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Geothermal reservoirs located deep underground provide powerful sources of heat energy. Drilling a geothermal well to a reservoir brings hot water and steam to the surface where it can be put to many uses.

Geothermal level applications

  • STEAM/BRINE SEPARATOR: To achieve better conditions for turbine operation, a reservoir’s steam and brine (salt water) is separated into streams where the brine water and particulate matter settle out and the steam vapors rise. The steam collects at the top of the separator where it is removed. Liquid level control modulates the amount of water that is drawn off.
  • DEGASSER TANK: Geothermal hot water is often routed through a degasser—a large insulated tank equipped to remove organic gases and provide displacement with air or nitrogen. Degassing operations provide treatment by way of carbon adsorption, thermal/catalytic oxidization, combustion, vacuum induction, or by a series of condensers.
  • WATER STORAGE TANK: Water tanks include those for heated water, cooling water, and wastewater. Direct heat use applications require heated water storage. Spent geothermal fluids with high concentrations of chemicals are stored prior to treatment and reinjection into the reservoir. Hot water can be cooled in special storage tanks to avoid modifying the ecosystem of natural bodies of water prior to reinjection.
  • FLASH TANK: Hot water from the geothermal well enters a flash tank where the reduced pressure causes the water to boil rapidly, or "flash" into vapor. Water that remains liquid in the tank is returned to the groundwater pump to be forced down into the reservoir again. The vapor from the flash tank drives the steam turbine.
  • VAPORIZER: In these special heat exchangers, the geothermal fluid heats and vaporizes a secondary “binary” fluid, which is typically an organic liquid with a low boiling point. The organic vapor drives the turbine. The level of water in the tank must be monitored.