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.

Science Illustrated - - TECHNOLOGY -

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.

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