solar thermal electric

Geothermal/solar retrofit study receives US Energy Department grant

The US Department of Energy has approved a $149,900 grant for the study of differential data from retrofitting a concentrated solar thermal array to the existing geothermal electrical generation system currently installed in Klamath Falls Oregon.
Geothermal/solar retrofit study receives US Energy Department grant

The hybrid facility is to be located on the grounds of the Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT). 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.

Researchers believe the new hybrid system will improve the efficiency and output of the generator.

The Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase 1 grant bestowed by the DOE is a highly competitive program that encourages small businesses to engage in R&D that has the potential for commercialization.

The goal of the project and research is to collect the data to support proof of concept for the Geothermal Solar Hybrid system.

Marc Rappaport, principle of Rappaport Energy Consulting LLC said the installation of the system at the OIT campus will have many benefits:

  • Additional power generation capacity for the school without emitting any CO2's into the atmosphere; 
  • Create a teaching and research tool for the OIT "Geo-Heat Center"; and,
  • No out of pocket expenses for school to have a hybrid retrofit.

Rappaport wrote the grant proposal with the assistance of Don Jeter, P.E. of Eagle Engineering & Testing Services of Bellingham, WA, and Tanya Boyd of the Oregon Institute of Technology, Geo Heat Center.

Funding for the retrofit construction has started through RocketHub crowd funding website.

For additional information:


Rappaport Energy Consulting

Oregon Institute of Technology

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