Geothermal Power Station Monitoring

Application Background                                                                                                                                      Printer Friendly Version

Geothermal electric power stations are generally been located where high temperature geothermal resources are available near the surface, often near areas where there are natural hot springs.

Neon Remote Terminal

These power stations are a good energy source, harnessing the energy from hot steam however there are many issues relating to noxious gasses also emitted from geothermal springs and these need to be carefully monitored to minimise the impact on the environment. Hot springs have noxious gases venting into the atmosphere as well as the steam, and the weather plays an important part as well.
In addition to dissolved gases, hot water from geothermal sources may hold in solution trace amounts of toxic chemicals. These chemicals come out of solution as the water cools, and can cause environmental damage if released.

multifunction ultrasonic weather transmitter

Plant construction can adversely affect land stability and the surrounding land scan also be monitored for seismic activity to ensure there is no change to the seismic data as a result of the Geothermal power station installation.

Application Detail

Firstly, there will be a requirement to monitor the weather in the area using Tier 2 weather station equipment to record the ambient conditions, especially wind speed and direction, so there is good knowledge of the general wind conditions to make sure emissions from the plant are not being carried by the wind to areas of population, such as a local town or city. There may be the need for one Tier 2 to be installed at the plant and at each perimeter fence of the facility to get a good reading for the local area.

These power stations are a good energy source, harnessing the energy from hot steam however there are many issues relating to noxious gasses also emitted from geothermal springs and these need to be carefully monitored to minimise the impact on the environment.

Unidata supplies various weather station instruments, either a multifunction ultrasonic weather transmitter, which is very convenient to install, as well as separate discrete weather instruments. For this application, the simpler ultrasonic weather transmitter would most likely be the best choice for the application.

A Neon Remote Terminal can be connected to each weather station and be set up to read the instruments every minute, and store the raw and average readings every 5 minutes, and transmit the data to a central Neon Server every, say, 15 minutes
As well as weather station equipment to measure weather conditions such as wind speed, direction, humidity, temperature, solar radiation etc., there would also be a requirement to add additional instruments to measure the presence of noxious gases and to also seismic activity

There are many manufacturers of gas monitoring equipment. One such manufacturer is Draeger and there are sensors to measure noxious gases such as CO, CO2, NO, H2S, SO2 as well as O2 and N.
These instruments typically provide a 4-20mA analog output or a Modbus output which can be read by Neon Remote Terminal or Module routinely, perhaps every minute and then routinely send the data to the Neon Server every 15 minutes.

The system could also be equipped with a ground seismic monitor to take daily readings of seismic activity so a clear pattern of the base level of activity can be determined, and then use that base level to see if there are any local area changes to that activity as a result of any different load levels / different operation patterns for the Geothermal Power Station.

Industrial monitoring

The Neon Remote Terminal scheme / program can also be set up to check parameters each minute and raise an alarm and an immediate transmission to the Neon Server in the event of any reading is outside its preset limits. The Neon Server can also be set up with alarm actions, to notify staff by email or text, with an escalation process, of any out of limits conditions.
As well as the immediate actions to deal with for high / dangerous gas levels, data can be analyzed and long term trends can be determined to minimise environmental impacts and optimize production.
Finally, water quality measurements for any outflows can be important, so a water quality instrument on any outflows would allow outflows to be checked for quality, to maintain environmental compliance. These instruments can also be connected with a Neon Remote Terminal to the central Neon Server, either with a radio link, or by connecting directly into the plant network using an Ethernet cable.

Typical Configuration

Options for Application Specific Instruments / InputsUnidata Part NumberDescription
Drager Gas Detection InstrumentsDrager MiniWarnCO2/CO Gas Monitor
Vaisala Weather Transmitter WXT5366501V-HVaisala Weather Transmitter measure barometric pressure, humidity, precipitation,
temperature and wind speed and direction
Temperature Thermistor Probes6507ERed Thermistor Probe 3K@25C with requested cable lengths
Precision Temperature Probes6507DRobust Thermistor Probe 0.1C with requested cable lengths
Linear Temperature Probe6535ATemperature Probe LM34 with requested cable lengths
Humidity and Temperature Probe6539BHumidity and Temperature Probe
Rain Gauge6506CRain Gauge/Tipping Bucket
Mounting Arrangement for Temperature Probes6704ARadiation Gill Screen and Mounting - Full Size
Mounting Arrangement for Temperature Probes6704BRadiation Gill Screen and Mounting - Half Size
Radiation Sensor7241C-APyranometer Sensor – Solar Energy
Mounting Arrangement for Pyranometers7241MPyranometer Sensor Instrument Mounting and Hardware
Four Electrode Conductivity Instrument6536E4EL Water Conductivity Instrument
Four Electrode Water Conductivity Probe6536P-2-X4EL Water Conductivity Probe with 10m, 20m, 30m or 50m of cable
Options for Neon Telemetry - NRT / RTU / Field UnitsUnidata Part NumberDescription
Cellular RTU 3G2013F-AB03Neon Metering Module 3G with Antenna and Li Battery
Cellular RTU 4G2013F-AB04Neon Metering Module 4G with Antenna and Li Battery
Cellular RTU 3G - Industrial2016F-AB03Neon Remote Terminal 3G with Antenna and Li Battery
Cellular RTU 4G - Industrial2016F-AB04Neon Remote Terminal 4G with Antenna and Li Battery
Low Earth Orbit Satellite Globalstar2015E-AB0Neon Remote Terminal - Satellite Globalstar Modem with Antenna and three Li Batteries
Ethernet2017E-0B0-1 or 3NRT Ethernet with single or triple Ethernet Ports
with three Li Batteries
Equatorial Orbit Satellite - Inmarsat2018E-AB0-1 or 3NRT Ethernet with single or triple Ethernet Ports
with three Li Batteries
LCD Display2500ENRT LCD Display
NRT Field Termination Strip2103F2015E,2016F,2017E, and 2018E NRT FTS
NRT Firmware Option2303A-8M8M Extended Memory Option
NRT Firmware Option2303A-8M-CAM8M Extended Memory & Serial Camera Option
NRT Firmware Option2303A-CAMSerial Camera Option
Options for Neon Application Software - Customer ServerUnidata Part NumberDescription
Neon Application Software2302ANeon Server Software Licence Incl 5 NAL
Neon Application Software2302A-10Additional 10 NRT Access Licences
Neon Application Software2302A-20Additional 20 NRT Access Licences
Neon Application Software2302A-50Additional 50 NRT Access Licences
Options for Neon Application Software - Unidata ServerUnidata Part NumberDescription
Neon Application Software2301ANeon Data Initial Subscription Setup Fee
Neon Hosting Service2301A-01Neon Data Service Fee for 1-50 NRTs
Neon Hosting Service2301A-02Neon Data Service Fee for 51-100 NRTs
Neon Hosting Service2301A-10Neon Data Service Fee Metering
Options for Conventional Dataloggers / Field UnitsUnidata Part NumberDescription
Standards Starlogger6004D-11Red Logger 512K with Alkaline Battery
Display Starlogger6004D-21Blue Logger 512K with LCD and Alkaline Battery
Prologger7001D-11Green Logger 1M with LCD and Alkaline Battery
Micrologger8010C-EURMicrologger 512K
Starlogger Field Termination Strip6103E6004D FTS
Prologger Field Termination Strip7100E7001D FTS
Starlog V4 Management Software6308A-AUEStarlog V4 Full Licence Key