Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences Dedman College Research Earth Sciences Faculty News

New power generation technology using waste heat from geothermal plants tested at SMU

Think GeoEnergy
Originally Posted: June 13, 2019

A research project by the Geothermal Lab in SMU has sparked optimism for the use of PwrCor technology to generate additional power from ultra-low-grade heat typically discarded by geothermal facilities. Source GlobeNewswire

The Geothermal Laboratory at Southern Methodist University (SMU) has just completed a research project that aims to use ultra-low-grade heat (150 °F to 250 °F) normally discarded by geothermal facilities to generate additional electricity. A central component of this project was the proprietary bottoming cycle technology of PwrCor, Inc., an advanced technology company that focuses on renewable energy solutions for Waste-to-Heat Power, Geothermal, and Solar markets.

Based on the data compiled from 31 out of 73 US-based geothermal sites, an approximate 427 MWe can be generated from the spent geothermal fluids of currently existing facilities. This represents about 15% of the capacity of the sites considered in the study.

“PwrCor is working to improve the efficiency of our geothermal power infrastructure, and we commend their efforts,” stated Maria Richards, the Geothermal Lab Coordinator for SMU.

PwrCor is currently working with companies in the fuel cell and reciprocating engines industries, but they are also involved in initiatives in geothermal, oil and gas, and solar thermal. Their technology that allows for the cost-effective conversion of low-grade and ultra-low-grade heat to mechanical power and electricity could be revolutionary for businesses that could convert wasted heat to additional electrical power. READ MORE