August 20, 2009 – With the understanding that the possibilities of geothermal technology have not yet been fully realized and the intent of addressing energy security, the Foundation for Geothermal Innovation (FGI) and the Lemelson Foundation have released initial findings defining the technical criteria for a critical new generation of geothermal pumps.
The report features recommendations for an invention that best meets the two main problems presented by geothermal drilling—high temperatures and high pressures. “Energy from geothermal resources is affordable and abundant,” says Patrick Maloney, Senior Program Officer at The Lemelson Foundation, “but the problem to date has been harnessing it, and this report will hopefully provide companies and individual innovators the parameters needed to solve a key part of that problem.”
The call for design improvements is one of the many findings from a meeting held earlier this year to define the ideal technical specifications for a critical new generation of geothermal pumps. Held in conjunction with the annual Stanford Geothermal Workshop and sponsored by the Lemelson Foundation, the meeting brought together 20 top experts in the field, including representatives from government, academia and the private sector to identify ways of reducing fossil fuel use and expanding global geothermal adoption. The report is available in its entirety at http://www.geothermalinnovation.org.
The Foundation for Geothermal Innovation has integrated the findings of the report to finish structuring a multi-million dollar incentive prize. “It is rare to find a key technical challenge that can be so clearly defined for innovators to work on,” says FGI’s Lawrence Molloy. “We hope that this prize can help revitalize the industry.”
About the Foundation for Geothermal Innovation (FGI)
The Foundation for Geothermal Innovation’s mission is to encourage innovation and accelerate the commercialization of geothermal energy. It is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization registered in California. For more information, please visit: http://www.geothermalinnovation.org