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Publication Title | Optimal design of binary cycle power plants for water-dominated, medium- temperature geothermal fields

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Optimal design of binary cycle power plants for water-dominated, medium- temperature geothermal fields

Abstract

Alessandro Franco*, Marco Villani

Dipartimento di Energetica “L. Poggi”, Università di Pisa,

Largo Lucio Lazzarino – 56126 Pisa, Italy

Exploitation of lower temperature, water-dominated geothermal fields is analyzed, and a methodology for optimizing geothermal binary plants is discussed. The geothermal fluid inlet temperatures considered are in the 110-160 °C range, while the return temperature of the brine is assumed to be between 70 and 100 °C. The analysis shows that the brine specific consumption, ranging from 20 to 120 kg/s for each net MW produced, and the efficiency of the plants, ranging from 20 to 45% in terms of Second Law efficiency, are dictated mainly by the combination of the brine inlet temperature, the brine rejection temperature and the energy conversion cycle being used. For given operating conditions and with correct matching between working fluid and energy conversion cycle, it is possible to obtain very similar performances in a number of different cases. It is shown that optimization of the plant can yield improvements of up to 30-40% in terms of reduction of brine specific consumption compared to conventional design.

Keywords: Geothermal; Thermodynamics; Medium-temperature geothermal resources; Binary plants; Exergy analysis; Rejection temperature; Optimum design.

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +39 050 2217154; Fax: +39 050 2217150. E-mail address: alessandro.franco@ing.unipi.it (A. Franco).

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