Direct heat exchangers at the Svartsengi geothermal plant ready to meet increasing hot water demand in the Suðurnes

The Svartsengi power plant is the first geothermal power plant in the world to combine generation of electricity and production of hot water for district heating. 

Today, the total production capacity of the Svartsengi Power Plant is 75 MWe and 150 MWth. Verkís has provided consulting services from the onset and during all stages of the plant development.

As the hot water demand from the local community is continuously increasing, the geothermal power plant operator HS Orka has recently undertaken an upgrade of the hot water production system to secure hot water supply and increase the plant hot water production capacity by 120 kg/s.

The upgrade of the system consists in:1. Drilling of additional boreholes to increase production capacity;

2. Enhancing the capacity of the hot water towers to produce additional hot water
3. Increasing the capacity of the cold water system.

Verkís is the main geothermal consultant to HS Orka for this project and is responsible for all technical aspects: concept and detail design, technical specification and assessment of the offers as well as supervision during implementation.

A significant milestones has been reached for the upgrade of the system with the new direct geothermal steam heater now ready to meet the increased hot water demand.

The Svartsengi geothermal power plant produces hot water for the district heating system in the Suðurnes. The direct heat exchanger system is a convenient and economic way of optimising the energy extraction from the geothermal fluid in a cogeneration configuration. The geothermal brine, leaving the primary separation stage, whereas the steam is used for electrical power, is piped to the top of a tower where it boils at sub atmospheric-pressure in a steam separator. The separated steam is sprayed through packing bed were cold water is sprayed at the top and heats up when entering into contact with the steam.  The de-aerated oxygen originating from the cold water is extracted with vacuum pumps integrated with a gas cooling section in the top of the heat exchanger.

The upgrade of the system consisted among other thing in increasing the equipment capacity by 50% and the target has been successfully met.

See more about Svartsengi, here