Hybrid Nuclear & Geothermal Power Generation

Available For Purchase

at Fall 2016 Auction Catalog

Available For Purchase at Fall 2016 Auction Catalog
ID Lot 009
Seller Garry Hine
Sector Energy
Assets 1 - US Patent; 1 - US Application; 2 - Foreign Patents; 6 - Foreign Applications
US Patents 9,303,629
Other Patents AU 2012286516; EP 2732159
Applications AU 2011902916; CA 20122840122; CN 2012833904; IN 863/DELNP/2014; RU 20140101101; PCT/AU2012/000850

Lot Summary

With a 2011 priority date, the disclosed portfolio describes a hybrid nuclear and geothermal power generation system. The invention provides for power generation using geothermal power generation technology with a nuclear reactor placed underground to supplement heat in the hot dry rock (HDR) zone, in a region where fluid for geothermal power generation is heated by passage through the rock.

The invention provides for a geothermal system having at least one injection shaft extending a depth to enable injection of fluid to a HDR zone (e.g., 4400-5000m), for heating by passage through the HDR region (e.g., reaching around 450-500°C and 5000–6000 psi) and ejected from one or more extraction shafts, typically as high pressure vapour steam (e.g., 2500–3300 psi) for driving turbines of a power plant. Importantly, the nuclear reactor is positioned to heat the rock in the HDR zone (e.g., a 3000 to 4000m deep shaft), supplementing the heat in the rock used for heating fluid for the geothermal power generation process.

The advantages of this novel technology are manifold, but primarily address problems associated with the prior art, including:
• Safety – Heating rock deep underground using the reactive components of the nuclear plant, the core may run at higher temperatures and the consequences of meltdown are not as dire as those based on the surface. The technology also addresses safety concerns that may arise due to terrorism.
• Thermal efficiency – Thermal efficiency of geothermal plants is typically low, ~10-23% because geothermal fluids are at a low temperature compared with steam from boilers. This method increases the HDR zone temperature, in turn, increasing the geothermal fluid temperature and plant efficiency.
• Waste Disposal – once the nuclear fuel is depleted (or in the case of an emergency), the bore housing the reactor core can simply be filled/sealed, containing any radioactive contamination from waste debris with in the HDR, which is itself radioactive.
• Life span – nuclear heating of rock in the HDR zone compensates for thermal depletion due to the heat exchange (rock to fluid) in the geothermal power generation process, thereby extending the overall plant lifecycle and maximising profitability of an otherwise costly infrastructure project. Further, once
a reactor is depleted and its bore sealed, a new bore can be drilled and a new reactor placed within the HDR zone to further extend the life cycle of the hybrid plant.

Due Diligence

Patent NumberFile History