Golden, Colo., May 10, 2000 - Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory were honored May 10 with a Year 2000 Federal Laboratory Consortium Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer for the advanced direct contact condenser as applied in geothermal power plants.
Award recipients are Desikan Bharathan, who developed the condenser technology, and the geothermal research team including Vahab Hassani, Yves Parent, Federica Zangrando and Ed Hoo.
The condenser technology increases the efficiency and generating capacity in electric power plants while reducing pollution. This is accomplished by using sophisticated geometric shapes to provide the best surface area for condensing spent steam. Recently, geothermal power plant operators using the NREL technology in California improved electricity production efficiency by 5 percent, increased potential generating capacity by nearly 17 percent and cut in half the cost of emissions treatment.
DOE's Office of Geothermal Technologies provided funding for the condenser research. The technology was demonstrated at the Geysers, a geothermal power plant in California that was operated by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company. It is now marketed by ABB ALSTOM POWER of Easton, Pa., and will be installed at the new Tres Virgenes Geothermal Power Plant in Mexico.
The award was presented at the national meeting of the Federal Laboratory Consortium aboard the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown in Charleston, S.C.
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