Below is a diagram of a geothermal power station, this diagram outlines the basic design of a dry steam power plant. This dry steam geothermal power station design is one of the oldest, dating back to the early 1900’s, yet it’s design and simplicity still makes this design efficient in todays environment.
The diagram of the power station above shows how dry steam is extracted from deep within rock layers through what is known as the production well. For more in-depth information on production wells, take a look at the following geothermal production wells information.
The steam as shown by the arrows in the diagram, rises up to the turbine, which then turns the turbine as the steam is at a very high pressure, which then allows the turbine to turn the generator, resulting in the production of geothermal power.
The injection well has many benefits, yet the main advantage of an injection well is for the safe disposal of geothermal fluids as large amounts of fluids (in the form of steam or water) are extracted from low lying rocks in the geothermal power production process.
Another important advantage of the use of an injection well (as shown in the power station diagram) is to avoid subsidence. This is very important in areas where geothermal power stations, homes, industry or businesses co-exist together, as subsidence can cause substantial damage to many properties.
The subsidence from geothermal power plants without the presence of an injection well is caused when large amounts of fluids are extracted from low lying rocks, and not replaced. This can leave large areas deep within the ground which will, over time, subside back into position.
The use of geothermal power in California is a prime example of where the use of injection wells in a geothermal power plants design is extremely important.
This method of extracting fluids to produce geothermal power (as shown in the diagram) is still widely used across the world in geothermal energy hot spots due to the simplicity of design, and overall efficiency and power output of the design.
Geothermal energy is very clean, renewable and allows for the elimination of fossil fuels in the power production process. The energy produced from geothermal pockets can help our environment by taking some strain off fossil fuel power stations.
Unfortunately, there are only a handful of areas across the globe that are able to benefit from the placement of highly efficient geothermal power stations.