Wellhead Power Plants Improvement by Introduction of Double Flashing Cycle

Authors(3) :-Thomas Mutero, Peter Muchiri, Nicholas Mariita

Kenya Electricity Generating Company Ltd (KenGen) has harnessed geothermal energy for over thirty seven years at the Olkaria geothermal field. The total installed capacity of geothermal energy in Kenya currently stands at 703.5 MW generated mostly by single flash and binary geothermal power plants. In the 1990s KenGen considered the Wellheads concept in which modular containerized single flash power plants were to be designed, customized and built on a wellpad for optimized well potential; this approach has largely been successful currently having an installed capacity of 83.5 MW and accounting for 15.7% of KenGen's total geothermal installed capacity. This was done to address an inherent deficiency in the construction of conventional geothermal power plants which was identified as the long period taken to put up the power plants. The wells that have been drilled by KenGen and GDC, tested and shut in awaiting the installation of power plants are rated at about 600 MW. The Wellhead power plant cycle is a single flash geothermal power plant; this research intended to improve the current Wellheads power cycle by introducing a second low pressure separator to harness more energy from the wellheads, design a turbine to be driven by the low pressure steam and evaluate an economic justification for introducing the double flashing cycle. A case study was carried out at Wellhead 914 and Wellhead 915. Data collected indicated that the combined mass flow rate of brine from wells in the two wellpads was 240.4 tonne per hour. This brine was saturated at 13.5 bar-a and at a temperature of 193.40C as it exits the high pressure separator for disposal. The optimal pressure of the low pressure separation was designed at 2.5 bar-a, 127.40C and had an ability to generate 3871 kW of electric power. A turbine operating at a steam inlet pressure of 2.5 bar-a, a speed of 6804 rpm and having an exhaust pressure of 0.075 bar-a was designed. The designed turbine had 4 stages of both stationary and moving blades with a maximum rotor disc diameter of 0.62 meters and an output of 4195 kW. The simple payback period for this project was estimated to be 1.9 years with a rate of return on investment of 42.24%. This would also minimize energy wastage by improving efficiency and footprints on the environment arising from the Wellhead power plants.

Authors and Affiliations

Thomas Mutero
Geothermal Training and Research Institute, Dedan Kimathi University of Technology, Nyeri, Kenya
Peter Muchiri
School of Engineering, Dedan Kimathi University of Technology, Nyeri, Kenya
Nicholas Mariita
Geothermal Training and Research Institute, Dedan Kimathi University of Technology, Nyeri, Kenya

Geothermal, Wellheads, Cycle, Flashing, Design, Low pressure separator and Low pressure turbine

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Publication Details

Published in : Volume 6 | Issue 3 | May-June 2019
Date of Publication : 2019-06-30
License:  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Page(s) : 24-32
Manuscript Number : IJSRSET196311
Publisher : Technoscience Academy

Print ISSN : 2395-1990, Online ISSN : 2394-4099

Cite This Article :

Thomas Mutero, Peter Muchiri, Nicholas Mariita, " Wellhead Power Plants Improvement by Introduction of Double Flashing Cycle, International Journal of Scientific Research in Science, Engineering and Technology(IJSRSET), Print ISSN : 2395-1990, Online ISSN : 2394-4099, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp.24-32, May-June-2019. Available at doi : https://doi.org/10.32628/IJSRSET196311
Journal URL : http://ijsrset.com/IJSRSET196311

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