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GeoPyrz - Demonstration of the innovative technology of the improvement of absorption of the geothermal deposit layer

LIFE11 ENV/PL/000447


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Contact details:

Project Manager: ROMUALD GRABIEC
Tel: +48 91 5702796
Fax: +48 91 5702797
Email: geotermia@inet.pl



Project description:

Background

Poland has a rich reserve of geothermal energy which analysts believe could fulfil approximately 30% of the country’s heating requirements. Greater uptake of Poland’s potential geothermal energy capacity is currently limited by a lack of cost-effective access to the country’s deep underground geothermal reservoirs. Pyrzyce’s geothermal plant, like most geothermal heating plants, has problems maintaining high productivity when exploiting thermal water. This is due to progressive loss of pumping efficiency and fast corrosion in injection wells. A process called colmatage occurs during the flow of contaminated liquids (e.g. mineralised geothermal waters) through the porous geothermal layer, which reduces the geothermal layer’s absorption capacity. Therefore the installation must be stopped frequently for cleaning and to regenerate the absorption layer, decreasing the working time of the geothermal installation and reducing the amount of energy produced.


Objectives

The objective of the GeoPyrz project was to develop feasible solutions to help Poland source more energy from its geothermal reserves, and so contribute to national, EU and global climate action targets. This involved demonstrating new methods for improving the absorption of energy from geothermal reserves, by using different acid-based approaches to remove or dissolve impurities that impede the thermal energy flow. The project aimed to implement an alternative, innovative and technically-feasible method to improve absorption of the geothermal deposit layer, confirm the positive impact of soft and super soft acidizing on the absorption of the geothermal deposit layer under real conditions; and disseminate information on the new methods and spread awareness about the cost-effectiveness of improving the efficiency of geothermal energy sources.


Results

The GeoPyrz project constructed and tested a prototype installation for super soft acidizing of the geothermal layer, under real-world industrial conditions. The prototype installation improved the absorption of the geothermal layer by 12%. This improvement resulted in the geothermal installation having fewer working problems, being more cost-effective, and increasing its share in energy production.

The project integrated soft and innovative super soft acidizing methods in a single system to clean injection wells, in order to maintain constant chemical properties of geothermal waters. The super soft acidizing technology of the prototype installation, in particular, limited the problem of colmatage in the geothermal layer in Pyrzyce. The process increased the absorption of the geothermal layer, increased pumping efficiency and reduced the number of interruptions in the operation of the geothermal installation. A major innovation was that it enables the regeneration of the absorption layer without stopping the installation's work.

The demonstration installation resulting in the elimination of the deposit layer in injection wells, which improves efficiency. The coordinating beneficiary, Pyrzyce Geothermal Energy, reported that the installation produced better results than foreseen, in terms of the annual consumption of natural gas, which decreased by 416 000 m3 (400 000 m3 expected), and emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2), which decreased by 817 000 kg/year (500 000 kg/year expected).

Super soft acidizing technology can significantly reduce the cost of the energy produced by geothermal installations. In the Pyrzyce geothermal plant the cost of cleaning the absorption geothermal layer using the super soft acidizing was reduced as follows: from 700 000 PLN annually (approx. €158 000), when the plant used the soft acidizing methodology, to 130 000 PLN annually (approx. €29 000) when it tested the prototype installation for super soft acidizing. The lower costs of the energy production reduced the cost of energy production.

The project promoted its results in articles in scientific journals of International scope, a book on heat transfer and renewable energy, through presentations at six scientific and technical events. A key aim was to promote the replication of the innovative technology. As a result, the owners of other Polish geothermal installations became interested in the implementation of the prototype technology in their plants. The prototype installation was also visited by representatives of Danish companies owning geothermal plants.

Environmental benefits derive from the reduction in CO2 emissions, which enabled the project to contribute to the implementation of the objectives of national and EU climate policy. The implementation of the project’s methodology also led to reductions in contaminants connected with natural gas burning, namely, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. Therefore, the project also contributed to the implementation of other local, regional and European environmental policy, for example, concerning air quality. The project improved the management of natural resources, thanks to an indirect reduction in the consumption of the natural gas (used to produce energy when the geothermal installation is not working). By significantly reducing the costs of energy production, the prototype installation could result in increased interest in the use of the geothermal energy sources.

The main socio-economic benefit of the project will be improved local environment conditions, thanks to a larger share of the electricity and heat produced from renewable sources, with knock-on health benefits due to reduced air pollution. The lower costs arising from using super soft acidizing technology to clean the absorption layer in geothermal installations can lower the costs of energy production, and potentially the price of energy for end users.

Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report and After-LIFE Communication Plan (see "Read more" section).


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Environmental issues addressed:

Themes

Climate change Mitigation - Renewable energies
Energy - Supply


Keywords

alternative technology‚  renewable energy‚  resource conservation


Target EU Legislation

  • Climate Change & Energy efficicency
  • Directive 2009/28 - Promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (23.04.2009)

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable


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Beneficiaries:

Coordinator "Geotermia Pyrzyce" Spółka z ograniczoną odpowiedzialnością
Type of organisation Public enterprise
Description The beneficiary is a quasi public sector organisation involved in the production of renewable heat energy from geothermal sources. It supplies the Polish city of Pyrzyce with heat (during the municipal heating season) and hot water (throughout the year) for manufacturing, housing and public facilities.
Partners None

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Project reference LIFE11 ENV/PL/000447
Duration 03-SEP-2012 to 30-SEP -2014
Total budget 452,619.00 €
EU contribution 226,309.00 €
Project location Zachodniopomorskie(Poland Polska)

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Read more:

Project web site Project's website
Publication: After-LIFE Communication Plan After-LIFE Communication Plan
Publication: After-LIFE Communication Plan After-LIFE Communication Plan
Publication: Layman report Layman report
Publication: Layman report Layman report
Publication: Technical report "Raport Koncowy: z demonstracji nowatorskiej techn ...
Publication: Technical report Project's Final technical report
Publication: Technical report "Ocena Wynków : z demonstracji nowatorskiej techno ...

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Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version