• Modeling and analysis of geothermal organic rankine cycle turbines coupled with asynchronous generators as a primary power source in islanded microgrids

      Green, Nathan; Wies, Richard; Huang, Daisy; Shirazi, Mariko (2019-05)
      Local renewable resources, such as geothermal hot springs, are being explored as prime electric power and heat sources in remote permanently islanded microgrids, and in some cases these renewable resources have already been implemented. In these types of remote areas, diesel electric generation is typically the prime source of power, even in areas where alternative resources are readily available, despite the high fuel cost due to transportation. This thesis shows that geothermal hot springs, when locally available, can provide primary power for these remote microgrids with temperatures as low as 20°C below the boiling point of water. The geothermal heat can be converted to electrical energy using an organic Rankine cycle turbine in combination with a self-excited induction generator. A steady-state energy balance model has been developed using MATLAB® and Simulink® for simulating greenfield and brownfield geothermal microgrids at Pilgrim Hot Springs, Alaska and Bergstagir, Iceland, respectively, to demonstrate viability of this microgrid design. The results of the simulations have shown that modest loads can be primarily powered off of these low temperature geothermal organic Rankine cycles over long time scales. As expected, more power is available during colder months when sink temperatures are lower, thus increasing the temperature differential. More research is needed to examine system response over shorter time scale transients, which are beyond the scope of this work.