Conception for Deployment of Small Scale Binary Power Plants in Remote Geothermal Areas of Indonesia


Huenges E., K. Erbas, M. Jaya, and S. Frick

Key Words:

Indonesia, small scale power plant, deployment

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Stanford Geothermal Workshop




Emerging Technology



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The republic Indonesia is composed of many islands and widely extended. Nowadays, the state with the fourth rich population worldwide has to solve a giant demand on food and energy. Existing resources of oil and gas are limited in Indonesia and the existing infrastructure to reach the customers of the energy is not sufficient. The access to many regions is limited. Therefore, a de-central, location adapted provision with energy is crucial. One third of the Indonesian population has no access to the electricity grid and about 45000 smaller gasoil fired power plants are operating far of the net (ESDM 2009) . These plants have no future due to decreasing access to gas and oil and increasing costs for this energy carrier. Renewable energy can contribute to the provision of energy in remote areas. Geothermal is one of these and has huge resources in Indonesia. Today, geothermal provides ~1 GWe electrical capacity which represents only a small part of the identified potential. The indonesian government plans an extension of the deployment of geothermal electricity until 2025 to 9.5 GWe which represents a significant part of the estimated resources of 27 GWe (Surya Darma et al, 2010) .
However, there is a gap in reliable technologies for solutions to provide de-central energy. In addition, human resources respectively engineers are missing to handle the extension of the capacity. Indonesian studies indicate the requirement of 50-70 good educated geothermal engineers for each additional 1 MWe installed capacity. Further development of geothermal technology is as important as capacity building. Recently a project started (“Sustainability concepts for exploitation of geothermal reservoirs in Indonesia – capacity building and methodologies for site deployment”) in order to find site specific technical solutions and to support the required education in Indonesia. In this context a PHD-program was initiated and installed to support these goals.
Geothermal small scale energy provision in remote areas requires a holistic approach by commonly addressing challenges in geothermal exploration, reservoir engineering, and power plant development. The power plant has to be based on modular components in order to be able adapting the system to site requirements, such as temperature, flow rate, and cooling possibilities, data which are generated in geothermal exploration and reservoir engineering. The smallest binary cycle unit, which was developed and set up in this context, is designed for 60 kWe electrical capacity. It has been presented at the WGC 2010 in Bali and performance test of this system at the in situ geothermal laboratory Groß Schönebeck (Germany) is under preparation. The goal is to be flexible with locations in different geological environments, scalable by the modular set up, and ensuring a reliable and efficient operation.
First reservoir engineering field studies conducted in autumn 2010 are expected to yield further boundary conditions for plant optimization and adaptation for possible locations in Indonesia. A comprehensive exploration program, planned for 2011, will partly focus on low enthalpy geothermal “green fields” in remote areas to further elaborate potential sites for future deployment.

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