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FY 1987 structural dynamics research activities will improve the
understanding of how aerodynamic loads induce structural stresses and rotor
and tower material fatigue. Research efforts are aimed at the development of
predictive models which take into account the complex Interactions of forces
on wind machines. Cooperative field assessment activities with industry are
used in this area to acquire the data necessary to verify theories.
Advanced component development involves the application of basic science and
research on aero and structural dynamics to develop components that could lead to major improvements in the energy production of advanced wind turbines. This area also includes studies on environmental effects of wind turbines, application of wind turbines as fuel savers with diesel generators for remote power generation, and on the Interaction of wind machines with existing utility power systems.
The Ocean Program conducts the research and development of ocean energy technology to a point where the private sector can make competent assessments
of whether applications of the technology are viable energy supply
This will be accomplished through appropriate research on
components and systems modelling.
The OTEC program is guided by a long-range
goal to investigate the technologies which could reduce the capital cost of
the OTEC systems to $3200/kWe (1984 dollars). The program strategy focuses
on reducing the technical uncertainties associated with a 5-15 Mwe,
near-shore OTEC system which serves as an approximation of the incremental
capacity requirements of the type of markets representing the likely point of Initial competitiveness for this technology. The FY 1987 budget request 18 $2.5 million for operating expenses.
The emphasis of the FY 1987 Ocean Program will be placed on experimental verification and testing and thermodynamic research and analysis. Material and structures research and oceanographic, environmental, and geotechnical research previously undertaken have provided a data base that is useful for
the two 1987 research areas, but do not currently require the degree of
emphasis that was necessary la past years.
The objective of the experimental verification and testing program is to provide a facility for private industry to conduct seawater tests and experiments which verify OTEC component functional feasibility, performance, and operational characteristics on a scale which can be extrapolated for use 10 nodular systems applicable to small plants. The FY 1987 budget will also provide funds to upgrade the Seacoast Test Facility by expanding the capacity of its seavater systems for open-cycle OTEC experiments.
One objective of the thermodynamic research and analysis program 18 to
erperisentally determine the effects of seawater and non-condensible gas on
open-cycle heat and mass transfer processes. The program will also validate
selected power system analytical models at a scale sufficient to extrapolate
• generic understanding of how to design potentially cost-effective open and latent-heat power systens which could beet the cost goals of the program. Reaching this goal 18 dependent upon increasing the output of the power system and significantly reducing the life cycle cost.
OTHER SOLAR ACTIVITIES
The PY 1987 budget request for the efforts in support of planned research
activities 18 $8.1 million for operating expenses and $.6 million for capital
equipment. These efforts include International, technology transfer, and
resource assessment programs, the Solar Energy Research Institute, and
program support and direction.
Technology transfer activities such as publications summarizing research
results across individual lavestigations and performing centers are important
mechanisms for transferring Information to the R&D community in context and provide the basis for facilitating Information exchange and dialogue. Additionally, continuing requests are received for information from a more
general cross section of the public and the energy community concerning renewable energy. The FY 1987 budget request of $1.9 million for operating expenses and $.1 million for capital equipment will continue the technical and public information services at levels commensurate with solar research
and development activities.
The international solar energy program provides Federal organizations and
industry with a vehicle for cooperative international trade development for renewable energy. DOE 18 responsible for chairing an interagency committee, the Committee on Renewable Energy Commerce and Trade (CORECT) which provides a forum where industry and public entities can coordinate the use of existing resources and authorities to exploit export opportunities for the domestic solar energy Industry. Additionally, funds are used to conduct a program managed by the Department of Commerce which cost shares, with industry, the development and presentation of exhibitions, special trade missions and trade development services with a continuing focus on international markets of more significant potential. The FY 1987 budget request is $.5 million for
The FY 1987 budget request of $.5 million for the Solar Energy Research
Institute will fund capital improvements to the permanent DOE facilities that
will improve efficiency, safety and security.
Solar resource assessment activities will provide information regarding the
distribution and spectral, and temporal variability of solar energy resources
throughout the United States.
The FY 1987 budget request for these
activities 18 $.7 million. Coordination of these activities and other
ongoing research and development activities is an important part of the
program support and direction functions. FY 1987 requests of $.9 million for
program support and $4.1 million for program direction funds will, among other things, provide technical and crosscutting studies of the various solar
technologies, provide for updates to multi-year program plans, continue
technical and programmatic dialogue with industry, and manage the diverse
research activities in the national solar research program.
The Geothermal Energy Program carries out research and development, in cooperation with lndustry, on an array of geothermal resource types (including geopressured, hydrothermal, hot dry rock, and magna) and conversion technologies designed to define the technical and economic boundaries of this vast domestic energy supply resource. Program activities laclude applied research, technology development, and information efforts which provide the basis for the timely introduction of new concepts and products into the marketplace by the private sector. The FY 1987 budget request for the Geothermal Program 18 $17.9 million for operating expenses.
The purpose of the geopressured research program 18 to define the technical characteristics and recoverability of this large resource of hot brine and methane which lies primarily beneath the u.s. Gulf Coast. The FY 1987
program includes experimental well flow testing, tests of the conversion of
the combined energy content (thermal and chemical) to electricity, and
supporting research on the dynanic response of geopressured reservoirs to
production conditions, chemical constituents of the brine, and the possibility of land subsidence.
Hydrothermal research will allow the expansion of the accessible resource
base through an improved understanding of the processes for extraction and
reinjection of geothermal fluide; new materials capable of withstanding high temperatures, high pressures, and highly corrosive environments; brine chemistry research leading to techniques to prevent plugging of wells and pipes; advanced power cycle technologies; field testing techniques for
appraising very high temperature geothermal resevoirs at the Salton Sea
Scientific Drilling Project; and the experimental study of survey methods
applicable to young and andesitic volcanoes.
Hard rock penetration research will be performed jointly with industry to
Laprove the technology and reduce the uncertainty of geothermal well drilling, that currently represents about half of the cost of geothermal
power and exceeds the cost of typical petroleum wells by factors of two to four due to the fact that geothermal wells are generally deeper, and encounter harder rock, higher temperatures, and more corrosive fluids than do oil and gas vells. Experimental programs Include high-pressure water jets combined with rock cutters, mechanics of rock penetration, and drilling fluid 1088 control.
Research will also be carried out to determine the depth and size of a large continental nagma chamber, to evaluate alternative methods of energy conversion, and to develop materials and instrumentation capable of operations in the 1000 degree Celsius pagma environment.
Hot dry rock research involves the evaluation of the properties of deep
crystalline rock and the development of nethods to extract geothermal heat from such resources. In FY 1987, the experimental extraction of heat from the large fractured reservoir at Penton H111, New Mexico, will begin and research on Improved diagnostic technologies including microseismic
aeasurements will be extended to higher temperatures.
GEOTHERMAL RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT FUND
The Geothermal Resources Development Fund was established to broaden the
geothermal energy technology base by guaranteeing loans for private sector
development of several state-of-the-art facilities. The FY 1987 request 18 $72,000, which allows for evaluating projects, restructuring existing guarantee agreements, and monitoring outstanding loans.
Small-scale hydropower technology 1s nearing naturity, and the DOE program has succeeded to providing the necessary technology base to Industry. Therefore, ao funds are requested for FY 1987. Ongoing contracted analytical ead technical support will begin to phase out. The remaining technology developaent end R&D projects will then be monitored by DOE personnel to