Low-temperature power plants can contribute significantly to a more efficient use of geothermal resources in Indonesia. Due to their comparatively small size and the possibility of automatic operation, they are also suitable for the electrical supply of remote areas. Today, the geothermal low-temperature demonstration power plant (GeNie) erected by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam - Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum (GFZ) in North Sulawesi, Indonesia, was handed over to the future Indonesian operator consortium. So far, apart from the demonstration plant, low-temperature power plant technology has only been used at one other geothermal site in Indonesia.
In front of more than two hundred guests, including the Indonesian Minister for Research, Technology and Higher Education Muhammad Nasir and the German Ambassador to Indonesia Peter Schoof, GFZ Executive Director Stefan Schwartze said: "We are looking forward to a sustainable continuation of the operation of the demonstration power plant. We hope that this example will be repeated many times in order to make use of the huge potential of energy the geothermal brine in Indonesian geothermal plants".
Ernst Huenges, Head of the GFZ Geoenergy Section, says: "We are pleased that we were able to demonstrate reliable and fully automatic operation last year and have produced more than one gigawatt hour of electricity in 4,000 operating hours. By involving the Indonesian partners in all project phases, the course has been set for the long-term operation of the plant".
The demonstration power plant uses part of the geothermal steam/water mixture produced at the Lahendong geothermal field to generate electricity via a separate power plant cycle. A hot water intermediate circuit makes it possible to convert both heat from pure liquid and heat from two-phase mixtures into electricity.
Based on project funding by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and in close cooperation with the Indonesian partners BPPT (Agency for Assessment and Application of Technology) and PGE (Pertamina Geothermal Energy), GFZ engineering scientists have been in charge of concept development, planning, construction and commissioning of the demonstration power plant since 2014. Indonesian and German companies have been instrumental in this process. In particular, the companies PT Intan Kalorindo, Dürr Cyplan Ltd., EDL Anlagenbau GmbH and Güntner GmbH / PT Guntner Indonesia are to be mentioned here*. In September 2017, research and test operations finally began.
With an electrical power of 500 kilowatts, the demonstration power plant at the Lahendong site is a supplement to the 40 megawatt of power generated directly from steam there. Its future use for research and training purposes can make an important contribution to the spread of low-temperature power plant technology in Indonesia.
The GFZ employees can report from their own experience that adaptation to local conditions is of great importance for the successful introduction of new technology. "The planning of a geothermal plant and also the realisation of a prototype, as is now the case in Indonesia, is always associated with uncertainties and challenges. We were well aware of this," says Stefan Kranz from the GFZ Geoenergy Section, who together with Stephanie Frick is in charge of project management. "Due to the available technical infrastructure at the site and the harsh environmental conditions, we had to change construction processes on site, modify technical components and adapt the automatic operational management. Implementing the project together with Indonesian project partners and local workers was particularly important to us in order to promote acceptance of the technology right from the start".
*updated on 13 February 2019, 09:30
Geothermal Binary Power Plant for Indonesia – GeNie
Dipl.-Geogr. Josef Zens
Head of Public and Media Relations
Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ
Phone: +49 331 288-1049