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This paper summarizes a study performed for the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) under Contract No. DE-AC03-79ET27231. The objective of this study was to evaluate the engineering and economic feasibility of utilizing geothermal resources in a hypothetical wet corn milling plant in East Mesa, Calif.

Using typical wet corn milling process information, a geothermal system conceptual design (Case 1) and a combined geothermal/cogeneration system conceptual design (Case 2) were developed. The use of geothermal energy in Case 1 was 14.7 x 106 Btu/h (4.307 x 106 W) while in Case 2 the usage was 20.4 x 106 Btu/h (5.977 x 106 W). The total reduction in the plant’s conventional energy usage would be 6.6% for Case 1 and 17.1% for Case 2. In Case 2, the cogeneration system makes a significant contribution to the savings.

The results of the economic analysis indicated that the after-tax rate of return and simple payback periods were 28% and 3.8 yrs, respectively, for Case 1. The corresponding values for Case 2 were 46.1% and 2.2 yrs.

Citation: Symposium, ASHRAE Transactions, Volume 87, Part 1, Chicago, Illinois