(278e) Electric Power Generation Using Low Temperature Geothermal Resource

Authors: 
Barse, K. A., University of North Dakota
Mann, M., University of North Dakota


The objective of this project is to demonstrate the use of an Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) engine to generate electricity from low flow rates of geothermal resource (~400 gpm) at low temperatures (T~100°C) with air as the condensing medium. For this purpose, a model of ORC was developed using Aspen Plus process simulator. This model was used for the conceptual design of the geothermal power plant. The simulation results obtained from the model were compared to an existing power plant based in Chena, Alaska. The model and empirical data are in complete agreement. This model was then used to predict the performance of the ORC unit at various operating conditions such as flow-rate and temperature of the geothermal resource, and temperature of the cooling medium. Based on the performance results, the ORC unit will be optimized based the operating conditions for the site for output power and overall cost of the ORC electric power generating unit. A detail design and cost analysis of the geothermal ORC system will be completed. Various other technologies to produce electricity from low temperature geothermal resource will also be compared. Strategies to deal with high dissolved solids in the geothermal water will also be studied. A technical and economical feasibility report will be prepared to decide the future developments of the project.

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