Converting geothermal to electric power


The type of energy conversion system used to produce electrical power from a geothermal resource depends on the type and quality (temperature) of the resource. Vapor-dominated resources use conversion systems where the produced steam is expanded directly through a turbine. Liquid-dominated resources use either flash-steam or binary systems, with the binary conversion system predominately used with the lower temperature resources. When the geothermal resource produces a saturated or superheated vapor, the steam is collected from the production wells and sent to a conventional steam turbine (seeFigure 1). It would be unusual to see superheated steam from the source as it arrives at surface.

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