Keywords: geothermal power plants, ambient temperature, temperature fluctuations, net power, flashing units, cooling water temperature, condenser temperature, geothermal energy, power fluctuations, exergy
The effect of ambient temperature fluctuation on the performance of geothermal power plants
Seasonal and diurnal temperature fluctuations have significant effects on cooling water temperature and on the condenser temperature. The power produced by plants that utilise a low temperature resources, such as geothermal units, are more susceptible to ambient temperature fluctuations than conventional power plants. An exergy analysis was performed to evaluate the effect of ambient temperature fluctuations on the work output of two typical geothermal units. Parametric studies were performed to record the daily and annual variance of the power produced by such units. The results show that the naturally occurring temperature changes result in more than 20% power fluctuations.