Manual for the thermal and hydraulic design of direct contact spray columns for use in extracting heat from geothermal brines Page: 6 of 49
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Based upon the relative success of this application, a number of
other applications have been spawned. Most closely related
is the use of a modified spray type direct contactor for the
extraction of heat from a salt stratified solar pond. The low
temperature design conditions for a solar pond dictate the use of
pentane as the working fluid if it is desired to utilize the working
fluid vapor to generate electricity.
Although both geothermal and solar pond applications have the
same ultimate purpose, to generate electricity from a moderate to low
temperature source and to obtain the energy exchange at small approach
temperature differences, many source related characteristics cause
significant differences in their design. For the geothermal
application, it has generally been conceded that the most economical
design is to utilize as much heat as possible from each unit mass of
goethermal brine. This leads to near equal mass flow rate of the
working fluid and brine. For the case of solar ponds, with much lower
peak temperatures and concerns about returning too cold a fluid back
to the pond, the mass flow rate of brine far exceeds that of the
For a combined boiler-preheater, it is clear that for
high-pressure, high-temperature vapor generation (such as for
geothermal applications) the heat duty of the preheater can greatly
exceed that of th£ boiler. For solar pond applications, where the
vapor is generated at temperatures as low as 67°C, the boiler duty can
be two to three times that of the preheater. Thus, design philosophy
can be considerably different. Nevertheless, in this design manual,
an attempt is made to provide information for general purpose design
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Jacobs, H.R. Manual for the thermal and hydraulic design of direct contact spray columns for use in extracting heat from geothermal brines, report, June 1, 1985; United States. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1069762/m1/6/: accessed April 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.