DOE launches Geothermal Geophone Prize design competitionS. Himmelstein | May 18, 2022
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is encouraging engineers to develop and deliver new high temperature seismic sensors for use in geothermal energy exploration and exploitation. A new Geothermal Geophone Prize initiative will provide $3.65 million in total incentives to designers of such downhole seismic sensors, also known as geophones, which will help researchers better understand and track changes in the subsurface during enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) stimulation.
The harsh environments and the small size of the U.S. geothermal market means manufacturing tools and components can be prohibitively expensive. With this prize, competitors have an opportunity to advance the development of sensors in high-temperature subsurface settings, helping EGS achieve its potential to enable at least 60 GW of projected geothermal electricity capacity by 2050. EGS offers great potential to expand the use of geothermal energy and help deliver a carbon-free electricity grid.