NREL Funding

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					Renewable Energy Projects at

         Lisa Shevenell, Director
      Kwang Kim, Assistant Director
Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy

            Regents Meeting
             March 8, 2007
Renewable Energy Projects at UNR

                 Total #    Total $
All UNR          48         $7.8 M

GBCGE            33         $5.4 M

NREL Sponsored   11         $1.4 M

• Nevada has a large geothermal resource
• UNR has a core group of qualified and
  experienced researchers in science and
  – UNR has diverse engineering and geological
    science degree programs for undergraduate
    and graduate education
Springs, Wells, and Dilational Strain

                                           Warmer colors indicate
                                              greater dilational
                                           (extensional) strain, as
                                          measured by movement
                                         between permanent GPS
                                        stations located in the Great

                                        Temp (F)
                                        32o – 68o

                                        68o – 122o
                                        122o – 212o

                                        212o – 302o

                                        > 302o
Considerable known geothermal
resources in Nevada
Benefits of Geothermal Development

• Diversifies economy
• Creates jobs, particularly in rural NV
• Provides clean, renewable power
• Provides reliable, baseload power
• Provides distributed power – security
• Offsets fossil fuel emissions
• NV could be net exporter of power
       Key Challenges/Goals

• Locating productive resources
 (Developing exploration strategies)
• Characterizing resources, reservoir
• Communicating results to stakeholders
• Educating the next generation
   Work to Address Challenges

• Research on novel exploration techniques
• Locating new systems in collaboration
     with industry
• Developing curriculum
• Planning Renewable Energy Center (REC)
 at Redfield Campus (NREL), laboratory,
 multimedia center
             The REC Vision
     A world-class research, education, and
outreach center for the development and use of
     geothermal and other renewable energy
                   in Nevada.
• Developed a comprehensive interactive web-site
    containing geothermal databases to facilitate
    acquisition of exploration data by industry
•   Have held several workshops
•   Developed a detailed map of geothermal
    potential of the entire Great Basin to help focus
    geothermal exploration in the best regions
• Demonstrated new tools for geothermal
  exploration and site characterization
  (InSAR, Remote Sensing, GIS)
• Identified new areas warranting detailed
• Provided better understanding of behavior
  of existing fields
• Helped revitalize grass-roots geothermal
Geoscience Studies at the
    Redfield Campus

Example where a better understanding of an existing field
was obtained using new scientific techniques
Research at Steamboat Springs, south of Reno, NV
       PIs: Coolbaugh, Oppliger, Shevenell, Henry

             Advanced argillic alteration
             above original water table     Redfield Campus

Hot spring siliceous sinter terrace
 InSAR research lead by Gary Oppliger, Geological Sciences Department

          Nov 93 – Oct 95                     Production wells: red circles
                                              Injection wells: blue circles
                                                                              Jun 04 – Nov 05
   Annual rates of vertical and horizontal surface displacement modeled from
       InSAR at Redfield Campus for periods ending in 1995 and 2005.
The figure shows similar displacement magnitudes over 10 years but the main production contraction center has
     shifted SW by 500 meters increasing the very small displacements over the campus.     GLO - July 2006

• Two separate projects independently ID
  exploration sites near BV and Fairview
• Strong collaboration with industry
• Improved conceptual models for regional
  geothermal exploration
Humboldt House Geothermal
              Siliceous sinter deposits
               Surface heat loss 18 Mw
               Proximity to Florida Canyon gold
              Proximity to Rye Patch
                   geothermal plant
Conceptual Model for Geothermal
                  Regional faults serve
                  as conduits to fluid
                  Fluid flow is episodic
                  and characterized by
                  boiling and mixing
                  with shallower
                  Evidence of boiling
                  front in core indicates
                  proximity to fault
• Completed the conceptual programming
    document (final draft) of the UNR Renewable
    Energy Center
•   Research and Development
    – R&D experience helps UNR establish a world-class
      research and education capability for the development
      and use of renewable energy resources in Nevada and
      the Southwest.
    – Intellectual properties and potential start-up companies
    – Strong collaboration with local industry partners
• Education
    – Developed a draft proposal for a UNR Alternative Energy
      Development Program
          Geothermal Energy Related
             Engineering Projects
• Development of a ”thermal
  compression system”                                 “Geothermally Provided”
  designed to be incorporated
  into a geothermal power                           Solid State
  plant for the compression of                      Compressor

   – The use of “geothermal
     energy” to drive hydrogen
     compression, 100-300 °F

      (High power hydrogen compression materials)
   Geothermal Energy Related
   Engineering Projects (continued..)
• To operate geothermal
                                                         Vapor from the

  power plants at the best                    surface

  efficiency to capture the
  energy                                                                               Gravity

   – Development and                 Liquid coolant
     demonstration of “heat         (water) flowing
                                   inside the hollow

     transfer enhancement
                                                                           in drops
                                  condensing surface

     techniques” for
     geothermal power plants
       • Condensers
       • Boilers

                               (top-specially coated geothermal condenser)
                               (bottom-screen laminated geothermal boiler)
       Geothermal Energy Related
       Engineering Projects (continued..)
• Development and demonstration of
  “zero-liquid discharge systems” for the
  recovery of cooling tower water in
  geothermal power plants
   – Cooling system is integral part of
     power generation process and has
     major influence on overall efficiency.
   – Advanced treatment processes for
     recovery of water from blowdown
     brine in recirculated evaporative
     cooling towers by using UNR
     developed novel membrane                      “Membrane Distillation”
     technologies.                                  and
Other Renewable Energy Related
      Engineering Projects
• Development of a high-performance generator for wind
    turbines (NREL)
•   Demonstration project for the production, storage, distribution &
    use of hydrogen fuel by transit system (RTC)
•   Photochemical production of hydrogen (DOE)
•   Pressurized oxidative recovery of energy from biomass (DOE)
•   Bio-diesel pilot (Washoe County)
•   High pressure research on complex hydrides and energy storage
    materials (DOE)
•   Full spectrum solar energy (DOE)
•   Supramolecular proton exchange membranes for fuel cells (NSF)
•   Nano-porous surfaces for enhancing heat transfer (NSF)
Campus Heat
& Power
• Power                    Ormat’s new Burdette geothermal
    - wholesale prices     power plant at Steamboat Springs
•   Circulate 180º F H2O for heating – free
•   Second Hi-T line for research - free
•   1 MW turbine for research – free use
•   Cash donations to support education and training
UNR Renewable Energy Center (REC)
• Laboratory location
   – Redfield Building 1 (~3,200 ft2)
• A&E tasks (nearly complete)
   – Phase I: Conceptual
      • Preliminary design
      • Construction (Phase II)
        documents and cost
• “Fund raising” for laboratory
  build-out and equipment (in
   – DOE/National Renewable
     Energy Laboratory (NREL)
                                        (CPD, Stanley Consultants; Feb. 2007)
   – Private donors
          Renewable Energy Related
• College of Engineering is developing a proposal for a UNR
  Alternative Energy Development Program
   – A Public/private partnership
      • UNR, local industry partners, and the Redfield Foundation

• Colleges of Engineering and Science Proposing a “minor” in
  Renewable Energy (or Sustainable Energy)
       • Multi-disciplinary
           – College of Business
           – College of Engineering
                Developed 2 new courses (CHE 301 and CHE 410) in
                 renewable energy
           – College of Science
           – TMCC
                Developed new course in geology of geothermal
                 energy resources (GEOL 206)
• Geoscience work will continue – Jan 2007 RFP
     – Models to optimize production
     – May include resource stimulation
•   Engineering projects being funded for 2nd year
•   Funding being sought to hire an education and
    outreach planner and coordinator
•   Developing curricula for geothermal technician
    training, professional development and
    international training capabilities
•   Build laboratory at Redfield campus

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