Economics of a Conceptual 75 MW Hot Dry Rock Geothermal Electric Power-Station

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Journal Article: Economics of a Conceptual 75 MW Hot Dry Rock Geothermal Electric Power-Station

Abstract
Man-made, hot dry rock (HDR) geothermal energy reservoirs have been investigated for over 10 years. As early as 1977 a research-sized reservoir was created at a depth of 2.9 km near the Valles Caldera, a dormant volcanic complex in New Mexico, by connecting two wells with hydraulic fractures. Thermal power was generated at rates of up to 5 MW(t) and the reservoir was operated for nearly a year with a thermal drawdown less than 10°C. A small 60 kW(e) electrical generation unit using a binary cycle (hot geothermal water and a low boiling point organic fluid, R-114) was operated. Interest is now worldwide with field research being conducted at sites near Falkenberg and Urach, F.R.G.; Yakedake, Japan; and Rosemanowes quarry in Cornwall, U.K. To assess the commercial viability of future HDR electrical generating stations, an economic modeling study was conducted for a conceptual 75 MW(e) generating station operating at conditions similar to those prevailing at the New Mexico HDR site. The reservoir required for 75 MW(e), equivalent to 550 MW of thermal energy, uses at least nine wells drilled to 4.3 km and the temperature of the water produced should average 230°C. Thermodynamic considerations indicate that a binary cycle should result in optimum electricity generation and the best organic fluids are refrigerants R-22, R-32, R-115 or R-600a (Isobutane). The break-even bus bar cost of HDR electricity was computed by the levelized life-cycle method and found to be competitive with most alternative electric power stations in the U.S.A.

Authors 
H. Murphy, R. Drake, J. Tester and G. Zyvoloski








Published Journal 
Geothermics, 1985





DOI 
Not Provided
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Online 
Internet link for Economics of a Conceptual 75 MW Hot Dry Rock Geothermal Electric Power-Station

Citation

H. Murphy,R. Drake,J. Tester,G. Zyvoloski. 1985. Economics of a Conceptual 75 MW Hot Dry Rock Geothermal Electric Power-Station. Geothermics. 14(2):459-474.