Chapter 016, Miravalles Power Station, Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica

Geothermal Power Plants
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In another appendix, DiPippo offers a concise digest of applicable thermodynamics. Geology of Geothermal Regions; Introduction; The earth and its atmosphere; Active geothermal regions; Model of a hydrothermal geothermal resource; Other types of geothermal resources; References; Problems. Exploration Strategies and Techniques: Introduction; Objectives of an exploration program; Phases of an exploration program; Synthesis and interpretation; The next step: drilling; References; Problems.

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Single-Flash Steam Power Plants; Introduction; Gathering system design considerations; Energy conversion system; Thermodynamics of the conversion process; Example: Single-flash optimisation; Optimum separator temperature: An approximate formulation; Environmental aspects for single-flash plants; Equipment list for single-flash plants; References; Nomenclature for figures in Chapter 5; Problems.

Double-Flash Steam Power Plants; Introduction; Gathering system design considerations; Energy conversion system; Thermodynamics of the conversion process; Temperature-entropy process diagram; Flash and separation processes; HP- and LP-turbine expansion processes; Condensing and cooling tower processes; utilization efficiency; Optimization methodology; Example: Double-flash optimisation; Scale potential in waste brine; Silica chemistry; Silica scaling potential in flash plants; Environmental aspects for double-flash plants; Equipment list for double-flash plants; Wellhead, brine and steam supply system; Turbine-generator and controls; Condenser, gas ejection and pollution control where needed ; Heat rejection system; Back-up systems; Noise abatement system where required ; Geofluid disposal system; References; Nomenclature for figures in Chapter 6; Problems.

Dry-Steam Power Plants; Introduction; Origins and nature of dry-steam resources; Steam gathering system; Energy conversion system; Turbine expansion process; Condensing and cooling tower processes; utilization efficiency; Example: Optimum wellhead pressure; Environmental aspects of dry-steam plants; Equipment list for dry-steam plants; Steam supply system; Turbine-generator and controls; Condenser, gas ejection and pollution control where needed ; Heat rejection system; Back-up systems; Noise abatement system where required ; Condensate Disposal System; References; Nomenclature for figures in Chapter 7; Problems.

Advanced Geothermal Energy Conversion Systems; Introduction; Hybrid single-flash and double-flash systems; Integrated single- and double-flash plants; Combined single- and double-flash plants; Hybrid flash-binary systems; Combined flash-binary plants; Integrated flash-binary plants; Example: Integrated flash-binary hybrid system; Total-flow systems; Axial-flow impulse turbine; Rotary separator turbine; Helical screw expander; Conclusions; Hybrid fossil-geothermal systems; Fossil-superheat systems; Geothermal-preheat system; Geopressure-geothermal hybrid systems; Combined heat and power plants; Hot dry rock and enhanced geothermal systems; Fenton Hill HDR project Hijiori HDR project; References; Nomenclature for figures in Chapter 9; Problems.

Exergy Analysis Applied to Geothermal Power Systems; Introduction; First law for open, steady systems; Second law for open, steady systems; Exergy; General concept; Exergy of fluid streams; Exergy for heat transfer; Exergy for work transfer; Exergy accounting for open, steady systems; Exergy efficiencies and applications to geothermal plants; Definitions of exergy efficiencies; Exergy efficiencies for steam turbines; Exergy efficiencies for heat exchangers; Exergy efficiencies for flash vessels; Exergy efficiencies for compressors; References; Problems.

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Chapter 16 Miravalles Power Station, Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica “It can scarcely be denied that the supreme goal of all theory is to make the irreducible. Chapter 11 - Larderello Dry-Steam Power Plants Tuscany, Italy. Pages Chapter 16 - Miravalles Power Station Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica.

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This heat is produced in approximately equal proportions from high core temperatures caused by the initial formation of the planet and the radioactive decay of matter [ 1 ]. This energy can be utilized by pumping geothermal fluids, heated gases or liquids found in deep thermal reservoirs, into geothermal systems that contain steam-powered turbines to produce electricity that is directly supplied to the grid. A generalized schematic of a geothermal system is available in Figure 1 , displaying the extraction of geothermal fluid from a heated reservoir, conversion to electricity, supply to the generator and transformer and finally condensing or cooling of the fluid for reinjection to the reservoir.

The few solid mineral byproducts of geothermal systems are readily extractable to be sold for use in commercial and industrial applications [ 4 ].

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Liquid byproducts are often reinjected into the Earth in order to maintain the reservoir enthalpy H res , energy contained in a kilogram of geothermal fluid, and reservoir mass flow rate F res , kilograms of geothermal fluid movement per second past a defined point [ 5 ]. Figure 1 Simplified schematic of a geothermal system [ 2 ]. Thermal reservoirs fall into three enthalpy categories - low, medium and high - corresponding to geothermal fluid temperatures of K, K and above K [ 6 ].

Thermal gradient G is defined as a function of T res to D well in order to quantify temperature increase per meter of depth increase - however this is not likely to have a significant outcome on performance metrics as the theorized proportionality of these two parameters will likely return very small values. Geothermal facilities exhibit a high degree of scalability due to their low physical footprint [ 7 ], making them ideal for use in urban areas where the pollutant byproducts of fossil fuels would be destructive.

As a widely connected grid is more prone to a cascading failure and power outage, geothermal facility dispersion across the world can provide an important energy supply backbone to reduce chances of these failures. The high initial outlay costs associated with establishing a geothermal plant warrant significant consideration in choosing new geothermal thermal fields for utilization [ 9 ]. Economics aside, a major drawback to the global expansion of geothermal energy production is the power stations substantial location dependency. This problem arises because performance is based on the thermodynamic parameters of reservoirs such as reservoir temperature T res and well depth D well - , in addition to H res and F res.

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Browns Ferry Alabama The most used road begins in Bagaces, at a height, where there is an exit on the Interamerican, from where you will have to follow the signs to the park via a gravel road. These deep reservoirs were found to correspond to higher exergy losses, and thus may account for this trend seen in 8b - further analysis is required to conclude whether crust thickness or depth is responsible for the trend line produced. Right in the center of the mountains, with crystal water, which are an intense turquoise blue there are several hot springs along the way that are very inviting places for tourists to relax. L, and Coopesantos, R.

This barrier affects the widespread formation of new geothermal power stations as the parameters of reservoirs in a geothermal field must be understood to a high degree of accuracy for the system to be thermodynamically feasible for use. The four aforementioned parameters contribute almost entirely to the performance outputs of a geothermal system, and thus geological surveyors must understand the importance of each.

Binary Cycle and Flash Steam plants are the most common under-construction and in-operation types of systems, respectively [ 10 ]. As shown in Figure 2a , Flash Steam plants rely on a moderately heated liquid passing through either one Single Flash, SF or multiple Double Flash, DF high-pressure separators that catalyze vaporization by rapidly dropping the pressure of the fluid in order to power a turbine and supply electricity to the grid. Binary Cycle plants, as represented in Figure 2b , generally rely on lower enthalpy liquid passing through an intermediate tank in order to heat a secondary working fluid.

This fluid has a lower specific heat capacity and boiling point that vaporizes the fluid, powering a turbine and supplying electricity to the grid. BK systems exhibit lower exergy losses of approximately one third of total exergy in, attributed in near-equal parts to the Kalina turbine, geothermal vapor turbine and across the heat exchangers [ 13 ].

Despite a current reliance of only 0. With a massive potential for growth in this relatively unexploited renewable energy industry, it is imperative that geological surveyors can accurately and efficiently identify reservoirs and locations that would be economically and thermodynamically favorable for establishing new geothermal systems. Figure 3 illustrates how the highest risk for new geothermal project failure occurs in the first four stages before well-field development, dropping off significantly after this.

With this, we are aiming to provide an approximate framework for industry and researchers exploring new locations.

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Figure 3 Risk of project failure vs. This meta-study draws on literature concerning reservoir thermodynamics and geothermal energy production. Literature selection criteria and data acquisition involved cross-referencing between industry websites, government organizations, review papers and original research. The object was to obtain relevant insights into the industry trends and precise figures for specific geothermal systems. There was an emphasis on material produced since , ensuring the relevance of collected data due to rapid advancements in turbine technology. A gap in the literature was identified concerning the classification of the effects that thermal reservoir parameters have on the net output and exergy efficiency of geothermal power systems.

The extensive body of knowledge currently available was utilized to investigate this gap and provide a framework for geological surveyors looking to accurately identify the thermal reservoirs that are most likely to be thermodynamically, and thus economically, viable. Six data metrics were extracted and tabulated Appendix 1 from over 70 sources — reservoir temperature, depth, mass flow rate, enthalpy, crust thickness and installed electrical output capacity — for a total of 64 Binary Cycle and Flash systems, due to their standing as the most common types of GS under construction and in use, respectively.

The turbines utilized by different geothermal systems function in the same manner, despite differences between input methods, allowing for a generalized comparison of input to output metrics. This efficiency equation is based on the principles of the Carnot Cycle Appendix 2 that take into account the 2 nd Law of Thermodynamics — that is, the quality of energy, energy degradation, entropy generation and work opportunity losses [ 19 ].

Equation 3 defines the relationship between the amount of heat transferred from a hot reservoir to a Carnot system, where QH is heat transferred to system, T H is temperature of matter from the reservoir and S A and S B are the initial and final entropy states of the system.

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Reservoir parameters were initially plotted against each other to identify if any coactive relationships exist between them and determine if normalization would be useful in data presentation, though no proportional trends were acknowledged. Out of 64 geothermal facilities analyzed, 28 had no enthalpy data available or calculable and 8 were missing mass flow rate data, excluding them from their respective plots. No distinction is made between traditional and enhanced geothermal systems, though enhanced systems can generally be taken as those with tapped wells above m depth [ 20 ]. Linear trendlines were only fitted to plots where there is an easily identifiable trend to the naked eye, i.

Figure 4 Crustal thickness, tile size 5x5 degrees [ 21 ].

Costa Rica looks to geothermal energy

A search of 50 papers on the topic of geothermal power output returned only 3 papers involving an explicit focus on thermal reservoir conditions as they influence output metrics, with many papers examining optimal working fluids for binary plants and turbine thermal efficiencies. No papers were found that focused on all four main thermal reservoir parameters - well depth, temperature, enthalpy and mass flow rate. This meta-study attempts to fill this gap in the literature by identifying trends in these four thermal reservoir parameters as well as crust thickness and thermal gradient as they relate to each other, and to the output metrics of geothermal systems.

The influence of the aforementioned parameters on output metrics renders their classification as being primary, secondary or tertiary in nature in order of descending relationship strength. This trend was expected as steam turbines operate on the principles of the Carnot Cycle, as defined in Equation 3.

The equation states that the total thermal energy transferred from a hot reservoir to a system is the product of the reservoir fluid temperature and the change in entropy of the system from its initial to final state. Due to this equation, and temperature having a higher magnitude than entropy due to the nature of their definitions and units, it is clear how T res has the most distinct effect on the power output of a geothermal system compared to the other five investigated parameters.

Figure 5b was expected to exhibit a similar trend to that of 5a, as an increase in input temperature or decrease in exhaust temperature of a system leads to efficiency increasing, as defined by the Carnot engine efficiency equation in Equation 2. The discrepancy between the trends in the Figure 5 plots appears to be explained by the exergy trend shown in Figure 6b.

These losses theoretically occur through the walls of the large lengths of piping required to reach the reservoirs that contain superheated geothermal fluids above K, and may offset the effects of the higher temperatures in the sample data. This suggests that Tres values above K, the transition point from moderate to high enthalpy systems, are associated with well depths exceeding m, and that despite the corresponding exergy losses of a deeper well, the power output caused by a higher Tres offsets these losses to produce the positive trend seen in Figure 5a.

In simple terms, tapping a hot reservoir is more important than tapping a shallow one - though in practice this is highly limited by the economics of drilling, and thus temperature should prioritized until the point at which drilling deeper begins to offset the net power output gains. Following on from the relation of T res to D well , the plots of G vs. Figure 7a exhibits an L shape trend, with a high clustering of data points close to the y and x axes suggesting that a majority of geothermal systems utilize production wells with low thermal gradients approx.

This, as theorized, is attributed to the fact that T res and D well increase proportionally, and thus small gradient values are returned by the normalization calculation and no trend is exhibited. This may be due to specialised plate tectonics in the geographical regions, further highlighted by the fact that four out of five of the 25km facilities are located in Japan. This trend requires further investigation as the majority of data values were of facilities with 30km thickness, and thus may be skewing the data away from the actual influence of C on electrical output.

Examining equal numbers of facilities from each thickness category would allow for a more measured comparison between them. These deep reservoirs were found to correspond to higher exergy losses, and thus may account for this trend seen in 8b - further analysis is required to conclude whether crust thickness or depth is responsible for the trend line produced.

H res has a near identical trend in both of its plots to Figure 5 as the equation for enthalpy relies heavily on the influence of temperature, and thus they cannot be viewed separately.

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  6. Reviewing the relationship between thermal reservoir parameters and geothermal energy output;

F res has a near identical trend to that of Figure 7 , and similarly may be suggesting that this parameter has a tertiary influence on output metrics for a geothermal system. Figure 11 represents the overall relation between the output and exergy efficiency of a geothermal system, exhibiting a proportional correlation. This graph essentially confirms the data utilized in the meta-study is correct for a steam turbine system, as power output is expected to increase as more energy makes it through the system.

Appendix 1 contains plots of all combinations of reservoir parameters, undertaken as an attempt to determine whether normalization was possible. Thermal Gradient, taken from the plot of Appendix C , was the only normalization displayed in the results and thus the rest were excluded from the main body. The trends exhibited in these figures are all established in the literature and accounted for thoroughly by thermodynamic theory, or explained better by the plots above.

The trends suggest that production wells in prospective geothermal fields should be considered primarily by their maximum geothermal fluid temperature, with an attempt made to choose reservoirs requiring the smallest length of piping to reduce exergy losses. The clustering of output values in many plots suggests that there are well-defined barriers for output and exergy efficiency based on the current state of the technology utilized in geothermal systems across the world.

These barriers represent a clear hurdle for industry and research organizations to overcome through advancement of turbine efficiency and proper identification of high-production capability thermal reservoirs. This meta-study concludes that the maximum geothermal fluid temperature of a thermal reservoir should be prioritized in prospective geothermal fields. A secondary consideration should be made to choose shallow reservoirs that require the smallest length of piping, in order to reduce exergy losses. The author would like to acknowledge Dr. Jurgen Schulte, Dr.

Partial radiogenic heat model for Earth revealed by geoneutrino measurements. Nature Geoscience Axellson G. Role and management of geothermal reinjection. Eliasson EI GHC Bulletin Sanyal SK Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Archived from the original on 4 October Retrieved 1 October Energies; Basel Vol.

Tester, Jefferson W. Massachusetts Institute of Technology ; et al. DiPippo, R. Snapshot of hot-spring sinter at Geyser Valley, Wairakei, New Zealand, following anthropogenic drawdown of the geothermal reservoir. Thaina IA, Careyb B. Fifty years of geothermal power generation at Wairakei. Bertani, R. World geothermal power generation in the period — A systematic review of enhanced or engineered geothermal systems: past, present and future.