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DOE Announces $20M to Boost Development of Innovative Geothermal Technologies

13 May 2010

The US Department of Energy today released a new Funding Opportunity Announcement (DE-FOA-0000318) for up to $20 million for research, development, and demonstration of cutting-edge geothermal technologies that could reduce US demand for fossil fuels and significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions.

DOE’s objective through this funding opportunity is to demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of non-conventional geothermal energy technologies in research areas including low-temperature fluids, geothermal fluids recovered from oil and gas wells, and highly pressurized geothermal fluids. This three-topic FOA will focus on areas associated with geothermal energy as outlined in the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 2005, section 931(a)(2)(C):

  1. Low-Temperature Geothermal Fluids at temperatures up to 300° Fahrenheit (F) or approximately 150° Celsius (C).

  2. Geothermal Fluids Coproduced from productive, unproductive, or marginal oil and/or gas wells; other hydrocarbon production; or mineral recovery/mining operations.

  3. Geopressured Resources that show potential for economic recovery of heat, kinetic energy, and gas.

For the purposes of the FOA, energy production is defined as converting the thermal potential contained within geothermal fluids into electricity. Only projects that generate electricity from the heat contained within geothermal fluids will be considered; but projects that also use the chemical or kinetic energy of the fluids, or have additional direct use applications for the geothermal fluids will also be considered. Innovation may include but is not limited to: innovative cooling systems (e.g., air, water, or hybrid systems), use of innovative working fluids, use of more efficient heat exchanger materials, and/or maximization of energy utilization via combination of electricity generation and direct technologies.

Prospective applicants for this funding opportunity announcement are encouraged begin developing partnerships, formulating ideas, and gathering data for potential applications. The expected close date of this announcement is 9 July 2010.

The complete funding opportunity announcement can be viewed at FedConnect.

May 13, 2010 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

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Most of this money would save more fuel use and lower CO2 release by being used to promote and require combined heat power and cooling for businesses and homes. Computer control has made such units possible. Honda has over 50,000 such units in service and larger ones are available from UTC who is hiding them to promote their more expensive fuel cells.

Almost all natural gas powered CHP units will save the building owner money in the long run and can be adapted to make the power system much more reliable for computer users. The high initial capital costs prevent their automatic use because of low price bidding as it would the use of insulation, so eventually CHP units have to be required just as energy efficient refrigerators are.

The relativly newer ductile cast iron resists corrosion much better than steel and can be used for well casings and pipes. The related ground source heat pumps are a good combination with CHP units. ..HG..

I figure Hawaii has to have some geothermal because of the volcanic activity. This could be a base load power source that is added to wind and solar power when available.

These approaches differ from the drilling's fowled by high pressure corrosion and maybe be presently the only viable options left to harvest the wealth of energy beneath us.

Henry,

Enhanced Geothermal Power is a very promising area. One could just as easily say that $54 billion targeted for nuclear in the just released bill would be better spent on wind and solar. I personally believe the $20 million number is too low and the $54 billion number far too high.

Has anyone seen the newer Micro CHP units incorporating Stirling generators from Infinia?

http://www.enatec.com/stirling_micro-chp.html
http://www.infiniacorp.com/index.html

The $54B in govt loan guarantees for N. plants would be much better spent on increasing investment in geothermal such as mentioned in this article, and also to subsidize these types of high-efficiency gas powered CHP units for all homes.

WhisperGen was a company making a Stirling CHP for home use, but I have not heard much from them lately.

http://www.whispergen.com/main/technology/

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