The successful exploitation of geothermal energy for power production relies on to the availability of nearly zero emission and efficient technologies, able to provide flexible operation. It can be realized with the binary cycle technology. It consists of a closed power cycle coupled to a closed geothermal loop, whereby the closed power cycle is generally accomplished by means of an organic Rankine cycle (in a few cases the Kalina cycle has been adopted). The confinement of the geothermal fluid in a closed loop is an important advantage from the environmental point of view: possible pollutants contained in the geothermal fluid are not released into the ambient and are directly reinjected underground. Although a well-established technology in the frame of geothermal applications, the adoption of the binary cycle technology is at the moment typically confined to the exploitation of medium-low temperature liquid geothermal reservoirs, generally between 100-170°C. The important advantages of the binary cycle technology from the environmental point of view suggest nevertheless that it is worthwhile to investigate whether the application range could be extended to higher temperature reservoirs, and up to which extent. Moreover, the paper investigates the effect of an increasing CO2content in the geothermal fluid. The paper compares in a convenient high temperature range of the geothermal source the performance of a properly optimized geothermal ORC plant, with the performance of a modified flash plant, whereby the geothermal steam enters a turbine, and the CO2stream is separated, compressed and finally reinjected. An environmentally friendly working fluid, recently introduced in the market, is considered in the ORC optimization process. The performance comparison will involve the assessment of plant net power. As far as the calculations are concerned, the geothermal fluid is assumed to be a mixture of water and possibly CO2. The auxiliary power consumption is properly accounted for: beyond cooling auxiliaries, a submersible well pump for the ORC plant and a gas compressor for the reinjection of the non-condensable gases in the flash plant are considered.

Potential performance of environmental friendly application of ORC and Flash technology in geothermal power plants

Bonalumi, Davide;Bombarda, Paola;
2017

Abstract

The successful exploitation of geothermal energy for power production relies on to the availability of nearly zero emission and efficient technologies, able to provide flexible operation. It can be realized with the binary cycle technology. It consists of a closed power cycle coupled to a closed geothermal loop, whereby the closed power cycle is generally accomplished by means of an organic Rankine cycle (in a few cases the Kalina cycle has been adopted). The confinement of the geothermal fluid in a closed loop is an important advantage from the environmental point of view: possible pollutants contained in the geothermal fluid are not released into the ambient and are directly reinjected underground. Although a well-established technology in the frame of geothermal applications, the adoption of the binary cycle technology is at the moment typically confined to the exploitation of medium-low temperature liquid geothermal reservoirs, generally between 100-170°C. The important advantages of the binary cycle technology from the environmental point of view suggest nevertheless that it is worthwhile to investigate whether the application range could be extended to higher temperature reservoirs, and up to which extent. Moreover, the paper investigates the effect of an increasing CO2content in the geothermal fluid. The paper compares in a convenient high temperature range of the geothermal source the performance of a properly optimized geothermal ORC plant, with the performance of a modified flash plant, whereby the geothermal steam enters a turbine, and the CO2stream is separated, compressed and finally reinjected. An environmentally friendly working fluid, recently introduced in the market, is considered in the ORC optimization process. The performance comparison will involve the assessment of plant net power. As far as the calculations are concerned, the geothermal fluid is assumed to be a mixture of water and possibly CO2. The auxiliary power consumption is properly accounted for: beyond cooling auxiliaries, a submersible well pump for the ORC plant and a gas compressor for the reinjection of the non-condensable gases in the flash plant are considered.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1036032
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