A Comparison of Different Approaches for Assessing Energy Outputs of Combined Heat and Power Geothermal Plants

  • paper

In this paper, the authors assess using two alternative allocation schemes, namely exergy and primary energy saving (PES) to compare products generated in different combined heat and power (CHP) geothermal systems. In particular, the adequacy and feasibility of the schemes recommended for allocation are demonstrated by their application to three relevant and significantly different case studies of geothermal CHPs, i.e., (1) Chiusdino in Italy, (2) Altheim in Austria, and (3) Hellisheidi in Iceland.

The results showed that, given the generally low temperature level of the cogenerated heat (80–100 °C, usually exploited in district heating), the use of exergy allocation largely marginalises the importance of the heat byproduct, thus, becoming almost equivalent to electricity for the Chiusdino and Hellisheidi power plants. Therefore, the PES scheme is found to be the more appropriate allocation scheme.

Additionally, the exergy scheme is mandatory for allocating power plants’ environmental impacts at a component level in CHP systems. The main drawback of the PES scheme is its country dependency due to the different fuels used, but reasonable and representative values can be achieved based on average EU heat and power generation efficiencies.

The paper on Different Approaches for Assessing Energy Outputs of CHP geothermal plants can be accessed here