Figure of Merit Analysis of a Hybrid Solar-geothermal Power Plant


Figure of merit analysis is a general methodology used to evaluate whether a hybrid power plant could produce more power than two stand-alone power plants. In this paper, the assessment methodology using figure of merit analysis was re-examined for a hybrid solar-geothermal power plant. A new definition of the figure of merit was introduced specifically for a solar boosted geothermal plant to include both the technical and economic factors. The new definition was then applied in a case study of a hypothetical demonstration hybrid solar-geothermal power plant in Australia. The power plant was considered to have a typical net power output of 2.2 MW with a solar energy fraction of 27%. The analysis was performed to compare the power output and capital cost of the hybrid plant with the state-of-the-art (SoA) and existing stand-alone solar and geothermal plants. Based on the new definition, the hybrid plant was found to generally outperform the two existing stand-alone plants. Moreover, at an ambient temperature of 5 °C, the hybrid plant was found to outperform the SoA stand-alone plants when the geothermal temperature was greater than 150 °C. For geothermal temperature of 180 °C on the other hand, the hybrid plant outperformed the SoA stand-alone plants at ambient temperatures lower than 33 °C.

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C. Zhou, E. Doroodchi and B. Moghtaderi, "Figure of Merit Analysis of a Hybrid Solar-geothermal Power Plant," Engineering, Vol. 5 No. 1B, 2013, pp. 26-31. doi: 10.4236/eng.2013.51B005.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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