Brine Reinjection Pump D/E Seal Failures
Plant: 1 MW Enhanced Geothermal Steam Power Plant (Experimental)
Query: Brine Reinjection Pump D/E Seal Failures
Explanation of Query: We are trying to commission an experimental geothermal plant which is based around two very deep wells (between 4,500 and 5,000 m), an “Injection” and a “production” well, where brine is pumped at very high pressure into and through a hot, fractured rock strata. The brine then returns to the surface where the heat is transferred to a second water circuit, from which steam is flashed off, for use in a small turbine-generator. It probably doesn’t need to be stated that the Brine Reinjection Pump is perhaps the single most critical component of a deep-well geothermal system – especially when there is only the one pump. It has a large electric motor with VSD, and operates at exceptionally high pressures. We’re finding that the most fragile component of the pump is the special Drive-end Seal and, if this is damaged and fails, the replacement process is exceedingly expensive and time-consuming (especially when the plant is located in a very remote region, and requires the services of a very specialised service team). Progress towards commissioning and testing the plant is being severely hampered by frequent failures of the pump seals, to the extent that completion of the project is very much in jeopardy, and we desperately need to resolve this issue. Thank's, Ben.
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