1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Help with Geothermal Electric Generator from a hot spring

  1. Dec 21, 2009 #1
    Hi, I have access to a hot spring. I was thinking it may be ideal to construct a small geothermal electric generation unit using the steam. Question is, if I have access to the hot spring, is this enough as a source to go ahead with a geothermal generating unit of say 100 kw - 200 kw, which is not real small, but medium small I realize.

    Is it practical to drill a little below the surface and construct piping for the steam, direct the steam into a small steam turbine that is in turn connected to several small electric generators?

    Is this dependent upon the water temperature of the hot spring, or would any hot spring suffice? Also, if there is a hot spring at the surface, would drilling a 100 ft -250 ft. below surface provide you access with a good source of pressurized steam for the turbine?

    Say if the surface water is only around 120 degrees f, shouldn't the water below the surface be even hotter? I was thinking you needed water at around 230 degrees f or so? Point is, if there is a hot spring at the surface, would it not be too much trouble and expense to access the hotter water below that is hot enough to produce steam for the steam turbine?

    Also, if anyone could direct me to some people/companies that are actually doing this would be great, thanks in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 21, 2009 #2
    Here is a link to a working geothermal plant with some nice information on the project.

    As for your power production capability, that's all dependant on how much heat you can get out, and what the temperature is. There are some geothermal plants that simply pump water down and get steam out, but all the ones I've heard about have both a great geothermal source and also have maintenance issues due to impurities in the steam.

    Good luck!
  4. Dec 22, 2009 #3
    Thanks much for your help!!!!!! If anyone else is interested in supplying info on this would love to hear all I can, thanks again.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook