Skip to content

Towards Sustainability Of Geothermal Heat Exchangers

https://live-twi.cloud.contensis.com/image-library/istock-1126391324-large1.x1c9a6081.jpg?w=2309&h=1299&crop=2048,1299,131,0

Wed, 13 May, 2020

Heat Exchangers (HXs) are critical components of a geothermal power plant. Due to close and continuous proximity to aggressive geothermal brines, the HX are subject to corrosion and scaling issues adding to capital costs as well reducing the overall efficiency of geothermal power plants. The opportunities, therefore, lie in fostering improvements in the anti-scaling and anti-corrosion properties as well as heat transfer performance of the HX material that would lead to smaller, more efficient and less costly systems.

Heat Exchangers In Geothermals

Heat exchangers are devices used to transfer heat between two or more fluid systems. Within geothermal power plants, the HXs undergo various damage mechanisms induced by corrosive species (e.g chlorides, sulfides, etc) and variables like pH, temperature and velocity of the geothermal fluids. A number of factors, are therefore, considered crucial for selection of geothermal heat exchanger materials. These include reliability of supply and cost effectiveness of the materials, mechanical and thermal properties, ease of maintenance, as well as corrosion performance, among other factors.

GeoHex: Solutions to Materials Challenges in Heat Exchangers

Using low cost carbon steel as base materials and modification of its surface chemistry through nano-porous coatings, GeoHex is working towards a technology that can improve heat transfer as well as anti-scaling and anti-corrosion properties of heat exchangers.

Following its kick-off in November 2019, the project moves into its next phase of development and evaluation of coatings on a lab scale.