50 MW La Torta Geothermal Study

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Project: 50 MW La Torta Geothermal Study
Client: Geotermica del Norte
Location: Antofagasta Desert, Chile

In 2002, two large Chilean companies formed a consortium to develop the La Torta geothermal concession in Northern Chile. The new company, Geotermica del Norte, hired POWER Engineers to develop a technology assessment, conceptual design and estimate for a 50 MW geothermal plant at the La Torta site at 4,500 m (~15,000 feet) in the Chilean Andes.

POWER was charged with developing and proposing a plant design that would be optimally cost-efficient in terms of capital cost and operability/maintainability at a remote location and take into consideration the particular qualities of the high and dry site. POWER performed a cycle evaluation and capital cost estimating study for application of geothermal flash technology to the La Torta resource. POWER’s study team investigated the possible use of plant, heat rejection system and component approaches that would take advantage of the remarkable climatic conditions found at the site.The conceptual design package included a heat balance/PDF diagram, one-line diagram and plot plan. POWER’s study effort also included development of a detailed cost estimate for the four alternatives reviewed.