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Energies 2014, 7(7), 4221-4240; doi:10.3390/en7074221

Thermal-Economic Modularization of Small, Organic Rankine Cycle Power Plants for Mid-Enthalpy Geothermal Fields

1
Institute for Nuclear and Energy Technologies, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe 76021, Germany
2
German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), Potsdam 14473, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 April 2014 / Revised: 18 June 2014 / Accepted: 22 June 2014 / Published: 2 July 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geothermal Energy: Delivering on the Global Potential)
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Abstract

The costs of the surface infrastructure in mid-enthalpy geothermal power systems, especially in remote areas, could be reduced by using small, modular Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) power plants. Thermal-economic criteria have been devised to standardize ORC plant dimensions for such applications. We designed a modular ORC to utilize various wellhead temperatures (120–170 °C), mass flow rates and ambient temperatures (−10–40 °C). A control strategy was developed using steady-state optimization, in order to maximize net power production at off-design conditions. Optimum component sizes were determined using specific investment cost (SIC) minimization and mean cashflow (MCF) maximization for three different climate scenarios. Minimizing SIC did not yield significant benefits, but MCF proved to be a much better optimization function. View Full-Text
Keywords: modularization; geothermal; Organic Rankine Cycle; specific investment cost; mean cash flow modularization; geothermal; Organic Rankine Cycle; specific investment cost; mean cash flow
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Nusiaputra, Y.Y.; Wiemer, H.-J.; Kuhn, D. Thermal-Economic Modularization of Small, Organic Rankine Cycle Power Plants for Mid-Enthalpy Geothermal Fields. Energies 2014, 7, 4221-4240.

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