Geothermal Power Generation

  • Author: ChemViews
  • Published Date: 15 December 2011
  • Source / Publisher: Chemie Ingenieur Technik/Wiley-VCH
  • Copyright: WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
thumbnail image: Geothermal Power Generation

Geothermal power plants generate power from an alternative source of energy that is independent of season and time of day and offers a significant potential on a worldwide scale. Only a small part of this huge potential is currently being used. The globally installed electrical power in 2011 summed up to about 11 GW.

The largest share of this capacity is generated from high enthalpy or high temperature geothermal reservoirs that are located at exceptionally favorable geological sites, e.g., Italy, Iceland or Philippines, with a high geothermal gradient. Less than 1 % of the currently installed capacity, but the predominant part of the still unexploited geothermal potential, is located outside these geological areas and is found in reservoirs of low temperature, typically between 100 and 200 °C, of large depths and often of low natural permeabilities.


Handling of the geothermal fluid, which is typically a complex mixture of salt solution and dissolved gases, is one of the main challenges for designing and operating reliable and efficient geothermal power plants. In the geothermal fluid loop, undesired mineral precipitation and fluid-material interactions must be prevented and the design and dimensioning of all components must be adapted according to the characteristics of the geothermal fluid.
Stephanie Frick and colleagues, Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam, Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ – Internationales
Geothermiezentrum, Potsdam, Germany, outline geochemical and process engineering aspects as well as research activities in these fields and introduce the Groß Schönebeck site in Germany, which is a central site for geothermal research.


Article Views: 5444

Sign in Area

Please sign in below

Additional Sign In options

Please note that to comment on an article you must be registered and logged in.
Registration is for free, you may already be registered to receive, e.g., the newsletter. When you register on this website, please ensure you view our terms and conditions. All comments are subject to moderation.

Article Comments - To add a comment please sign in

If you would like to reuse any content, in print or online, from ChemistryViews.org, please contact us first for permission. more

Follow on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on LinkedIn Follow on Instagram RSS Sign up for newsletters

Magazine of Chemistry Europe (16 European Chemical Societies) published by Wiley-VCH