When you create a new case or file, SAM populates inputs with default values to help you get started with your analysis. So, if you create a case for a utility-scale geothermal project with a single owner, SAM populates the inputs on the Financing and System Costs pages with values that are reasonable for a typical geothermal project for power generation in the United States. The default values are just a starting point: As you develop and refine your analysis, you should change the inputs to values that are appropriate for your analysis scenario.
Cross, J.; Freeman, J. (2009) 2008 Geothermal Techologies Market Report. 46 pp.; DOE/GO 102009 2864 (PDF 1.3 MB)
Geothermal Electricity Technology Evaluation Model, Version 2009-A15. (GETEM 2009-A15). U.S. Department of Energy Geothermal Technologies Program. (GETEM Website)
SAM's geothermal power model is based on the U.S. Department of Energy's Geothermal Electricity Technology Evaluation Model (GETEM), https://energy.gov/eere/geothermal/geothermal-electricity-technology-evaluation-model. The model calculates the annual and lifetime electrical output of a utility-scale geothermal power plant, and the levelized cost of energy and other economic metrics for the plant.
SAM cannot model a ground source heat pump (also called geothermal heat pump or geoexchange) systems for building heating and cooling.
Documentation for the U.S. Department of Energy's Geothermal Electricity Technology Evaluation Model (GETEM) is available from https://energy.gov/eere/geothermal/getem-manuals-and-revision-notes.
The geothermal power model calculates the output of a power plant that uses heat from below the surface of the ground to drive a steam electric power generation plant. SAM analyzes the plant's performance over its lifetime, assuming that changes in the resource and electrical output occur monthly over a period of years.
SAM can be used to answer the following kinds of questions:
SAM models the following types of systems: