Bavarian Geothermal Alliance - Efficient and flexible Geothermal Power Production

Motivation

Electricity and heat from geothermal energy sources have great potential especially in the Bavarian Molasse Basin, which can play an important role in the near future to achieve the energy policy objectives. Therefore, the scientific consortium Geothermie-Allianz Bayern adopts a holistic approach for application-oriented fundamental research. This consortium is founded by the Bavarian State Ministry of Education, Science and the Arts and focuses on application-oriented basic research as well as networking activities and knowledge transfer between geothermal plant operators, industrial partners and universities.

Within the subproject " Efficient Geothermal Power Production" the optimization potential in terms of efficiency and flexibility of the plant will be identified and implemented in a test rig.

Research goals

This subproject focusses on efficiency enhancing designs of the Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) process in combination with suitable working fluids, as well as possibilities of flexible heat decoupling and the provision of balancing power by geothermal CHP plants.

In future electricity market scenarios, the provision of balancing power can be a new source of revenue for geothermal projects. Therefore, the possibilities and technical requirements are examined and tested at the test rig.

A new generation of working fluids, the Hydrofluoroolefines (HFO), has great potential in the future due to their low environmental impact (low GWP) and is therefore explored in more detail in practice. 

The geothermal power plants which are currently in operation have a high auxiliary power demand, i.e. the condensation of the working fluid. Therefore, the reduction of parasitic power consumption is focused by theoretical and experimental investigation.

Contact:  Fabian Dawo, Sebastian Eyerer, Christoph Wieland