Organic Rankine Cycle
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Birdsville Organic Rankine Cycle geothermal power station
A town often described as the most isolated in Australia and famous for its annual outback race meeting,
also has another unique claim to fame. Located in the most south- western corner of Queensland, the tiny community of Birdsville is home to the only utility owned operating geothermal power station in Australia.
The station is also one of the few low- temperature geothermal stations in the world, and draws on a free- owing bore into the Great Artesian Basin that has existed for more than 50 years.
It provides 80kW of electricity for customer use – about 30 per
cent of Birdsville township’s power depending on seasonal demand. The remainder is supplied by three 300kW diesel-fueled generators.
The existing system draws water
at 98 degrees celsius, up a 1.28
km deep bore from the artesian aquifer. The water is run through
a heat exchanger where a uid is evaporated into a pressurised gas which drives a screw expander and alternator to produce electricity.
The partly-cooled water is channelled into a pond for further cooling and reticulation into the town’s water supply and the lagoon.
Image | Birdsville Organic Rankine Cycle geothermal power station
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