MSc Thesis: Thermoeconomic Analysis and Optimisation of Geothermal Power Cycle Utilising Aqueous Potassium Carbonate for Scrubbing Superheated Steam


REYKJAVIK, May 25 - MSc in Sustainable Energy Engineering candidate, Brandon Velasquez, successfully defended his master's thesis where he performed a thermoeconomic analysis and optimisation of geothermal power cycle utilising aqueous potassium carbonate for scrubbing superheated steam. Brandon's research was supervised by María Sigríður Guðjónsdóttir and Vijay Chauhan from Reykjavik University.

Brandon Velasquez smiling in front of his presentation title page before his thesis defence.Brandon performed a thermoeconomic analysis for a proposed geothermal power plant cycle utilising aqueous potassium carbonate as a means of scrubbing the geothermal steam. As he explains, this method of scrubbing is capable of preventing the loss of super-heat while removing impurities from the steam. The main impurities of interest in this case are silica and chloride, which would have been among of the main issues for plans of the construction of a power plant in the Krafla geothermal area as part of the IDDP-1 well. 

By conducting his thermoeconomic analysis for the entire plant design, Brandon was able to make the connection between the input design variables and the costs, power output, and sizing of all components necessary for the operation of the plant. The information that Brandon used in his analysis focused on the values of exergy throughout the processes. 

Brandon ran his setup through two optimisation algorithms (genetic and gradient based) in order to uncover the best possible operating conditions that minimise the cost per kilowatt-hour produced. Through this, his work provided a method for optimising a system based on input design variables and individual equipment cost metrics.

Congratulations to Brandon on an excellent thesis project!


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