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Minimizing Visual Effects and Optimizing Routes and Locations for Geothermal Steam Gathering System

[+] Author Affiliations
Magnus Thor Jonsson, Lilja Magnusdottir

University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland

Paper No. PVP2017-65997, pp. V03AT03A056; 6 pages
  • ASME 2017 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Volume 3A: Design and Analysis
  • Waikoloa, Hawaii, USA, July 16–20, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5794-6
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


In geothermal power plants, the steam system is a costly component of the infrastructure in terms of construction requirements. The steam system consists of geothermal wells, well head equipment, pipelines and separators connecting wells to the separators and the separators to the power plant. This paper describes an approach for optimum design of a steam system, with focus on topology and route selection for pipelines transporting two-phase fluid from geothermal wells to a separation station and single-phase pipelines from the separator stations to the power plant.

This article proposes a new approach for selecting the locations of the separators and power plant and routes for both two phase-flow and single-phase flow pipelines in a geothermal steam gathering system. Multiple weighted distance maps calculated by uniform cost Dijkstra’s algorithm are used to find the optimum location of a site for a steam separator based on the flow capacity of geothermal wells. The two-phase flow routes are monotonic and the incline is slight in order to minimize the pressure drop and the slug flow conditions in the pipeline. Once the location of separators has been optimized, the optimum location of the power plant can be determined based on the route selection for both the pipelines transporting steam to the power plant and the pipelines transporting the used geothermal fluid from the power plant to the injection wells. The objective is to minimize both cost and visual effects.

A comparison of this method to traditional methods shows that when the method described in this paper is used, shorter routes and cheaper systems can be designed with less environmental impact.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME



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