Wed, 05 October, 2022
The GeoSmart consortium held a face-to-face panel meeting on the topic, ‘Improving Flexibility of Geothermal Plants: Challenges and Opportunities.’
The meeting, which was organised on 7 September 2022 as part of the project outreach, was hosted by GeoSmart partner Zorlu Enerji.
The panel meeting brought together experts from the geothermal industry to discuss their current challenges with the exploitation of the resource and explore opportunities to mitigate these issues through GeoSmart Innovations.
Despite the opportunities offered, deploying geothermal energy as a preferred and flexible renewable resource remains a challenge, often due to a lack of awareness and techno-economic challenges due to inherent 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.
Ural Halaçoğlu, R&D manager from Zorlu Enerji, kicked-off the event by introducing the company, including its involvement in EU-funded projects, including GeoSmart.
This presentation was followed by presentations by the project coordinator at TWI, Dr Jon Blackburn, Business Group Manager, Materials and Structural Integrity, before Dr Namrata Kale (TWI) 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 was focused on 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 proposed benefits through 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 Middle Eastern Technical University (METU) and GeoSmart partner on the subject of, ‘Opportunities and Challenges for Hybridization of Geothermal with Biomass and Concentrated Solar Thermal’ in relation to the GeoSmart project.
Experts from the geothermal supply chain were invited to discuss their current challenges with scaling and strategies used to mitigate the issues. This was followed by a panel discussion where the participants discussed the applications and potential merits of innovations as proposed by the GeoSmart project.
To conclude, it is evident from the discussions that, despite the opportunities available, exploitation of geothermal energy carries several techno-economic challenges due to its 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).