Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology

2012 Edition
| Editors: Robert A. Meyers

Geothermal Power Conversion Technology

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0851-3_233

Definition of Geothermal Power Conversion Technology

Geothermal Power Conversion Technology refers to techniques used for the conversion of the heat content of geothermal fluid into mechanical power in order to drive a generator and produce electric power.

The first 1/4 HP reciprocating steam engine unit was installed in 1904 by Prince Piero Ginori Conti in the Larderello geothermal field in Italy. Prior to World War II, there were already 136.8 MW of capacity installed in Larderello area. After the war more wells were drilled and modern power stations were installed in the area. As of December 2009, the current operator, ENEL, had 842 MW of installed geothermal power capacity in the Tuscany area.

The first steam engine–driven generator of 35 kW was installed in the USA in 1921 in The Geysers of California. Only in the 1950s, the region was further developed and today 900 MW are produced in this area.

In Japan, surveys began in 1918 with the first experimental generator installed on...

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Notes

Acknowledgments

The author would like to acknowledge with appreciation the valuable contributions of Dr. Uriyel Fisher and Mr. Mike Kanowitz in preparation and typing of the manuscript as well as for the special attention to accuracy and detail.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ormat Technologies, Inc.RenoUSA