Hybrid cooling to increase output at Neal Hot Springs geothermal plant

Neal Hot Springs geothermal plant in Oregon/ U.S. (source: U.S. Geothermal)
Alexander Richter 15 Feb 2017

Looking into a hybrid water and air cooling solution for its 22 MW Neal Hot Springs geothermal plant in Oregon, U.S. Geothermal hopes to add an additional 3 MW in power generation capacity.

Developer U.S. Geothermal is considering a hybrid cooling solution to increase power generation of its Neal Hot Springs geothermal power plant in Oregon.

The plant is currently running at 22 MW net. With adding water cooling in hybrid cooling solution, the company expects to be able to add up to 3 MW in power generation capacity.

“A third water supply well for the project was drilled in December, but due to extreme winter weather, the well has not been completed and tested to date.”, so U.S. Geothermal in a recent release.  “Productive water zones were intersected in the well, but a liner must be installed before the well can be flow tested. A fourth site has been selected and will be drilled once weather allows. The project currently has one well available from drilling in 2015 that can supply approximately 170 gallons per minute. The minimum amount of water needed for a hybrid cooling system is approximately 200-300 gallons per minute for each unit.

The ability to use water cooling during the 5-6 months of summer and fall would increase power generation, when current air cooling results in a lower plant output. An initial engineering evaluation of various hybrid cooling methods was completed by Power Engineers Inc., which confirms the economic viability of hybrid cooling if enough water can be found.”

Source: Company release via Marketwired