Raser Technologies has recently started up a geothermal power plant in Utah that produces 10 MWe using a collection of identical, 200 kwe binary cycle units manufactured by UTC Power. It takes 50 of those units to produce the combined output, but by using these small, off the shelf machines, Raser was able to put together a commercial scale power plant in less than 6 months.
This project is an example of what I have been promoting for many years – small machines, built in series production can be combined to form a large power generation unit that can take advantage of the economies that come from having a larger, central generating unit. The manufactured generators can be delivered and installed much faster than one can put together a larger unit on site from large components. Not only that, but in some cases the smaller units can begin generating well before the entire station is built out.
Just think about what could be done with a series of 1-10 MWe nuclear heated gas turbines! Wonder if I should investigate even smaller unit sizes…
Take a look at the picture you can find on the UTC web site and compare it to the graphic on the Atomic Engines web site.