The flow of a multiphase stream is a complex phenomenon and applies to process components and to transport systems as well, with several order of magnitude difference in scale. Several computational models of multiphase flow for piping networks and process plants are reported in the technical literature. Some of them are developed only in stationary conditions, others are parallelized computational models. The latter have an appropriate computational capability but are designed for fields not applicable to geothermal power exploitation. Despite IEA foresees in 2030 a tripling of current geothermal generation (the installed geothermal capacity in the European Union to 28 states currently amounts to 1850 MWe and generates an annual output of electricity over 12 TWh), the lack of modelling and software tools entails that geothermal plant and networks design is still approached by mostly in house tools, with low calculation power, no distributed access for team working, and no capability of forecasting plant behaviour for design optimization and safety analyses. To answer these needs, the PROGEO platform has been finalised through national financing program. The main innovative features of PROGEO is the integration of a tool for geothermal energy exploitation suitable for design purposes (for engineers), for planning activities (managers) and for informative actions (decision makers), sharing input data, assumptions and methodologies. The final goal is to achieve results aligned with economical resources availability, social requirements and environmental and safety regulations. PROGEO, once released, will provide to engineers:
• A massive parallel calculation engine to design, monitor and optimize geothermal plants and network distribution system, based on an advanced flow simulator model;
• A cloud-based infrastructure to store, manage and distribute model calculation results;
• A web-based application for design phase and forecast representation of system behaviour and performances.
• PROGEO is an innovative tool for geothermal engineering applications being:
• Tailored, since it is specifically designed for power plants and urban districts geothermal energy design.
• Integrated, since it includes in the same tool three crucial capabilities: design, optimization and management.
• Predictive, since the network/geothermal plant behaviour is simulated on a medium/long-time scale.
• Reliable, being based on well-known technologies, and developed by a consortium with demonstrated high level of knowhow on required project fields;
• Simple and User-friendly: in a single application are available design control and prediction capabilities, making consistency among project data, design methods and obtained results. This allows to minimize implementation or analysis errors and to increase design accuracy.