FEFLOW – Getting started with geothermal modelling: Open-loop systems
Available for 60 days upon enrollment
Surface and groundwater

FEFLOW – Getting started with geothermal modelling: Open-loop systems


Fee: No charge*

Time commitment: approximately three hours in total, divided as follows:

  • Self-study: Nine modules, combining online video lectures, demonstration videos, quizzes, hands-on exercises and reading materials
  • (Optional) Additional reading materials can be made available for you to master the software at a greater depth



Groundwater hydrologists or hydrogeologist are often asked questions about groundwater flow, aquifer hydraulics, management of water resources, fate of contamination plumes or feasibility of geothermal systems, plus others.

Providing answers to all these questions requires specific field information and a general understanding of hydrogeological processes. Nature is not simple and even simple tasks require state-of-the-art supporting tools. A numerical model provides a quantitative framework for synthesising field information and for conceptualising hydrogeologic processes. The model is used as tool to assist consultants and engineers for getting possible answers to a specific groundwater problem.

This self-paced course will introduce you to the basic concept of geothermal modelling using FEFLOW. Specifically, the course focuses on the modelling of open-loop geothermal systems. The theoretical part of the course about heat transport in FEFLOW also offers a good basis for other modelling geothermal approaches, such as Borehole Heat Exchangers.

FEFLOW is the most intuitive and comprehensive software package for groundwater and porous media modelling. The software has been extensively used for modelling geothermal installations, including both shallow and deep geothermal systems. FEFLOW has the capabilities to model both open and closed loop geothermal systems at any time resolution. A major advantage of FEFLOW compared to other modelling packages is the fact that FEFLOW can easily implement heterogeneties (hydraulic and thermal parameters), groundwater flow patterns, effect of recharge on temperature, etc.


FEFLOW is widely recognised as a comprehensive software package for subsurface flow and transport simulation. FEFLOW’s unique meshing capabilities (structured and unstructured) allows for the highest degree of flexibility to account in detail for the most simple to complex geometrical configurations. The software is used by leading research institutes, universities, consulting firms and government organisations all over the world. FEFLOW’s scope of application ranges from simple local scale to complex largescale modelling. Application areas include water management, mine water, saltwater intrusion, geothermal energy and variably saturated media.


The course has been designed for consultants, engineers, hydrogeologist and geologist with some basic understanding of hydrogeological concepts and geothermal installations. It is not mandatory that you have already carried out numerical simulations of geothermal systems. It is beneficial if you have certain knowledge of flow simulations in FEFLOW. You can quickly learn about these through the free self-paced course ‘Getting started with groundwater modelling using FEFLOW’.


After completing this course, you will be able to start building your numerical modelling of geothermal open-loop system with FEFLOW. You will have learnt:

  • To build a finite-element mesh suitable for geothermal applications and to verify its quality
  • To build a simple 3D model for geothermal modelling
  • To completely parametrise the heat transport model (materials and boundary conditions)
  • To link injection and production wells in the context of a geothermal open-loop system
  • To run the model and do a basic visualisation of temperature (2D, 3D and cross-section views)
  • To check the model results


Each module includes videos and materials that you need for model examples and quizzes. It will take you around three hours to complete the course at a time that fits your needs and requirements – and from the comfort of your own office, home or any location convenient for you.


Introduction - Preliminary steps

Module 1 - Introduction to transport processes

Module 2 – Discretisation and numerical oscillations in transport

Module 3 – Introduction to heat transport modelling

Module 4 – Finite-element mesh for heat transport modelling

Module 5 - Preparing the flow model

Module 6 - Implementation of an Open Loop system in FEFLOW

Module 7 - Results analysis

Module 8 - Testing new locations

Final module - What is next with heat transport modelling


Dipl.-Ing. (FH), Civil Engineering, University of Piura, Peru; MSc, Desert Studies - Water Resources Management, Ben-Gurion University, Israel; PhD, Hydrology, University of Potsdam, Germany


Dr. Carlos Rivera Villarreyes works as Global Product Specialist for FEFLOW. Dr. Rivera has profound knowledge of groundwater and unsaturated-zone modelling as well as parameter estimation and uncertainty analysis (e.g., with PEST), all these in the context of mining applications among others. He has carried several groundwater modelling projects and trained professionals in groundwater modelling around the globe.

Dr. Carlos is an authorised DHI trainer.


  • Reliable internet connection 
  • An installation of the DHI License Management and FEFLOW software is required for the completion of the hands-on exercises. This will be explained in the Module 1 of the training course.
  • If you are not familiar with basic terminology of Hydrogeology, e.g., definitions of aquifer properties (confined/unconfined systems, transmissivity, conductivity, etc.) and principles of groundwater flow (e.g., Darcy Law), it is strongly recommended to do a pre-reading of standard textbooks of Hydrogeology.


  • Highlights of FEFLOW here
  • Webinar recording: "PEST++ in FePEST: A new era of groundwater model calibration and uncertainty quantification"
  • Webinar recording: "Effectively boosting groundwater modelling: What’s new in FEFLOW 7.5 release?"
  • Getting started with groundwater quality modelling using FEFLOW here
  • Getting started with groundwater modelling Self-paced course here
  • THE ACADEMY Courses and Events Calendar - webinars
  • THE ACADEMY's Training Calendar


Carlos Andres Rivera Villarreyes - cvi@dhigroup.com


*In exchange for course access, you agree to receive marketing material from DHI group through e-mails, social media and apps about our products and services. You can unsubscribe anytime.

There is no description for this course
Level : Beginner Mike Software Related to Course : FEFLOW Course format : Self-paced Course city location : Online

Course content

  • Lesson Introduction: Preliminary steps
    • How to set the high quality of videos and switch on subtitles
    • Video: course introduction
    • Course requirements #1: Downloading the software
    • Course requirements #2: Installing the demo license