Wed, 05 October, 2022
A face-to-face panel meeting was held by GeoSmart consortium on the topic of, ‘Improving Flexibility of Geothermal Plants: Challenges and Opportunities.’
The meeting, which was hosted by GeoSmart partner Zorlu Enerji, took place on 7 September 2022 as part of the project outreach.
Experts from the geothermal industry came together at the meeting to discuss the current challenges with the exploitation of geothermal resources and explore opportunities to mitigate these issues through GeoSmart Innovations.
Despite the opportunities offered by the industry, deploying geothermal energy as a preferred and flexible renewable resource remains a challenge. This is often due to a lack of awareness as well as the techno-economic challenges of working in inherently aggressive environments. In the context of the 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.
The event began with Ural Halaçoğlu, R&D manager from Zorlu Enerji, introducing the company and its involvement in EU-funded projects, including GeoSmart.
This presentation was followed by presentations by TWI’s Dr Jon Blackburn and Dr Namrata Kale (TWI) who introduced the objectives and impacts of the project and other EU initiatives such as project GeoCoat, GEOPRO, Geo-Drill, and GeoHex. This session was wrapped up with a tour of the Kizildere 2 plant led by the Zorlu team. This site is currently being prepared for the integration of the GeoSmart innovations.
The 2nd session included detailed presentations from Raziye Şengün and Burcu Ayşe Tanrıverdi from Zorlu Enerji. They discussed the current scaling issues experienced by the Kizildere power plant and the proposed benefits of integrating the GeoSmart scaling reduction system and improving the plant flexibility via a thermal energy storage system. This session also included a presentation from Professor Dr Derek Baker from GeoSmart project partners Middle Eastern Technical University (METU) on the subject of, ‘Opportunities and Challenges for Hybridization of Geothermal with Biomass and Concentrated Solar Thermal.’
Experts from the geothermal supply chain were also invited to discuss their current challenges with scaling and the strategies used to mitigate these issues. This was followed by a panel discussion about the applications and potential merits of the innovations proposed by the GeoSmart project.
The various discussions showed that, despite the opportunities available, exploitation of geothermal energy carries several techno-economic challenges due to the inherent aggressive environments.
As such, initiatives such as GeoSmart, led by a consortium of partners with complementary expertise, have the potential to make geothermal energy economically viable and sustainable.
The projects have received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement numbers 764086 (Geo-Coat), 815319(Geo-Drill), 818576 (GeoSmart),851816 (GEOPRO), and 851917 (GeoHex).