U.S. D.O.E. awards research grant to geothermal and concentrated solar power hybrid system.

U.S. D.O.E. awards research grant to geothermal and concentrating solar power hybrid system.

Marc Rappaport of Rappaport Energy Consulting LLC received notification the US Department of Energy (USDOE) approved a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase 1 grant proposal for $ 149,900.

The research will study the differential data from retrofitting a concentrated solar thermal array to the existing geothermal electrical generation system currently installed at the Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT) in Klamath Falls Oregon.

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. The new hybrid system is expected to improve the efficiency and output of the generator according to D. Jeter, P.E.

The SBIR program, established by Congress, 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. In addition the installation of the system at the OIT campus is a logical installation venue which according to Mr. Rappaport will have many benefits: 1) additional power generation capacity for the school without emitting any CO2’s into the atmosphere,  2) create a teaching and research tool for the OIT "Geo-Heat Center", 3) no out of pocket expenses for school to have a hybrid retrofit.

Mr. Rappaport, president at REC, has been involved in renewable energy for over forty years. In 1972, he invented the geothermal-solar hybrid system, for which he was awarded a basic patent in 1978. During the development of the geothermal-solar system, Mr. Rappaport engineered a biomass power project and developed the business plan as well.  From this work the development of Biomass One, L.P. emerged and the construction of a 22 MW plant in Medford, Oregon, that has been in commercial operation for the past 26 years.  He served as a founder, general partner, & managing partner. 

Marc Rappaport of Rappaport Energy Consulting LLC, Ridgefield, WA wrote the 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. http://www.rockethub.com/projects/24504-geothermal-solar-thermal-hybrid-power-system-retro-fit