Exergy analysis of a dual-level binary geothermal power plant
Exergy analysis of a 12.4 MW existing binary geothermal power plant is performed using actual plant data to assess the plant performance and pinpoint sites of primary exergy destruction. Exergy destruction throughout the plant is quantified and illustrated using an exergy flow diagram, and compared to the energy flow diagram. The causes of exergy destruction in the plant include the exergy of the working fluid lost in the condenser, the exergy of the brine reinjected, the turbine-pump losses, and the preheater–vaporizer losses. The exergy destruction at these sites accounts for 22.6, 14.8, 13.9, and 13.0% of the total exergy input to the plant, respectively. Exergetic efficiencies of major plant components are determined in an attempt to assess their individual performances. The exergetic efficiency of the plant is determined to be 29.1% based on the exergy of the geothermal fluid at the vaporizer inlet, and 34.2% based on the exergy drop of the brine across the vaporizer–preheater system (i.e. exergy input to the Rankine cycle). For comparison, the corresponding thermal efficiencies for the plant are calculated to be 5.8 and 8.9%, respectively.