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Geothermal: Direct Use and Electricity Generation Applications (CABLE)


g.      Geothermal: Direct Use and Electricity Generation Applications (CABLE)

The Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) collaborates with the geothermal community with the goal of increasing geothermal electricity generation and the use of geothermal heat pumps and district heating by 2050 [1]. This subtopic solicits innovative research and development projects using enhanced conductivity materials or technologies in subsurface reservoir/wellbore environments for geothermal direct use applications and/or at electricity-producing geothermal power plants in order to reduce the levelized cost of heat or electricity.


For both direct use and power plants, GTO is seeking applications using enhanced conductivity materials to improve the thermal conductivity and heat transferred from the subsurface environment to the surface.  For electricity-producing geothermal power plants, proposed materials and technologies must be designed for use in harsh downhole environments with elevated temperatures of greater than 225°C.  For direct use applications, temperatures are typically lower than for electricity-producing power plants, but many similar technical challenges exist. Applications may include, but are not limited to the following:


·         Improved wellbore materials such as high-conductivity cement or grout;

·         Working fluids that optimize the net energy capture; and/or

·         Improving the thermal conductivity within the geothermal reservoir.


Applicants must include performance targets for the proposed technology that can be benchmarked to comparable state-of-the art applications.  Innovation into surfaced-based improvements, superconductive materials, or other types of standard operational efficiency improvements will be deemed non-responsive. 


Please refer to Topic 1213 (GTO) for other opportunities related to geothermal energy technologies other than subsurface applications of enhanced conductivity materials.


Questions – Contact: William Vandermeer, Geothermal Technologies Office,


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