GreenFire Energy Demonstration, Coso, CA, USA, 2019
Geothermal energy, the world’s largest source of clean, continuous energy, remains largely underutilized at about 2% of the available resource. GreenFire Energy has developed GreenLoop technology, a closed-loop energy system that can access the deep regions of hot, dry rock where most geothermal resources reside.
GreenLoop employs many of the drilling and completion technologies that revolutionized the oil and gas industry to unlock the vast potential of those resources. That capability, combined with the state of the art closed-loop geothermal modeling systems, enables large scale, low risk, and cost competitive power generation wherever there is sufficient heat. Learn about Field Scale Solutions in Diversified Energy Companies, Oil and Gas Companies, and Geothermal Companies.
Because it produces clean, continuous and resilient power at grid scale, GreenLoop is ideal for improving grid stability. GreenLoop is a better solution than batteries to deal with the intermittency and unpredictability of wind and solar energy. Batteries are still very expensive and generally limited to providing backup power for 4 hours or less. As a result, the energy economy still lacks clean, continuous, and cost competitive power.
GreenLoop technology can also be used to retrofit existing unproductive or degraded wells in conventional geothermal fields. Learn about Well Retrofit Solutions in Oil and Gas Companies and Geothermal Companies.
GreenLoop technology has been developed with grants from the U.S. Department of Energy and the California Energy Commission. The technology is the result of years of research conducted in concert with National Laboratories, major universities, and eminent experts in a wide spectrum of oil and gas drilling, geology, modeling, and thermodynamics disciplines. Learn about research and technology partners.
GreenLoop Technology Capabilities
GreenFire Energy’s patented GreenLoop technology is the most versatile way to transport geothermal heat from deep in the earth. GreenLoop installations circulate various working fluids through a sealed system to access the high temperatures required for economic energy extraction. The working fluid absorbs heat as it traverses the lower part of the well and is then conducted to the surface where the heat is either converted to electric power, delivered for thermal energy for specialized processes, or optimized to deliver both on a flexible basis. In new projects GreenLoop greatly reduces exploration risk because there is no need for subsurface permeability or large volumes of water in the resource, thereby overcoming the fundamental geographic limitations of conventional geothermal technology. Similarly, GreenLoop can make unproductive or degraded conventional geothermal wells and fields productive.
Advanced Well Modeling Capability
GreenFire Energy has developed highly sophisticated well cost and thermodynamic models to optimize closed-loop well systems with or without coproduction of geothermal brine or hydrocarbon fluids. These models enable rapid resource assessment and project feasibility analysis. At the next stage, precision modeling is required to optimize the subsurface design and to select matching surface equipment.
Individually Engineered Projects
The versatility of GreenLoop technology enables each project to be individually engineered to maximize power generation for the enthalpy, diameter, depth, and flow characteristics of both the existing and purpose-drilled wells of the project.
GreenLoop Technology Benefits
GreenLoop technology was created specifically to access high temperature resources. High temperature heat transport dramatically boosts power generation and project economics. The GreenLoop factors that contribute to superior performance include:
- Access to high temperature resources
- Advanced well modeling to optimize well production economics
- Intrinsic energy storage capabilities that enable flexible power generation as needed with built-in energy storage
- Reduced risk in drilling and exploration
Geothermal power is inherently continuous, resilient, and extremely predictable. These properties make GreenLoop geothermal power particularly attractive to large users where any loss or fluctuation of power could be catastrophic.
GreenLoop technology provides flexible geothermal power that can adjust to demand and can balance intermittent wind and solar energy without the need for batteries. Because of its inherent resilience and predictability, GreenLoop helps balance grid operations.
GreenLoop technology is scalable from one to many wells to match the resource and the power demand. Multiple wells decrease drilling risk and cost, making it economical to go deep where high temperature resources can be exploited.
GreenLoop technology is the most environmentally friendly form of grid-scale power. The technology is extremely land-efficient and safe for wildlife, with no risk of water contamination, gas emissions, land subsidence, or induced seismic activity.
Completed First Demonstration Project
GreenFire Energy successfully demonstrated GreenLoop technology at Coso, California, USA, in 2019. This project was funded in part by the California Energy Commission, Shell Oil, the the Electric Power Research Institute, and J-POWER of Japan with in-kind contributions from the Coso Operating Company and other industry partners.