Indonesia has one of the largest geothermal potentials worldwide which is being exploited only to a small extent so far. The goal of the Indonesian government is, therefore, to develop significantly sustainable geothermal exploitation within the next decade. This goal can only be achieved by developing plant concepts that are based on efficient and reliable plant technology and that consider the specific preconditions and requirements of a site. Main challenges refer to geochemical issues, infrastructure integration, and ambient conditions.
Geothermal fluid loop
The geothermal fluid loop integrates different important functions of a geothermal plant: pumping and transport of the geothermal fluid from well to well and heat extraction on the surface. The design of the geothermal fluid loop must consider reliability of components and materials in the loop and the auxiliary power that is demanded for production and injection of the geothermal fluid. At the geothermal research site in the North German Basin (Groß Schönebeck) the GFZ has the possibility to realize various component tests (e.g. mountings, heat exchangers, submersible pumps) in cooperation with different partners from research and industry.
Corrosion and scaling
Many components in geothermal fluids are highly reactive and can cause serious damage to the plant materials. Exact knowledge on the behaviour of applied plant materials depending on fluid chemistry, as well as of the temperature, pressure and flow conditions is essential in order to prevent corrosion and reduce material costs. At the GFZ we investigate in cooperation with the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) the effect of these parameters on suitable materials in laboratory and in-situ field experiments.
Deep geothermal heat can be used for heat, electricity and chill supply. Besides extracting heat,the underground can also serve as thermal energy storage. The engineering of geothermal systems is based on conventional engineering approaches that need to be adapted and enhanced according to the specific geological, infrastructure and ambient preconditions at a site. Our work at GFZ focuses on the adjustment of existing, proven components for an integration in new configurations. In collaboration with different partners experienced in standard technology engineering, our goal is to increase safety, reliability and the efficiency of the overall system.