Cool Energy, Inc., a clean energy power generation company with headquarters in Boulder, Colorado, won a $1 million Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
This power generation technology this grant supports could replace up to 300 fossil fuel power plants, according to the company.
The grant will support a program to demonstrate electricity generation from untapped heat from distributed geothermal sources. The grant will allow Cool Energy to build and test their first 20 kW prototype Stirling engine, the GeoHeart Engine, to generate electricity from co-produced liquids at oil and gas wells.
The recoverable heat in these liquids is currently wasted, as is the potentially valuable heat from pumps and compressors, as well as geothermal heat from non-producing wells.
The GeoHeart Engine system will convert heat from liquids extracted from the ground to make zero-emissions energy. The Cool Energy technology will capture energy from liquids that are in the temperature range 100°C - 200° degrees Celsius. This temperature is ideally suited for the company’s low temperature waste heat recovery (WHR) system.
The heat can be safely and efficiently converted into electricity that can be used onsite to offset the power needed for the operation of the wells, or sold to the local utility and added directly into the power grid. This approach to oilfield power production will prevent some of the carbon emissions generated from these activities.