Interim Report: Air-Cooled Condensers for Next Generation Geothermal Power Plants Improved Binary Cycle Performance

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As geothermal resources that are more expensive to develop are utilized for power generation, there will be increased incentive to use more efficient power plants. This is expected to be the case with Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS) resources. These resources will likely require wells drilled to depths greater than encountered with hydrothermal resources, and will have the added costs for stimulation to create the subsurface reservoir. It is postulated that plants generating power from these resources will likely utilize the binary cycle technology where heat is rejected sensibly to the ambient. The consumptive use of a portion of the produced ... continued below

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Wendt, Daniel S. & Mines, Greg L. September 1, 2010.

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As geothermal resources that are more expensive to develop are utilized for power generation, there will be increased incentive to use more efficient power plants. This is expected to be the case with Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS) resources. These resources will likely require wells drilled to depths greater than encountered with hydrothermal resources, and will have the added costs for stimulation to create the subsurface reservoir. It is postulated that plants generating power from these resources will likely utilize the binary cycle technology where heat is rejected sensibly to the ambient. The consumptive use of a portion of the produced geothermal fluid for evaporative heat rejection in the conventional flash-steam conversion cycle is likely to preclude its use with EGS resources. This will be especially true in those areas where there is a high demand for finite supplies of water. Though they have no consumptive use of water, using air-cooling systems for heat rejection has disadvantages. These systems have higher capital costs, reduced power output (heat is rejected at the higher dry-bulb temperature), increased parasitics (fan power), and greater variability in power generation on both a diurnal and annual basis (larger variation in the dry-bulb temperature). This is an interim report for the task ‘Air-Cooled Condensers in Next- Generation Conversion Systems’. The work performed was specifically aimed at a plant that uses commercially available binary cycle technologies with an EGS resource. Concepts were evaluated that have the potential to increase performance, lower cost, or mitigate the adverse effects of off-design operation. The impact on both cost and performance were determined for the concepts considered, and the scenarios identified where a particular concept is best suited. Most, but not all, of the concepts evaluated are associated with the rejection of heat. This report specifically addresses three of the concepts evaluated: the use of recuperation, the use of turbine reheat, and the non-consumptive use of EGS make-up water to supplement heat rejection

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  • Report No.: INL/EXT-10-20102
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-05ID14517
  • DOI: 10.2172/1016197 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1016197
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc838212

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  • September 1, 2010

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Dec. 15, 2016, 3:10 p.m.

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Wendt, Daniel S. & Mines, Greg L. Interim Report: Air-Cooled Condensers for Next Generation Geothermal Power Plants Improved Binary Cycle Performance, report, September 1, 2010; Idaho Falls, Idaho. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc838212/: accessed October 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.