Thursday 12.April 2012
Two UNU-GTP MSc defences will be held this week.
Sylvia Joan Malimo and Jose R. E. Salas
On Tuesday the 17th of April at 15:00 in room 132 in Askja at the University of Iceland, Sylvia Joan Malimo will defend her Master thesis, titled: "Aquifer fluid modeling and assessment of minerals-gas-liquid equilibria in the Námafjall geothermal system, NE-Iceland".
On Wednesday the 18th of april at 15:00 in room 155 in VR2 at the University of Iceland, Jose Roberto Estevez Salas will defend his Master thesis, titled: "Geothermal Power Plant Projects in Central America: Technical and Financial Feasibility Model Assessment."
Sylvia's thesis work is based on chemical analysis of water and steam samples collected from wet-steam wells in Bjarnarflag by the Námafjall geothemal field. Data interpretation is essentially threefold.
Firstly, it involes modeling the fluid compositions of aquifers producing into wells; secondly to evaluate the initial vapor fraction in the aquifer fluid and thirdly assess how closely dissolved solids and gases in the deep fluid have approached chemical equilibrium with hydrothermal minerals.
Sylvia's supervisor is Þráinn Friðriksson, geochemist at Iceland GeoSurvey and her co-supervisor is Stefán Arnórsson at the University of Iceland. The external examiner is Ingvi Gunnarsson, geochemist at Orkuveita Reykjavíkur.
Abstract from Jose's thesis
The geothermal resource potential makes the Central American region a prime candidate for investment in electricity power plant projects. In this study, the technical and financial feasibility of developing geothermal power plant projects in Central America is conducted. Three thermodynamic models of two groups of conventional power plants are evaluated for a range of possible values of geothermal resource temperatures (100-340°C) and mass flow rates (100-1,000 kg/s) in order to examine multiple expected scenarios. The main results are presented as contour maps of the internal rate of return (IRR) of free cash flow to equity (FCFE), net power plant output and the probability of success of accomplishing the minimum rate of return required by private investors. By using these maps, geothermal developers can identify technically and financially viable projects in terms of temperature and mass flow rate.
The results demonstrate how the size of the geothermal power plant, profitability indicators and the probability of success of geothermal power development are dependent on the temperature of the geothermal resource and the mass flow rate. As a result, geothermal power development projects in Central America for small power plants are not attractive to private investors, when taking into account the project’s cost of exploration and confirmation, drilling of an unknown field, and construction of the power plant and transmission line.
Jose's supervisors are Dr Páll Valdimarsson, professor in mechanical engineering at the Reykjavík University and Dr Páll Jensson, professor at Reykjavík University. Representing the department is Dr Halldór Pálsson, senior lecturer in mechanical engineering at the University of Iceland.