Recipient: United Technologies Corporation
Funding Agency: Department of Energy
Grant Amount: $1,191,218
Local Amount: $1,191,218
Grant Description: The United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) proposes to improve the efficiency and output variability of geothermal-based Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) power production systems by developing 1) a hybrid-water/air cooled condenser, and 2) an enhanced turbine. UTRC shall develop, integrate, and validate these technologies to optimize net site power output and efficiency with low water consumption at all ambient conditions. By implementing these technologies, we project an over 30% increase of power output during the hottest part of the summer, with an annual-basis improvement of at least 8%. The proposed work includes hybrid-water/air-cooled condenser capable to improve cooling performance with minimal water consumption, an enhanced turbine design capable to improve the turbine efficiency, a detailed system design capable for optimization, and a feasibility analysis of a novel pure water supply concept.
Project Description: The objective of this DOE-sponsored effort is the development of a hybrid-water/air cooled condenser and an enhanced turbine to optimize geothermal ORC net site power output and efficiency with low water consumption at all ambient conditions. During the 1st quarter, the project was initiated and baseline designs for the hybrid-cooled condenser and the enhanced turbine were selected. An analysis of the advantages of microchannel heat exchangers over current plate-fin-round-tube condenser was completed. Literature surveys of the evaporative cooling state-of-the-art and wet surface heat transfer models have been completed. Approaches for misting have been downselected with devices in place. Evaporative cooling test plan has been laid out with test setup initiated. Literature survey of the turbine technology state-of-the-art has been completed, and current turbine design in PureCycle ORC system has been assessed. Parameter matrices for variable nozzle and diffuser evaluation have been defined.
Job Creation: Thermal system analysis engineer, turbine design engineer, heat transfer analysis and heat exchanger design engineer, project management