investigate the dependency of input parameters on the results of the model (Uncertainty Quantification (UQ)).

The assignment consist (one) of the following steps:
  • Literature review on different models precipitation/deposition of minerals.
  • Implement/couple the selected model(s) in an in-house TNO multi-phase flow code
  • Setup and perform the UQ analysis
  • Test and validate on a case study

What do we require of you?

We are looking for a student who is enthusiastic, critical and a team-player. We expect you to work hard and independently on your own project, but ask for help if needed. Knowledge on multiphase flow phenomena is preferred.

Duration of the assignment: 3-9 months depending on internship or thesis assignment.
Preferred Skills:
  • Multi-phase flow
  • Matlab
  • Team player

What can you expect of your work situation?

TNO is an independent research organisation whose expertise and research make an important contribution to the competitiveness of companies and organisations, to the economy and to the quality of society as a whole. Innovation with purpose is what TNO stands for. With 3000 people we develop knowledge not for its own sake but for practical application. To create new products that make life more pleasant and valuable and help companies innovate. To find creative answers to the questions posed by society. We work for a variety of customers: governments, companies, service providers and non-governmental organisations. Working together on new knowledge, better products and clear recommendations for policy and processes. In everything we do, impact is the key. Our product and process innovations and recommendations are only worth something if our customers can use them to boost their competitiveness. As an intern/graduation student, you will work as 'one of our colleagues' on your own topic. You can drop by your supervisor or other colleagues to ask about challenges in your project (open door policy) and to see what everybody else is doing.

What can TNO offer you?

You want to work on the precursor of your career; a work placement gives you an opportunity to take a good look at your prospective future employer. TNO goes a step further. It’s not just looking that interests us; you and your knowledge are essential to our innovation. That’s why we attach a great deal of value to your personal and professional development. You will, of course, be properly supervised during your work placement and be given the scope for you to get the best out of yourself. Naturally, we provide suitable work placement compensation.

Has this vacancy sparked your interest?

Then please feel free to apply on this vacancy! For further questions don’t hesitate to contact us.

Due to Covid-19 and the consequent uncertainties and restrictions, students who are not residing in the Netherlands may currently not be able to start an internship or graduation project at TNO.

Contact: Jos Westende, van 't
Phone number:

Note that applications via email and third party applications are not taken into consideration.


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