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Title: Analysis of Low-Temperature Utilization of Geothermal Resources

Full realization of the potential of what might be considered “low-grade” geothermal resources will require that we examine many more uses for the heat than traditional electricity generation. To demonstrate that geothermal energy truly has the potential to be a national energy source we will be designing, assessing, and evaluating innovative uses for geothermal-produced water such as hybrid biomass-geothermal cogeneration of electricity and district heating and efficiency improvements to the use of cellulosic biomass in addition to utilization of geothermal in district heating for community redevelopment projects. The objectives of this project were: 1) to perform a techno-economic analysis of the integration and utilization potential of low-temperature geothermal sources. Innovative uses of low-enthalpy geothermal water were designed and examined for their ability to offset fossil fuels and decrease CO2 emissions. 2) To perform process optimizations and economic analyses of processes that can utilize low-temperature geothermal fluids. These processes included electricity generation using biomass and district heating systems. 3) To scale up and generalize the results of three case study locations to develop a regionalized model of the utilization of low-temperature geothermal resources. A national-level, GIS-based, low-temperature geothermal resource supply model was developed and used to develop a series of nationalmore » supply curves. We performed an in-depth analysis of the low-temperature geothermal resources that dominate the eastern half of the United States. The final products of this study include 17 publications, an updated version of the cost estimation software GEOPHIRES, and direct-use supply curves for low-temperature utilization of geothermal resources. The supply curves for direct use geothermal include utilization from known hydrothermal, undiscovered hydrothermal, and near-hydrothermal EGS resources and presented these results at the Stanford Geothermal Workshop. We also have incorporated our wellbore model into TOUGH2-EGS and began coding TOUGH2-EGS with the wellbore model into GEOPHIRES as a reservoir thermal drawdown option. Additionally, case studies for the WVU and Cornell campuses were performed to assess the potential for district heating and cooling at these two eastern U.S. sites.« less
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Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
West Virginia University Research Corporation
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Geothermal Technologies Office (EE-4G)
Country of Publication:
United States