CSP Science

CSP-Geothermal hybrid project to be funded by US Department of Energy
Projets Csp - Projets Csp
Jeudi, 11 Juillet 2013 13:40

The US Department of Energy has awarded $149,900 for a research that will study the differential data from retrofitting a concentrated solar thermal array to the existing geothermal electrical generation system currently installed at the Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT) in Klamath Falls Oregon.According to Rappaport Energy Consulting (REC), the applicant of the project, it has been included in the Small Business Innovative Research program.

The addition of the concentrating solar collector to the system will boost the temperature of the geothermal fluid fueling the Organic Rankin Cycle (ORC) engine that drives the 280kW electrical generator. The new hybrid system is expected to improve the efficiency and output of the generator according to Don Jeter from Eagle Engineering Consulting, a partner of the project.

The goal of the project and research is to collect the data to support proof of concept for the Geothermal Solar Hybrid system. In addition the installation of the system at the OIT campus is a logical installation venue which, according to REC's CEO Marc Rappaport, will have many benefits: 1) additional power generation capacity for the school without emitting any CO2's into the atmosphere,  2) create a teaching and research tool for the OIT "Geo-Heat Center", 3) no out of pocket expenses for school to have a hybrid retrofit.

This is a second chance for Marc Rappaport, who owns a patent published in 1978 under the title "Geothermal and solar integrated energy transport and conversion system", available at our CSP Patents section. More than 30 years ago he was also awarded to carry out the study, "It was under the Carter administration that I had won a proof-of-concept grant in 1979, but when President Reagan came into office, his administration cancelled most of the awards from the Carter administration.  While my work on the hybrid system came to a halt, I had completed all the thermo dynamic and economic analysis and was progressing to a full engineering design.  Without funding, that could not happen", Rappaport says.

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. Through a competitive awards-based program, SBIR enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. By including qualified small businesses in the nation's R&D arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated and the United States gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs.


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