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Study on Renewable Energy Resources, Oman - authority for ...

Study on Renewable Energy Resources, Oman - authority for ...

Renewable Energy Resources in Oman 5.5 Geothermal power plants Energy conversion principle Geothermal heat originates from weak radioactive activity of volcanic activity in the underground. The temperature in the ground normally raise with 30 o C per kilometres depth meaning that a borehole normally need to be more than 3 km in order to be able produce steam or superheated water, that can be used to drive a low pressure steam turbine or other equipment. If volcanic activity is present usable heat at higher temperature and less depth will be available. Technology The water from geothermal wells is normally extreme saline and contains many salts solutions, particles and compounds. Clogging and corrosion problems are therefore often seen and need to be considered. Used water from the geothermal well can be drained off or re-infiltrated in the ground, which also can create problems with clogging of re-infiltration wells. Applications Geothermal is used in different applications depending on the temperature of the soil water. In a temperature range between 60 o C and 100 o C the energy can be used for district heating. Via a heat exchanger the energy content in the hot water from the well is transferred to the circulated water in the district heating system. In a temperature range between 100 o C and 170 o C the energy can be utilised for electricity generation. The heat from the hot water is transferred through a heat exchanger to another liquid with a low boiling point and is used for electricity generation in a power plant. At temperatures above 170 o C the hot water can be utilised directly in steam plants after the water is cleaned. When the hot water is pumped up from the underground the pressure decreases and the water is transferred into steam. The hot water could also be used to desalinate seawater in thermally driven desalination systems based on vapour compression cycles. This implies that the well is located close to the coast line. Electricity generation If steam is generated from the well, it can be used to drive a low pressure condensing steam cycle to generate electricity at low efficiency depending An alternative is to use an ORC plant (Organic Rankine Cycle), which would be able to produce electricity based on superheated water of around 120 o C with an electricity production of typically 8-12% electricity of the incoming energy before subtraction of pumping energy for the wells. Pumping energy has to be considered from case to case. It is not unusual that electricity consumption for pumping energy amounts to 5-10% of the usable heat in the well water. Page 88 of 134 .

Renewable Energy Resources in Oman Economic key figures The cost of pre-investigations is high unless needed data are already available from the oil industry. If clogging or corrosion problems occur then the O&M costs can be considerable. Size of plants is typical around 15 MW thermal and above. Investment costs for a 15 MW thermal plant is about 50 mill USD. If the used well water is re-infiltrated at same depth as the filter of the production well, then the environmental impact is very little. Advantages/disadvantages Advantages • steady power supply Disadvantages • saline hot water may have negative impact on the environment Page 89 of 134 .

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