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Performance analysis of single-flash geothermal power plants: Gas removal systems point of view
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Non-condensable gases (NCGs), natural components of geothermal fluids, affect the performance of a geothermal power plant (GPP) significantly. Therefore, the NCGs should be removed from the process to optimise the thermodynamic efficiency of the plant. GPPs require large capacity NCG removal systems that occupy large portion in the total plant cost and auxiliary power consumption. The flashed-steam GPPs, which are commonly used in the World, are a relatively simple way to convert geothermal energy into electricity when the geothermal wells produce a mixture of steam and liquid. The primary aim of this study is to develop a code for simulating flashed-steam GPPs to examine the thermodynamic performance of NCG removal systems, which represent major concerns at planning and basic design stages of GPPs. A single-flash GPP model is developed and simulated to identify the effects of input variables, such as NCG fraction, separator pressure and condenser pressure. Among the variables, NCG fraction is the most significant parameter affecting thermodynamic performance of single-flash GPPs. The net power output and overall exergetic efficiency of single-flash GPP are decreased 0.4% for compressor system (CS), 2.2% for hybrid system (HS), 2.5% for reboiler system (RS), and 2.7% for steam jet ejector system (SJES) by 1% increase in NCG fraction.