Innovative geothermal drilling technology receives DOE funding

Drilling rig on project site of FORGE in Fallon, Nevada (source: FORGE)
Alexander Richter Alexander Richter 22 May 2019

Two companies in the U.S. have received funding on their innovative work on geothermal drilling optimization and communication to enable high-temperature directional drilling.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy has announced funding of up to $22 million in grants for small businesses to demonstrate technical feasibility for innovations as specified under theprogram.

Of the 12 topics, two were for the Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) and five under a joint topic of advanced manufacturing and the GTO.

The following awards have been announced this week that are relevant to geothermal.

E-Spectrum Technologies Inc., San Antonio, Texas.  – $194,694

A Machine Learning Based Geothermal Drilling Optimization System Using EM Short-Hop Telemetry of Bit Dynamics Measurements

Improvements in the telemetry of downhole drilling data are needed to optimize drilling performance and reduce geothermal well costs. This project uses short- hop downhole communications, downhole processing, pattern recognition, machine-learning algorithms, and long-range EM technology to create a Geothermal Drilling Optimization System to maximize penetration rates and drill bit life.

Ozark Integrated Circuits Inc., Fayetteville, Arkansas. – $204,902

Ruggedized Communication Technology for Enabling High-Temperature Directional Drilling

A novel power and data backbone for subterranean drill-strings is proposed that will increase operating temperatures, increase exploration depths, increase drilling duration, and reduce operational costs for geothermal, oil and gas exploration. This technology borrows from, and infuses into, other high-temperature applications including aerospace and industrial controls.

Source: U.S. Department of Energy – EERE