May 30, 2015

The function of Cooling Towers with Geothermal Energy

Use of Cooling Towers with Geothermal Energy

1. What is geothermal energy?

Geothermal energy derives from the heat of the earth’s core. Here we will refer to energy deriving from the core of the earth. Based on new research, the earth’s core temperature is believed to be anywhere between 6000°C and 6500°C. This intense heat is absorbed by the different layers of the earth and, consequently, this heats our planet.

This geothermal energy can be used to generate geothermal power and is the source of our hot springs, volcanoes and geysers.

2. How is geothermal energy harnessed?

Geothermal energy is heat that is extracted from the earth. Pressurized hot water and steam, is produced when groundwater meets with the molten magma ascending from the earth’s core. Hot water flows to the surface through wells. Once pressure is released, the water flashes to steam. Deep wells, a mile or more deep, can tap reservoirs of steam or very hot water that can be used to drive turbines which power electricity generators.

3. How are cooling towers used with geothermal energy?

Let's suppose steam is separated from the water and this steam is used to drive a turbine generator. Conventional cooling towers are used to condense steam on the low-pressure side of the turbine to maximize electrical generation efficiency. Either direct condensers or surface heat exchanger condensers are utilized. In most cases, the condensate is used as makeup for the cooling towers. There is excess condensate available and this means that cooling towers run at low cycles. Low cycle operation results in excessive cooling tower treatment costs unless programs can be employed that are effective at low dosage rates.

4. Neri Calculator for cooling tower design and maintenance and TURBOsplash PAC ™ for filling material.

Geothermal power plants are designed with corrosion resistant materials of construction such as stainless steel in order to withstand the trace contaminants that enter the cooling systems with the steam. 

Cooling towers, if properly sized and filled with high efficiency fills, will yield optimal performance.


1. University of Florida
2. International Geothermal Association
3. Wikipedia

1 comment:

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