Based on experience and company size, PCL Industrial Services, Inc. was invited to competitively bid the North Brawley Geothermal Power Plant project. In addition to a well-imagined and organized project execution plan, the PCL team’s ability to prefabricate piping internally at the Bakersfield fabrication shop reduced the budget and compressed the owner’s schedule.
The project consisted of five water-cooled Ormat Energy Center (OEC) Units, a water system, and other auxiliary systems to produce 50 megawatts of electricity. The plant is an addition to the growing and expanding area network of geothermal power plants that make use of the high-temperature fluid beneath the surface to produce steam and induce rotation in a turbine /generator configuration.
The OEC is based on the Rankine power cycle, which uses organic fluid as the working fluid. Working fluid is preheated and evaporated by the heat of the geothermal steam and brine, flowing through the vaporizer and preheaters. The working fluid vapors expand through the turbines, which are coupled to the double shaft ends generator to produce electrical power. The exhaust vapors from the turbines then flow to water-cooled condensers.