Evaluating the Effect from Constructing Binary Geothermal Power Units Based on Spent Petroleum and Gas Boreholes in the South Regions of Russia
The article substantiates the possibility of efficiently harnessing the geothermal resources available in the North Caucasian region through constructing binary geothermal power plants (GeoTPPs) using idle petroleum and gas wells. The power capacities of GeoTPPs are evaluated, and the basic characteristics of these power plants in case of constructing them in the promising areas are determined. The overall useful GeoTPP capacity equal to approximately 330 MW can be obtained from using the entire fleet of idle wells available in these areas. Diagrams confirming the possibility of reaching the optimal flowrate of geothermal heat carrier circulating in the geothermal circulation system loop are presented. This flowrate corresponds to a binary GeoTPP’s maximal useful power output. The article shows, taking the Ternair geothermal field as an example, that it is inefficient to use medium-enthalpy thermal waters for generating energy at a binary GeoTPP involving reinjection of a spent heat carrier. It is shown that good prospects can be expected from applying a hybrid geothermal and combined-cycle technology, by means of which it is possible to use lowenthalpy (80–100°С) thermal waters for generating electricity in a highly efficient manner. In accordance with such technology, geothermal heat is used in the binary GeoTPP cycle for heating low-boiling working fluid to its evaporation temperature. The working fluid is evaporated and superheated by using the heat of exhaust gases from a gas turbine power unit. Owing to combined use of the thermal water heat potential and the heat of exhaust gases from a gas turbine power plant in a hybrid process system, it becomes possible to obtain high power performance indicators of hybrid geothermal and combined-cycle power plants. This conclusion is confirmed by the results from numerical evaluations carried out as applied to the Ternair geothermal field. With the fully harnessed resource potential of the Ternair field, the total capacity of hybrid geothermal and combined-cycle power plants may reach 60 MW, a level that would make it possible to relieve a significant part of energy, environmental, economic, and social problems faced by the city of Makhachkala.
Keywordsgeothermal energy geothermal power plant geothermal circulation system low-boiling working fluid gas turbine power plant hybrid geothermal and combined-cycle power unit
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