Wed, 03 July, 2019
TWI widens its remit in the geothermal energy revolution with the kick-off of project GeoSmart. With an overall budget of €17 million, GeoSmart aims to implement technologies for geothermal energy to enhance competitiveness in smart and flexible operation. The project will address the strategic flexibility required from European geothermal installations as they become significant energy sources over the next 20-30 years.
Challenges and GeoSmart excellence
Deployment of geothermal energy continues to remain a challenge due to limited flexibility, large capital expenditures and, scaling issues, thus constricting its exploitation, as opposed to wind and solar power generation.
In the context of GeoSmart project, the consortium aims to optimise and demonstrate innovations to improve the flexibility and efficiency of geothermal heat and power systems, specifically:
- Energy storage and power block management innovations to provide daily flexibility;
- Integration of more flexible Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) systems that can cope with variations in needs in the electricity markets;
- Combined Heat and Power (CHP) supplier to extract more heat from the post-generator ("waste" heat) brine outflows when required for increased heating supply during colder weather.
“GeoSmart aims to develop a suite of equipment and tools for geothermal energy to be competitive with fossil fuel plants in Europe and offer the required flexibility”, said Arnaud Tronche, TWI Associate Director, Material Performance and Ferrous Alloys Manager.
“We will demonstrate the GeoSmart technology in working geothermal plants, of two variants, meeting the different flexibility needs of low and high enthalpy CHP provision”, continued Arnaud, addressing the consortium at the recent project kick-off meeting which was hosted by GeoSmart partner VITO in Genk, Belgium on 26-27 June 2019.
The GeoSmart consortium includes 19 partners across Europe including TWI (UK), VITO (Belgium), Zorlu Energy (Turkey), CEA (France), Atlas Copco (Belgium), EGEC (Belgium), Fraunhofer (Germany), Spike Renewables (Italy), ON power (Iceland), University of Iceland (Iceland), Middle East Technical University (Turkey), BERTIN (France), Gerosion (Iceland), Kadir Has University (Turkey), Technovative solutions (UK), Flowphys (UK), PVALD (Iceland), COSVIG (Italy) and Innovation Centre Iceland (Iceland).
The project leading to this application has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 818576.