Description: The Heat Cycle Research Program, which is being conducted for the Department of Energy, has as its objective the development of the technology for effecting the improved utilization of moderate temperature geothermal resources. To meet this objective, the program has as one of its goals to improve the performance of geothermal binary cycles to levels approaching the practicable thermodynamic maximum. In pursuit of this goal, tests are being conducted at the Heat Cycle Research Facility located at the DOE Geothermal Test Facility, East Mesa, California. The current testing involves the investigation of binary power cycle performance utilizing mixtures of non-adjacent hydrocarbons as the working fluids, with supercritical vaporization and in-tube condensation of the working fluid. In addition to the present test program, preparations are being made to investigate the binary cycle performance improvements which can be achieved by allowing supersaturated vapor expansions in the turbine. These efforts are anticipated to verify that through the utilization of these advanced power cycle concepts and allowing the supersaturated turbine expansions, improvements of up to 28% in the net geofluid effectiveness (net watt hours plant output per pound of geofluid) over conventional binary power plants can be achieved. Results are presented for the recent testing including those tests examining the performance of the countercurrent condenser at different tube inclinations. Performance of the heaters and the condenser in a vertical orientation can be predicted well with existing methods and data. The condenser in its near horizontal orientation performs slightly worse than in its vertical orientation. Some problems have been encountered in predicting the performance in the horizontal orientation. There is no evidence of departure from integral condensation in either orientation.
Date: January 1, 1987
Creator: Mines, G.L.; Swank, W.D. & Bliem, C.J.
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