Research Projects and Publications

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

Economics, Policy and Business Geothermal Engineering and Exploration

Author: Brandon Velasquez
Year: 2020
Supervisors: María Sigríður Guðjónsdóttir and Vijay Chauhan


In this thesis a thermoeconomic analysis was performed for a proposed geothermal power plant cycle utilizing aqueous potassium carbonate as a means of scrubbing the geothermal steam. 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 a thermoeconomic analysis for the entire plant design, this project allows for a connection from the input design variables to the costs, power output, and sizing of all components necessary for the operation of the plant. The information used in this analysis focuses on the values of exergy throughout the processes. Additionally, the setup was run 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. As a result, this work provides a method for optimising a system based on input design variables and individual equipment cost metrics.

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