Geothermics | VOL. 84
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Life cycle assessment of a geothermal combined heat and power plant based on high temperature utilization

Publication Date Mar 1, 2020

Abstract

Abstract This study applies life cycle assessment (LCA) to examine environmental impacts of generating 1 kW h of energy in a geothermal combined heat and power (CHP) plant based on high temperature geothermal utilization. The Hellisheidi geothermal CHP plant located in SW Iceland, producing 303 MWe and 133 – 267 MWth in a double flash cycle, is used as a case study for the LCA. The CML-IA baseline and Cumulative Energy Demand (CED) methods are used to perform the life cycle impact assessment (LCIA), providing results for common environmental impact categories investigated in most LCA studies. The impacts associated with joint production processes for electricity and heat are allocated to the two products by energy allocation. The result show that the construction phase of the plant, mainly drilling and casing of geothermal wells along with construction of collection system for geothermal fluid, is largely responsible for most of the impact category results. However, the global warming potential (GWP100), acidification (AP) and the renewable cumulative energy demand from wind, solar and geothermal energy (CEDR, w, s, g) are mainly affected by the operational phase of the plant, due to direct emissions of gases (mainly CO2 and H2S) and the extraction of geothermal fluid from ground. To explore the effects of currently installed mitigation methods and operational improvements at the Hellisheidi plant, two operation scenarios are investigated within the study; the first based on a previously published dataset for operating condi...

Concepts
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Combined Heat And Power
Life Cycle Assessment
Plant
Heat
Cumulative Energy Demand
Geothermal Energy
Electricity
Carbon Capture And Storage
Methods
Life Cycle Impact Assessment

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