Dravske elektrarne Maribor (DEM), a subsidiary of Holding Slovenske elektrarne group, aims to strengthen the position of the largest producer of electricity from renewable energy sources in Slovenia, together with its partners Petrol, dd, Ljubljana and Nafta Lendava , doo is planning to establish a geothermal pilot power plant in the Municipality of Lendava. “The project will be the first application of a Slovenian patent and could represent an important moment for the use of geothermal energy in abandoned gas and oil wells in Slovenia and around the world,” the DEM said in a press release.
Due to its reliability and sustainability among RES, geothermal energy has a great potential, as in contrast to wind and solar energy it is constantly available every day of the year. It has many advantages over traditional fossil fuel-based energy sources; the biggest one is that it is clean and safe for the environment as it does not produce harmful emissions. The use of geothermal energy can reduce the use of fossil fuels, which also reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Another advantage refers to the available reserves of geothermal energy, which are practically inexhaustible. Geothermal power plants take up little space, as they are built directly on the energy source. An additional advantage is reliability, as production does not depend on weather conditions; electricity can be generated in a geothermal power plant 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Geothermal energy can be used for heating and cooling or to generate electricity. The latter requires suitable temperature sources, including active tectonic regions, where abandoned gas drilling holes are often located. There are over ten million of them worldwide and at least fifteen in Slovenia, which represent the potential for obtaining electricity from geothermal sources.
Taking into account the above, the project partners are creating a pilot project for the production of electricity with a geothermal gravity heating pipe in the well Pg-8 in Prekomurje. The aim of this research project implemented by the research is the global implementation and use of a completely new method of electricity generation with a geothermal gravitational heating pipe, which will be the fruit of Slovenian knowledge (patent SI 23618 A).
The pilot project is planned in the settlement of Čentiba in the municipality of Lendava. Refers to an existing but unproductive Pg-8 well. A geothermal gravitational heat pipe produces sufficient heat flux to generate electricity at depths greater than two kilometers. The construction of the gravitational heat pipe is carried out in such a way that utilizing the geothermal heat of the earth in the coolant well evaporates; the vapors are directed to the surface, where they condense and return to the well. The geothermal heat produced in this way can be used for heating and the production of renewable energy.
The project envisions the construction of a small pilot power plant with a geothermal gravity heating pipe in a well about three kilometers deep. In case the pilot project gives favorable results, the designed concept can be used in other abandoned wells within Slovenia, as well as all over the world. The project, therefore, represents an important moment for the development of geothermal energy and a contribution to reducing pollution from abandoned wells around the world.
Dravske electrician Maribor director Andrej Tumpej points out that the pilot project mentioned is a warm market on a global scale.
“The concept of using geothermal energy in this way has been patented and the exclusive use of the patent is given to the Drava Maribor power plants. The pilot project will be the first application of this patent, which is entirely the fruit of Slovenian knowledge. “Implementation, which represents a new step on the path of development and transition to a low-carbon society for all partners, is an added value for both the local community and the whole of Slovenia,” Tumpej concluded.