Power For 50,000 Homes
If everything goes according to plan, supercritical fluid from the new well can generate electricity in a new turbine planned for the Reykjanes plant in a few years.
Icelandic city's power demand met
The power is distributed via the electricity grid. Scientists estimate that one geothermal well will generate enough power for 50,000 homes.
Steel and concrete keep out soil
Supercritical fluid rises through a plug with small holes. The plug consists of a combination of steel and concrete, which make up the bottom of the some 5-km-deep pipe leading up to the power plant.
Dynamo generates power
On the same shaft as the turbine, there is an electric generator, also known as a dynamo. The shaft is equipped with magnets, which produce a rotating magnetic field. Around the field, electromagnets convert the rotating magnetic field into energy (power).
Pressure drop produces hot vapour
The supercritical fluid is directed into a chamber, in which the pressure is eased. The liquid gas turns into extremely hot ordinary vapour – 4-600 °C as compared to 300 °C for ordinary vapour. Surplus water is pumped back into the ground.
Water is reused
When the vapour has used up its energy in the turbine, it condensates, turning into water, which is pumped back into the ground. The water ends up above the magma chamber to be heated into supercritical fluid again.
Vapour powers powerful turbine
The hot vapour is directed into a turbine, where it forces itself past rotor blades, which are caused to rotate. In the turbine, the vapour transfers its energy to the turbine blades, losing both temperature and pressure.