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DOE Geothermal Energy Program: 

DOE Geothermal Energy Program John T. Finger Geothermal Research Department Sandia National Laboratories1 1Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin Company, for the U. S. Department of Energy under contract DE-ACO4-94AL85000.

World Interest is Heating Up: 

World Interest is Heating Up 1. United States: 2850 MWe 2. Philippines: 1909 MWe 3. Italy: 785 MWe 4. Mexico: 755 MWe 5. Japan: 547 MWe World Total: 8500 MW

Two Kinds of Geothermal Application: 

Two Kinds of Geothermal Application Direct Use (30-acre Greenhouse, NM) Power Generation (The Geysers, CA)

Heat and Power for the 21st Century: 

Heat and Power for the 21st Century 60 MWt 2500 MWe 114 MWt 28 MWt 30 MWt 54 MWt 40 MWe 51 MWt 200 MWe 69 MWt 102 MWt 22 MWt 30 MWe Installed: Over 2800 MW (electric) Over 500 MW (heat)

Why a Federal Geothermal Program?: 

Why a Federal Geothermal Program? Energy - Balance national energy portfolio Economics - Capture domestic and international markets Environment - Limit impacts of power production Mission: To work in partnership with U.S. industry to establish geothermal energy as an economically competitive contributor to the U.S. energy supply.

Program Structure: 

Program Structure

Geothermal Program Goals: 

Double the number of States with geothermal electric power facilities to eight by 2006. Reduce the levelized cost of generating geothermal power to 3-5 cents/kWh by 2007. Supply the electrical power or heat energy needs of 7 million homes and businesses in the United States by 2010. Supply 10%of electricity used in the western states by 2020. Geothermal Program Goals Technology Capacity Deployment GeoPowering the West Program Goal

GeoPowering the West: 

GeoPowering the West Announced January 2000 Initiative to dramatically increase the use of geothermal energy in the United States Increase focus on direct use Technology is increasingly competitive 300 communities in 10 states with viable resources within 5 miles

Guiding Principles: 

Regionally-Based Focus on Priority Areas Leverage Resources and Replicate Results Coordinated Activities Guiding Principles


Why Is Industry Ready Now? Green Power / Deregulation Improved Economics Smaller, Lower-Risk Projects

Major Technical Issues: 

Major Technical Issues Reservoir location and characterization Reservoir enhancement Fluid treatment in power plants High-cost drilling and completion

Federally Supported Research: 

Federally Supported Research Universities Industry partnerships Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) National Labs

University Programs: 

University Programs Earth and Geosciences Institute - University of Utah Geothermal Lab - Southern Methodist University Stanford Geothermal Program Geo-Heat Center - Oregon Institute of Technology

Industry Partnerships: 

Industry Partnerships

Small Business Innovation Research: 

Small Business Innovation Research Phase I - 4 projects; $377k funding; high-temperature logging tools and transducers Phase II - 5 projects; $3.7M funding; expert systems, high-temperature electronics

National Labs: 

National Labs NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) – Power plants INEEL (Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory) – Reservoir characterization Sandia National Laboratories – Drilling research

NREL Focus: 

NREL Focus NREL aims to make geothermal power plants, primarily using low- to moderate-temperature resources, operate more efficiently and with less maintenance. This effort includes development of different power-cycle technologies and new materials.

NREL Program Areas: 

NREL Program Areas Condensation of mixtures Heat exchanger linings Air-cooled condensers Non-condensable gas removal

INEEL Focus: 

INEEL Focus INEEL work in geophysics and geoscience is directed toward improved location and definition of geothermal reservoirs. It is particularly important to understand orientation of and flow patterns through large fracture systems in the reservoir.


INEEL Program Areas Resource Identification and Assessment Exploration Fracture Analysis Resource Productivity and Sustainability

Sandia Focus: 

Sandia Focus Sandia works to reduce the cost of drilling and completing geothermal wells. This is critical for increasing power on-line, because the well field (production and injection) can represent up to 50% of a power project’s capital cost. Geothermal drilling is expensive, compared to oil and gas drilling, because the rocks are hot, hard, abrasive, and fractured, and often contain corrosive fluid. The number of geothermal wells drilled each year is small, so there is little incentive for industry to develop geothermal drilling technology.

Sandia Program Areas: 

Sandia Program Areas Diagnostics-While-Drilling: real-time, high-speed data from downhole High temperature electronics: better measurements for drilling and reservoir evaluation Hard-rock drill bits: penetrate faster, last longer Lost circulation: mitigate or prevent loss of drilling fluid to the formation

Program Accomplishments: 

Generated > $200m annual sales & economic impact for oil & gas applications Contributed to savings > $200k/well & world-record performances: ROP > 2,200 ft/hr; Single bit run > 22,000 ft; Cumulative run > 180,000 ft PDC Bits  reduced drilling costs Program Accomplishments HT Electronics  better measurements for drilling and reservoir evaluation Develop downhole logging and drilling tools that provide reliable, accurate data under geothermal conditions Silicon-on-Insulator components Thermal batteries Complete logging assemblies

Program Accomplishments: 

Demonstrated 30-55% savings: Showed production correlation (Sandia field tests; Well data) Slimhole Drilling  lower exploration costs Program Accomplishments Lost Circulation Control  safe, efficient drilling Developed monitoring instruments, now commercialized, for mud properties & flow rate: Mud Density Meter Rolling Float Meter

Program Accomplishments: 

Program Accomplishments Advanced Direct Contact Condensers (FY1999) Improves efficiency of flashed and dry steam power plants by as much as 5% CaP Cement (FY2000) Used in harsh, hostile environments (hypersaline brine, high CO2 content, high acidity, up to 320°C) R&D 100 Awards Southeast Geysers Effluent Pipeline Extends reservoir lifetime by 7 to 10 years, improves output by >50 MW Jointly funded by industry, State, Federal, and local agencies

Research Needs: 

Research Needs Cheaper drilling Better reservoir exploration and identification Better reservoir evaluation and management More efficient power plants for lower temperatures

Geothermal Energy Potential: 

Electric Generation Potential Top 3 States: Nevada California Utah Other High Potential States: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Hawaii, New Mexico, Oregon, and Wyoming Geothermal Energy Potential

Geothermal Basics: 

Geothermal Basics Geothermal energy uses the Earth’s natural heat for some useful purpose. Because the center of the Earth is so hot, almost any location could provide energy if we drill deep enough, but there are only limited locations where hot rock comes near enough the surface for this to be economical.

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