DOE announces finalists for Geothermal Manufacturing Prize

DOE announces finalists for Geothermal Manufacturing Prize American-made Geothermal Prize (source: DOE/ NREL)
Carlo Cariaga 13 Jan 2022

The DOE has announced the list of finalist teams who will move on to the Geo! phase of the American-Made Geothermal Manufacturing Prize

The US Department of Energy has announced the five finalists for the American-Made Geothermal Manufacturing Prize. These finalists will move on to the Geo! contest where they will be manufacturing functional prototypes and doing field testing of their projects.

The five finalist teams and their respective projects are as follows:

  • Team Baker Hughes (Houston, TX) is developing high expansion packers with an interlocking petal design that will improve isolation of zones in geothermal wells
  • Team Downhole Emerging Technologies (Houston, TX) is developing an alternative all-metal packer system that is designed to withstand the extreme pressure, temperature, and corrosive environment in geothermal wells
  • Team PLUGS (Morgantown, WV) is developing a sparger system using high-pressure air that will be an alternative to the traditional electric pumps that frequently encounter issues because of harsh geothermal conditions
  • The Bit Guys (Morgantown, WV) is developing an air-hammer drill bit with carbide cutter retention technology that has the strength and thermal resistance to drill through notoriously difficult basement rock
  • Team Ultra-High Temperature Logging Tool (Houston, TX) is developing an innovative labyrinthian heat sink to better protect temperature-sensitive electronic components in downhole logging tools

You may view the video interviews given by these finalists (and their co-semi-finalists) in a report that we have previously published.

The American-Made Geothermal Manufacturing Prize is a competition that aims to advance geothermal energy technology using 3D printing. It engages with energy incubators, investors, universities, national laboratories, and others to harness advanced rapid manufacturing technologies to address the challenges of harsh geothermal conditions – namely high temperatures, high pressure, corrosive fluids, and high rock strength.

“This prize will incentivize entrepreneurs and innovators to develop more cost-effective methods and materials to overcome the challenges of working in a geothermal environment,” as described by Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Kelly Speakes-Backman during the announcement event.

The American -Made Geothermal Manufacturing Prize is supported by the Geothermal Technologies Office and the Advanced Manufacturing Office of the DOE, in partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Source: Department of Energy