Modeling of geothermal power plants using the binary fluid cycle Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/q237hv83n

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  • In light of the current world-wide energy situation, the utilization of the immense reserves of geothermal energy is being actively pursued. The thermal energy contained in a geothermal reservoir is mainly stored in rocks, but is also held in liquid water and/or steam. The generation of electrical power from these geothermal reserves is currently limited. The majority of operating geothermal power plants either use available dry steam or steam flashed from hot water. If this resource is to make a significant impact on the world energy market, successful methods must be found to utilize the larger quantity of lower temperature and high salinity reservoirs. One of the most promising methods proposed to date for efficient use of these reservoirs is the binary fluid cycle. The topic of this thesis is the formulation of a computer model of a geothermal power plant using the binary fluid cycle. In the binary fluid cycle plant, geothermal fluid is extracted from a geothermal reservoir and transmitted to the power plant in a liquid state. At the power plant, the geothermal fluid is passed through a series of heat exchangers where thermal energy is transferred to a working, or power fluid such as a Freon or a light hydrocarbon. This working fluid is brought to a superheated state and then expanded through a turbine which is coupled to a generator. After expansion, the working fluid is condensed in a surface condenser supplied with cooling water from a cooling tower. This fluid is subsequently repressurized and returned to the heat exchangers. The expended geothermal fluid is returned to the underground reservoir. The objective of this thesis was to develop a computer program which effectively simulates the binary fluid cycle power plant and all its components. The geothermal power plant model includes the following: determination of the size and nature of power plant components, determination of geothermal fluid flow rates, working fluid flow rates, and heat rejection requirements for a variety of geothermal source temperatures, pressures and water conditions, and plant sizes, calculation of geothermal fluid and working fluid, thermodynamic and physical properties, thermodynamic cycle calculations, overall design performance with the ability to perform sensitivity analyses on various operating parameters. After the completion of this computer model, a particular working fluid, isobutane, was selected for an in-depth study of the binary fluid cycle power plant. The optimum power plant designs for a range of available geothermal fluid temperatures were found based on economics and efficient plant performance.
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