Bouma, John; Bechtel Power Corporation, United States of America


This paper encompasses a number of considerations that can be made for the design and construction of a geothermal power plant. The considerations consist of both practical approaches and economic trade-offs of design concepts. Throughout the design, simplicity is the key note in the shaping of this geothermal power plant.

During the course of the design, the elements that initially appear problematic are turned around by means of innovative design concepts, problematic are turned around by means of innovative design concepts, resulting in an effective and economical overall design.

This paper also discusses the impact of climate and elevation on the construction of the plant. The relation of starting construction and the season in which construction is started, is critical.

The use of easy maintainable auxiliary equipment is considered by tailoring the auxiliaries to the available overhauling facilities of the country for which the plant is designed.


The design under consideration is a two unit power plant comprised of 2–55000 kW turbine generators. Steam is supplied from the geothermal field which can be steam dominated or brine dominated. The steam cycle for the 55 MW turbine is a single flash design for the sake of simplicity. Two flash designs can be applied also but this paper is limited to a single flash design.

Basically a geothermal power plant consists of three major building blocks which must be arranged in a manner that the design is most cost effective and maintenance effective. These building blocks are:

  • power building;

  • cooling tower and intake structure;

  • switchyard.

For areas where H2S emissions are objectionable, a fourth building block can be added for the purpose-of H2S abatement.

p. 14–49 p. 14–49

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