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SBIR Phase I: UpDraft Tower Technology for Geothermal Power Generation and Rankine Cogeneration

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2222965
Agency Tracking Number: 2222965
Amount: $255,966.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: EN
Solicitation Number: NSF 22-551
Solicitation Year: 2022
Award Year: 2023
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2023-01-15
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2023-09-30
Small Business Information
7250 Redwood Blvd. Suite 300
Novato, CA 94945
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Yes
Principal Investigator
 Rod Nash
 (510) 551-5182
Business Contact
 Rod Nash
Phone: (510) 551-5182
Research Institution

The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project is the development of technology that unlocks the use of abundantly available geothermal hot dry rock energy for reliable renewable energy. This technology will be economically feasible and provide an optional zero emission cogeneration configuration for harnessing cooling loop waste heat from zero emissions thermal electric power plants. The additional benefits, broader impacts, and market opportunity for cogeneration applications create an increase in power generation efficiency and capacity.Increases in net zero emissions power will also be available at utility scale. This technology will reduce water use during wet cooling in power plants by replacing the iconic supplemental cooling towers for thermal electric power plants worldwide with cogeneration. Some larger and long-term societal impacts of this research include: a more stable power grid due to reliable geothermal renewable energy generation and a cleaner environment especially for populations living close to traditional power plants and industrial infrastructure. Global technology licensing applications include: grid flexing and resiliency, water desalination/filtration, green hydrogen production, and national security._x000D_
This SBIR Phase I project seeks to develop software that uses computation, measurement, observations, and computer models, based on sound theory to find operational boundaries, validate key performance metrics, and optimize functional parameters for more efficient power production. This research includes the examination of critical technology functions and elements that determine peak operational efficiencies. The goal of this research will be to produce analytical computer models to look specifically at: 1) air intake velocity for a given set of pressure differentials, 2) air intake impedance, 3) thermal/pressure gradients generated by heat exchange activity, 4) air flow impedance generated by heat exchangers, and 5) expected exhaust air flow given idealized intake, heat exchange configurations, and designs. Anticipated results will provide quantifiable and measurable data tables including system sizing, energy input requirements, and mechanical and organic inlet air flow with emphasis on modeling of data analysis and determining specific energy inputs and power outputs._x000D_
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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