Project title: Efficiency and Safety in Geothermal Operations
Project website: ITN EasyGO - IDEA League, Project info on CORDIS
Time period: From March 2021 to March 2025
Funder: European Commission (Grant agreement ID: 956965)
Total budget: € 3,416,094
Given the challenges in geothermal operations and the ambitious expansion plans for geothermal energy in many countries, there is an urgent need for experts with a broad understanding of geothermal systems. How can such systems be operated in the most efficient and safe manner? Within the ITN EASYGO project, funded by the European Commission, the IDEA League universities TU Delft (TUD), ETH Zurich (ETH), RWTH Aachen University (RWTH), Politecnico di Milano (PoliMi) and 10 industry partners are addressing this question from different perspectives, integrating geology, geophysics, geochemistry, advanced modeling and process and power engineering. In this framework, EASYGO is looking forward to train tomorrow’s leading geothermal energy experts.
Mixtures as working fluids for ORC power plants (Propulsion and Power group, TU Delft)
The use of mixtures as working fluid of ORC power plants could increase conversion efficiency. Such mixtures would add a degree of flexibility regarding the main operating parameters of the thermodynamic cycle and the non‑isothermal phase change in the condenser and evaporator. This effect would be relevant in geothermal applications and particularly if the plant is air-cooled. However, the practical implications regarding the operation of heat exchangers and turbomachinery have not been studied experimentally and mixture working fluids have not been adopted in industrial applications yet. The objective of the research is to study mixture cooling using the condenser of the unique ORCHID setup of the TU Delft. In case of positive results, ORC power plants in operation could be charged with a hydrocarbon mixture in place of pentane and the operation and possible efficiency increase assessed.