Aspects of Cost Estimates

The current state of many aspects of geothermal technology is fairly well documented. Indeed, the timing of thi s characterization of geothermal technologies is opportune in that it follows the first major engineering analysis of th e cost and performance of geothermal power plants in 15 years. The "Next Generation Geothermal Power Plants" study (NGGPP), published in 1996, characterizes current flash and binary technology and evaluates new technologie s proposed for the next generation of geothermal power plants [6]. Prior to this study, it has been difficult to obtain current cost and performance data for geothermal power plants because of the proprietary nature of this information .

The Hydrothermal and Hot Dry Rock TCs incorporate much data from the NGGPP. However, the characterization of Hydrothermal Flash reflects decreased flash plant capital costs (approximately 40% less than those documented i n the NGGPP) due to intense competition. As of mid-1997, capital costs for binary plants appear to have been unaffected by these factors.

The HDR technology characterization depends on the NGGPP for binary power plant cost and performance data. The NGGPP includes an analysis of HDR technology that some believe is too conservative. The current HD R characterization is based on a higher grade HDR resource than that in the NGGPP. The NGGPP HDR well cost (including fracturing) estimates were about 30% higher than the TC HDR well costs, which were estimated by an experienced geothermal drilling engineer based on the costs of deep geothermal wells drilled recently in Nevada. Th e costs of creating the HDR reservoir, as well as its performance, are based on estimates of HDR scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where HDR has been studied for the last 20 years.

Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

The solar Stirling engine is progressively becoming a viable alternative to solar panels for its higher efficiency. Stirling engines might be the best way to harvest the power provided by the sun. This is an easy-to-understand explanation of how Stirling engines work, the different types, and why they are more efficient than steam engines.

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