Thermal projects are quick – we often heat and treat a site in less than 6 months. It is crucial to be on top of all the data and know when it is time to stop, or when to collect confirmatory samples to document performance. Every day and week counts, so the project team must have immediate access to the data from the field.
As an engineer and data manager for TerraTherm, I have found that two of the most useful tools that I have to help keep our project teams and clients up to date are the ThinkThermal.com website and the data plotter. These tools have provided a tremendous leap in meeting client demand for direct access to real-time project data. They give each member of the project team more independence to retrieve project data on their own time without the need for a middle man.
The secure ThinkThermal.com website and data plotter can provide the project team with current project status updates, operational reports, analytical laboratory data, real-time temperature monitoring, and live webcam imaging of the project site direct from their computer. The website acts as a portal between the TerraTherm project team and the client, yielding better communication as well as greater accessibility to project data and other pertinent project information.
The ThinkThermal Website
The website layout is project-specific and has the capability to be set up with different menus, display images, graphs and tables, as well as upload project files.
The general site setup consists of the menus displayed in Table 1:
The Data Plotter
The data plotter is an interactive tool used to access real-time project data. This tool is most-commonly used to display temperature data that is recorded several times daily by our automatic temperature monitoring system, but the data plotter also has the ability to display any project data within the project database.
The data plotter can be used to produce temperature profiles for all wells where the temperature is being monitored (Figure 1), as well as temperature graphs for varying depths in the Target Treatment Zone (TTZ) over time (Figure 2), and wellfield maps that display temperatures by layer within the TTZ (Figure 3). Data from the data plotter can also be displayed in tabular form, allowing the user to transfer the data directly to their computer for further analysis.
Vertical temperature profiles are useful for tracking trends in temperature change within the subsurface. Similar to a cross-sectional drawing of site, the profile shows the temperature by depth along the entire length of a thermocouple array in one of our Temperature Monitoring Points (TMP). There are options to plot a temperature profile for a TMP array multiple times over a select time interval, so you can monitor a trend over a short or extended period of time.
Plots of temperatures over time are used to monitor any specific thermocouple within the wellfield. With this option, the temperature vs. time graph for multiple depths on a TMP array can be plotted all on one graph, so that it is easy to spot rapid temperature changes at varying sensors.
The wellfield temperature maps (Figure 3) are useful for viewing temperature trends across the entire site. It can be set to show temperatures within any depth interval (including single or multiple monitoring depths) that is being monitored on any day or time that temperatures were being recorded. This helps in determining which areas of the wellfield are heating up faster than others, and if we are seeing impacts from heating within the TTZ in any of the perimeter TMPs surrounding the TTZ.
Overall the ThinkThermal.com website and data plotter are easy-to-use tools that our clients and project teams have access to 24/7 to help keep them informed and give them a sense of independence when reviewing the status of a project.