Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Science & Technology: Using Supercritical Carbon Dioxide as a Working Fluid Could Boost Geothermal Power Production

Game-Changing Supercritical CO2 Cycles Are Closer to Commercialization (Power)

Supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) cycles—which are inching closer to commercial applications for waste heat recovery, concentrating solar power, nuclear, [geothermal] and fossil energy—offer higher thermal efficiencies and power density than conventional steam Rankine and Air Brayton cycles in use today for power generation. But to realize these potentially game-changing cycles, common challenges associated with turbomachinery must be overcome, experts from the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) said as they presented a tutorial on December 12 at the Turbomachinery Symposium in Houston.

During their tutorial, which provided an overview of ongoing research on sCO2 power cycles and associated turbomachinery, the experts noted that SwRI is designing and should soon begin building a 10-MW grid-connected pilot project at the organization’s campus in San Antonio, Texas, that will use sCO2 Brayton power cycles.