20/09/2017
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Geothermal

Condenser  

Challenge / question

Our client in Iceland would like to use the high steam pressure of a geyser to produce power. This is possible using a turbine. The low pressure of steam leaving the turbine would also be used to warm up clean water for the capital Reykjavik. The client is looking for a condenser, a so called surface vacuum condenser, to condense the steam. There are two important requirements for the design of the surface vacuum condenser: the pressure drop must be extremely small for the low pressure steam and the enormous forces of the turbine housing that connects to the condenser, must remain manageable. In addition, it must be taken into account that the steam from a geyser, the geothermal fluid, is anything but clean and will corrode various materials. The material used for the heat exchangers, for example, must be 254 SMO. It is also a known fact that the tube-to-plate connection could be a weak spot in the system. The extreme restart conditions also require particular attention.

 
Condenser  

Our solution

Years of experience allowed us to design a surface vacuum condenser with a very small pressure drop on the steam side. This was made possible thanks to a special design of the low pressure steam duct and a sophisticated pattern of pipes. In order to absorb the forces of the turbine housing to the condenser, we created special bellows. The condenser can also be hung using springs which then absorb all the forces.

We designed the internal construction of the heat exchangers for the geothermal fluid so that it is able to accommodate large thermal expansion. This prevents the heat exchangers from bending during the restart process.  For the tube to plate connection, we choose the established and special connection of Bronswerk® Heat Transfer which prevents cracks from appearing between the tube and the tube plate and therefore resolves the corrosion problem. Our welders are able to weld the most extreme combinations of materials; the requirements of 254 SMO for the heat exchangers is mere child's play for them.

 
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