KGRA Energy to provide ORC solution to generate electricity from oil wells

Alexander Richter 7 Oct 2009

U.S. based KGRA Energy is looking to become a modular, small scale geothermal power plant developer, utilizing an own solution with a Pratt & Whitney ORC unit to generate electricity from lower heat water from oil wells.

A recent article introduces an interesting company. “New Jersey-based KGRA Energy is looking to become a modular, small scale geothermal power plant developer. And the company says it can do it without drilling a single well to extract the heat.

The company’s CEO Jason Gold told the Cleantech Group his company provides oil and gas field operators with geothermal electricity harnessed from their existing wells.

Traditional “flash” power plants, which require super-heated steam to power a turbine, use temperatures of 360 degrees Fahrenheit and hotter in their conversion processes.

But there are geothermal developers moving toward lower temperature geothermal applications.

“However, these folks still have to drill for their resource,” Gold said. “This is the very essence of what we avoid.”

KGRA says it is able to generate energy at lower temperatures and using a liquid other than water in a device based on an industrial air conditioner. The organic Rankine cycle device uses a refrigerant to convert heat recovered from the wells into electricity, without releasing emissions.

KGRA’s device is made by Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies. The machine—which fits comfortably on a flatbed truck—is made on Pratt & Whitney’s existing air conditioning assembly line. Organic Rankine cycle machines have been shown to work at temperatures as low as 160 F under the right circumstances, Gold said.

KGRA has applied for a patent to put the technology toward geothermal uses as well as all the associated elements of making it into a power plant.

“I loved the idea of low temperature geothermal because a developer could go around and buy up the properties which had been explored and found to have temperatures in the 200 to 300 F range, and they could buy them very cheaply because traditional geothermal developers looking for 360 F and up had ignored those properties,” Gold said. “It was like making gold out of lead.”

Gold said this business model ran into difficulty when the developers had to drill out the properties and weren’t as successful as they anticipated. But KGRA thinks it has a way to fix that by using existing wells.

Gold said his company’s business model is centered on building, operating and maintaining the power generation facilities, so there’s no capital investment for the customer.”

For the full article see link below.