Geothermal Power in Alaska

Posted on January 28, 2008  Comments (4)

Geothermal Power in Alaska Holds Hidden Model for Clean Energy, how it works:

1) 165 F water, pumped three-quarters of a mile from Chena’s 700-ft.-deep production well, enters the evaporator. After circulating through pipes, the water, now 135 F, is reinjected into the reservoir at a well 300 ft. from the power plant.
2) The refrigerant R-134a fills the shell of the evaporator. Heat transferred from the 165-degree water causes the refrigerant to vaporize without the two liquids actually coming into contact.
3) The vapor is expanded supersonically through the turbine nozzle, causing the turbine blades to rotate at 13,500 rpm. This turns a generator at 3600 rpm, producing electricity.
4) 40 F water, siphoned from a shallow well 33 ft. higher in elevation than the plant, enters the con-denser without the aid of a pump. It circulates through pipes before being returned 9 degrees warmer to Monument Creek.
5) Vapor exiting the turbine fills the shell of the condenser, where the 40 F water returns the refrigerant to liquid form.
6) A pump pushes the refrigerant back to the evaporator, generating the pressure that drives the entire cycle so that it may start anew.

Related: Google Investing Huge Sums in Renewable Energy and is HiringNew York Steam Pipes

4 Responses to “Geothermal Power in Alaska”

  1. cajun george
    January 28th, 2008 @ 9:48 pm

    I visited this hot spring resort in Alaska just a few months ago. They even offer a tour of their geothermal plant. It is so cool. They also have a hotel made of ice. Very neat place for adults and kids. Being from Louisiana, it was a bit cold, but oh so worth it!

    P.S. Your blog is always my favorite, and I am not just saying that to “suck up”.


  2. Jeff
    January 29th, 2008 @ 9:22 pm

    I live in Anchorage, AK and have visited Chena Hot Springs a few times. The geothermal project that caught my attention is the Mt. Spur Geo Plant. They are talking about over 100MW of generation potential for the City of Anchorage. Good Stuff

  3. CuriousCat: Data Center Energy Needs
    June 14th, 2008 @ 10:20 am

    When you realize the huge cooling needs (in addition to the need for electricity to run the computers) you can see the huge advantage of a cold climate where you can take advantage of cool air for cooling…

  4. Poa
    May 29th, 2013 @ 2:37 pm

    Basically anyone can benefit from “geothermal”. In fact, when you put pipes in your AC to exchange heat with a lake or deep down your house, you can save lots of watts both is summer and winter, because of the more stable temperatures of water and the ground. It’s a shame that nobody invests on such thing.

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