The LOW-BIN project aims at improving cost-effectiveness, competitiveness and market penetration of geothermal electricity generation schemes, targeting both hydrothermal resources for immediate market penetration and future enhanced geothermal systems, by:
- Widening market perspectives of geothermal Rankine Cycle power generation by developing a unit that can generate electricity from low temperature geothermal resources, with temperature threshold for profitable operation down to 65 °C, compared with 90-100 °C of existing units.
- Developing a Rankine Cycle machine for cogeneration of heat and power by heat recovery from the cooling water circuit. This will lead to cogeneration of heat and power from Rankine Cycle units in present and future geothermal district heating schemes with overall energy efficiency of 98-99%, compared with 7-15% for existing units producing only electricity and for 35-60% of existing geothermal cogeneration schemes.
Both machines will comprise fully integrated units, integrating vapour turbine, cooling heat exchanger, liquid pump, preheater (optional), geothermal heat exchanger, automation and control and other auxiliary equipment.
The project involves theoretical research, laboratory experimentation, pre-prototype development, technology evaluation of the pre-prototype in terms of technology breakthrough achievement, energy efficiency, electricity generation costs and market potential, manufacturing and demonstration of successful prototypes, monitoring and technology validation, as well as dissemination of the technology and other innovation related activities.
The LOW-BIN coordinator is the Centre of Renewable Energy Sources (CRES) and the project consortium consists of 9 partners from 8 countries.
The project started on the 1st March 2006 and will last 3 years.