Solar Thermal Array Waste Heat to Power Project at USF, Tampa

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Gulf Coast Green Energy (GCGE) installed a Power+ GeneratorTM at the University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa, that will generate green energy from thermal energy collected from five rows of Solar Collector Assemblies (SCAs) to heat water, which is fed directly into the Power+ waste heat to power generator.  Funding for the project was provided by the University of South Florida Foundation.

GCGE was is the first to generate electricity from a solar thermal field using a Waste Heat to Power (WHP) generator, the Power+ GeneratorTM, on the Island of Cyprus on the campus of Middle Eastern Technical University.

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The Power+ GeneratorTM generates power which will be delivered to the University’s main bus by harnessing hot water in the solar collection troughs. Water heated in the solar array is pumped to the Power+ to heat a working fluid that, under pressure, rotates the Power+ GeneratorTM twin screw expander to generate electricity. The working fluid is then condensed by a water cooling tower to begin the process again in a closed loop cycle. The Power+ generates 35-65 kWe depending on local weather conditions.

Currently, the Power+ GeneratorTM is operational and awaiting retrofits to the array. The primary purpose of the project is to provide thermodynamic and mechanical engineering research, according to Dr. Yogi Goswami, Distinguished Professor of Energy Conservation, Hydrogen Energy and Fuel Cells, Thermodynamics and Director of USF’s Clean Energy Research Center (CERC) and Heat Transfer. The project will be operational during research activities, however, USF looks to operate the Power+ more consistently while investigating methods to increase efficiency and optimize the project.

Gulf Coast Green Energy is a leader in small-scale, distributed power generation from waste heat and is a Distributor for the Power+ GeneratorTM, please visit us at www.gulfcoastgreenenergy.com

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