The Department of Energy is funding several geothermal projects in the United States including a project by GeoTek Energy to design its Gravity Head Energy System (GHES). The company received $450,000 with the potential for an additional $2.4 million to validate the design and for further development of the technology.
Geothermal energy uses heat from the earth to produce steam or hot water. This “energy” is then used to drive a turbine to generate electricity. Unlike some renewable energy sources, geothermal power is produced all the time making it easier for a utility to predict output and manage load requirements.
The GHES uses the force of gravity to eliminate pumps and motors typically needed in binary geothermal energy production. Once validated, the technology allows geothermal providers to sell as much as 35 percent more electricity over the current technology on the market. This will not only increase energy output, but profits as well.
“GeoTek was one of only eight projects nationwide recently approved for a total of $11 million funding by the Geothermal Technologies Program to advance geothermal power technology,” said Kenneth Fryrear, GeoTek’s chief operating officer. The company plans to supplement the government funds with private capital.