Sep 26, 2011

Concepts NREC Contributes to GeoTek DOE Win

Concepts NREC (CN), a world leader in turbomachinery design, research, engineering and manufacturing, announces that the GeoTek Gravity Head Energy System (GHES) on which it collaborated in support of GeoTek Energy, LLC (GeoTek) has been chosen to receive $450,000 for the initial design and up to $2.4 million in additional funding for design validation and further development. Concepts NREC’s role was to work with GeoTek in the early stages to prove the GHES concept viability for technical and commercial success by providing engineering and mechanical design support. The GHES project is part of the US Department of Energy (DOE) Geothermal Technologies Program (GTP) to advance innovative geothermal technologies. Geothermal is a renewable energy source that uses the heat from the earth to produce steam or vapor to drive turbines that generate electricity. Geothermal power is produced 24 hours a day, seven days a week, making it a reliable source of renewable baseload energy for utilities.

“We value CN’s expertise and reputation in the turbomachinery arena,” said Dave Marshall, chief financial officer of GeoTek. “That’s the primary reason we chose CN. You can't underestimate the importance of selecting from the beginning a technical partner with such experience to increase the likelihood of success.”

GeoTek has turned to CN for similar engineering, design and analysis support since 2009. For this project, CN’s role was to assist GeoTek in achieving higher efficiencies while reducing the size of the GHES, which was originally developed in the 1970s. CN applied the advanced computer modeling capabilities of its Agile Engineering Design System® software to engineer and analyze a more compact system and was instrumental in achieving GeoTek’s goals.

“We congratulate GeoTek for its accomplishment as one of only eight projects nationwide approved by the DOE for funding under the Geothermal Technologies Program to advance geothermal power technology," said Daniel Hinch, senior vice president, engineering for CN. “We're proud of the contribution we made in proving the concept viability, which made it possible to secure the funding.”

The original GHES includes a gravity-driven downhole pump that uses the force of gravity to eliminate traditional pumps and motors typically needed in binary geothermal energy production. The newly designed GHES downhole turbopump builds on the concept yet is a unique design, and CN led the effort to achieve a reliable, high performance product. These improvements help GHES reduce the cost of geothermal energy by increasing output and accelerating initial electricity generation.