Thu, 07 May, 2020
Superhot geothermal resources have a game changing potential in geothermal power production. The GEOPRO consortium and Reykjavik Energy (OR) are committed to address the current scientific and technical limitations for superhot resource utilisation. The GEORPRO approach will focus on a better understanding of fluid properties in supercritical resources as well as the processes that govern heat transfer and chemical evolution of fluids produced from, or reinjected to, deep, supercritical levels.
GEOPRO Validation in high-enthalpy geothermal system
The Hengill geothermal system in Iceland is one of the three demonstration sites participating in Project GEOPRO. Reykjavik Energy (OR) and its subsidiary ON Power operate two high-enthalpy geothermal power plants, Hellisheidi and Nesjavellir. They provide electricity and hot water to the Reykjavik capital area by utilising subcritical geothermal fluids with temperatures of 250-320°C.
"At OR we believe the next breakthrough in geothermal heat utilisation lies in targeting deeper and hotter fluid within currently operated geothermal fields. This can provide a sustainable source of high density energy, improving the efficiency and increasing the lifetime of existing geothermal operations, while minimising the environmental footprint. Utilising superhot fluids will play a crucial role for a carbon-zero energy future in Iceland and other regions of the world" - OR
The GEOPRO consortium aims to fill the knowledge gap in chemical properties of supercritical and low-density fluids, to avoid severe scaling and corrosion within the well casing and the surface installations. A novel reservoir modelling approach will be used to estimate the thermal structure and flow paths in supercritical resources, how they are connected to the overlying conventional subcritical high-enthalpy geothermal fields, and determining the optimal superhot fluid utilisation strategy.
“Superhot“ fluids, reaching temperatures ~380°C, have the potential to generate around 10 times more energy than conventional geothermal for the same amount of extracted fluid (Friðleifsson and Elders 2005).
Friðleifsson GO, Elders WA. The Iceland Deep Drilling project: a search for deep unconventional geothermal resources. Geothermics. 2005;34:269–85. doi:10.1016/j.geothermics.2004.11.004