The history of computer modelling of the Wairakei geothermal field is reviewed. It covers the development of lumped-parameter models during the 1970s and then discusses the evolution and first applications of geothermal reservoir simulation techniques. The development of reservoir models of Wairakei at the University of Auckland began in the early 1980s; current models produces good matches against field data. Many future scenarios have been run using the University's models and have been presented at various regulatory hearings. The general conclusion from these scenarios is that Wairakei can continue producing electricity at the current level for at least another 50 years, and if Wairakei is shut down after 100 years of operation it will recover to its pre-exploitation state after a further 300 years. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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