New small-scale low-temperature geothermal plant installed at Surprise Valley Hot Spring, California

Surprise Valley, California (source: flickr/ BLM California, public domain)
Alexander Richter Alexander Richter 9 Jan 2018

A pilot project has installed a new small-scale low-temperature geothermal power "engine" (plant) for power generation from geothermal resources at the Surprise Valley Hot Springs Resort in Modoc County, California.

In a release to the stock market today, PwrCor, Inc. (OTCQB:PWCO), announced that the manufacture, initial testing, and trial runs of its first engine have been completed successfully.

The engine is built to operate using ultra-low-grade heat from a geothermal source. This marks a key milestone to provide clean, “green” electrical power to the Surprise Valley Hot Springs Resort in Modoc County, CA. The engine was designed and constructed at Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas, and is the first of its kind that deploys the Company’s proprietary technology. The engine is continuing to go through the Company’s rigorous preparatory testing regimen before its scheduled shipment to California later this month.

PwrCor’s technology represents the ability to cost effectively convert ultra-low-grade heat to power and is the breakthrough that the geothermal and waste heat industries have been seeking.  The Company expects to release testing data in the near future that will illustrate the potential of the technology; however, preliminary results meet or exceed expectations.

PwrCor will be paid directly by Modoc County from funding that was arranged via a grant from the California Energy Commission.  The mission of the California Energy Commission includes supporting the use of alternative energy sources, which the PwrCorTM technology will help accomplish.  Once the installation is completed, the Surprise Valley Hot Springs Resort is expected to no longer rely solely on utility power.

Chester Robertson, County Administrative Officer, stated “Modoc County has abundant geothermal resources, including above surface low temperature reservoirs. The County seeks to be a leader in application of new technologies for geothermal energy, and is excited to have the initial installation using PwrCor’s unit in a geothermal application. It will enable clean electrical power generation from existing surface waters at a site where there has historically been only direct heat utilization.  The technology will be applied at a scale that promotes distributed electrical energy with minimal site disturbance and capital investment compared to large geothermal projects.”

PwrCor’s proprietary technology efficiently utilizes supply heat at temperatures below 200°F (93 degrees Celsius), considered “ultra-low-grade” heat.  The hot spring water in California’s Surprise Valley comes to the surface at temperatures of approximately 190°F.  PwrCor’s engine is expected to supply power to the resort using just a fraction of the heat capacity of the geothermal resource.

Tom Telegades, CEO of PwrCor, stated, “This engine is the first of its kind, and its successful development marks a major accomplishment for PwrCor. The Surprise Valley geothermal project is a prime example of executing the Company’s strategy to apply PwrCorTM technology to strategic markets. We are currently working on additional project initiatives in the Oil and Gas, Solar Thermal, Reciprocating Engines and Turbines, Fuel Cell, and Data Center markets, all of which have enormous amounts of wasted ultra-low-grade heat that can be converted to useful power.  We believe that PwrCor’s technology can change the energy profile of entire industries.”

“The plant’s technology is projected to produce 250 kW of electric power with 150 gallons per minute of water at 180 degrees F (82 degrees Celsius), enough power to service more than 150 homes. At that level of output, the Surprise Valley Hot Springs site represents a potential estimated at 1.5 MW of constant, uninterrupted electric power. “The hot spring water is basically boiling at the surface and will be placed in a “closed loop” heat exchange system which means it will never touch the working fluid.” so a very early press release by the company.


Source: Company release via Globe Newswire, an earlier press release by the company