Tue, 17 October, 2023
The GeoSmart project team, of which TWI is a part, have begun demonstrations in a high-enthalpy geothermal field in Turkey.
The project is focused on optimising and innovating to improve the flexibility and efficiency of geothermal heat and power systems and now these innovations have been implemented in working geothermal power plants.
One variant of the GeoSmart technology is being demonstrated at a power plant in Turkey, with a second set to be installed in Germany.
These two variants will address the different flexibility needs of low-to-high enthalpy CHP provision, with the Kızıldere-2 triple flash and binary plant at Zorlu, Turkey, serving as the high-enthalpy geothermal plant for the demonstration of a Phase Change Based (PCM)-based thermal storage system and a silica scaling retention system to increase the energy efficiency.
Geothermal and TWI
The GeoSmart project is now entering its final phase, having begun in 2019. Work is now in progress to demonstrate the project objective to improve the strategic flexibility of geothermal installations, promoting them as significant energy sources over the next 20-30 years.
GeoSmart is one of five different geothermal-related projects that TWI has been involved in, building on our core expertise in materials testing and surface engineering.
With over €40 million of EU funding, these projects are providing innovative solutions to a range of challenges related to geothermal operations, including:
- Mitigating high drilling costs by developing holistic drilling technologies
- Developing high-performance innovative materials and coatings for improved efficiencies and longevity of plant components
- Bridging the knowledge gap in the understanding of geofluid chemistry
- Developing energy storage and power management innovations to provide flexibility for geothermal plants
The Importance and Promise of Geothermal Energy
Geothermal energy has the capability to deliver affordable, clean energy to meet global sustainability goals. With geothermal resources spread across the globe, they are now being used by around 80 different nations. However, the exploitation of geothermal resources still varies according to country, with nations like France, Turkey and the UK using unconventional crystalline basements while Germany, Netherlands, Poland and Denmark opt for sedimentary reservoirs and Iceland, Italy, Indonesia, New Zealand, the Philippines and the USA using more conventional volcanic geothermal systems.
The main challenge of geothermal energy remains in the high upfront and operational costs which have slowed market uptake in comparison to wind and solar power. In addition, there are still some public concerns over connecting to seismic activities for energy provision.
By helping to develop innovative new materials and energy storage solutions, as well as providing a better understanding of geofluid chemistry, TWI has been assisting with the advancement of geothermal as a sustainable, ‘always on’ energy resource for the future.
The GeoSmart project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme grant agreement 818576