08/01/2023

Types of Geothermal Power Plant

Types of Geothermal Power Plant

There are following types of Geothermal Power Plants

Dry Steam Plants

  • It uses steam directly from a geothermal reservoir to turn generator turbines and produce electricity.

dry steam geothermal plant

Flash steam Plants

  • In this plants, high pressure hot water from deep earth is taken and utilizes it to drive generator through turbines. 
  • When the steam cools, it condenses into water and injected back to the deep in the earth. Most of the geo thermal plants are flash steam plants.
flash steam geothermal plant



Courtesy: US Department of Energy


Binary Cycle Plants

  • It transfers the heat from geothermal hot water to another liquid. 
  • The heat causes the second liquid to turn to steam, which is used to drive a generator turbine.

binary cycle geothermal plant

Geothermal Power Plants

  • The geothermal electricity requires water or steam at high temperature of 300 0F to 700 0F. 
  • There are seven state of USA which produces about 16 billion kWh or 16,238,000 MWh, equal to about 0.4% of total U.S. utility-scale electricity generation. 
  • The USA is largest producer of geothermal electricity in the world.

Courtesy: CNBC

 

State of USA

State share of total U.S. geothermal electricity generation

Geothermal share of total state electricity generation

California

70.5%

5.8%

Nevada

24.2%

9.4%

Utah

2.2%

0.8%

Oregon

1.3%

2.2%

Hawaii

1.0%

0.3%

Idaho

0.5%

0.5%

New Mexico

0.3%

0.1%

 

  • The USA generated 88 billion kWh of electricity from geothermal energy in the year 2019. Indonesia is 2nd largest producer of electricity of 14 billion kWh from geothermal energy. 
  • The Kenya was the 8th largest geothermal energy producer about 5 billion kWh from geothermal which was 46% share of total energy generation.


Utilization of Geothermal Energy in USA

Direct and District heating systems

  • These system uses hot water from springs or reservoirs located near the surface of earth. American culture used hot mineral springs for bathing, cooking and heating. 
  • Many people believe that hot water bathing from direct earth surface is beneficial for health.
  • Geothermal energy is also used for direct heating of buildings with district heating systems. 
  • The hot water under the earth surface is piped into buildings for heat. 
  • A district heating system provides heat for buildings in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Geothermal heat pumps

  • The air temperature above ground level kept changing throughout the day and with seasons. 
  • The temperature of earth 10 feet below ground level are in the range of 50 0F and 60 0F. 
  • The soil temperature is usually warmer than the air in winter and cooler than the air in the summer. 
  • Geothermal heat pumps transfer heat from the ground into building during the winter and reverse process during summer.

Courtesy: Undecided with Matt Farell

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration (Oct 2008)

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