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Geothermal Geophone Prize

The Geophone Prize will catalyze the development of high temperature, downhole seismic monitoring for enhanced geothermal systems (EGS)

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Overview

Challenge Overview

The Geothermal Geophone Prize

Spearheaded by the Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy, and in partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), the Geophone Prize spurs creativity and addresses the challenges of operating seismic sensors in geothermal environments. 

The American-Made High Temperature Geothermal Geophone Prize is designed to catalyze the development of high temperature, downhole capable seismic monitoring for enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) in the American instrumentation community. This is accomplished through a series of prize competitions and the development of a diverse and powerful support network that leverages national laboratories, energy incubators, and other resources from across the United States. 

 

60 Gigawatts by 2050: 

The Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) is focused on advancing EGS technology because it has the potential to enable the development 60 gigawatts of projected geothermal electricity capacity by 2050 (as highlighted in the GeoVision: Harnessing the Heat Beneath Our Feet report.)  Achieving this level of deployment require technical innovations in EGS, however. One of the critical areas centers around advances in subsurface sensing, which requires the expertise of the high temperature electronics (HTE) community. Growth in HTE applications across multiple sectors has been significant in the last decade and is ripe for adaptation to the seismic sensor technology space.

 

Earn Cash Prizes for Development of Successful Geophone:

The Geophone Prize comprises three progressive competitions that catalyze innovation in the U.S. geothermal industry by harnessing the advances HTE can provide in tool design and functionality. This new initiative not only provides cash prizes, but also engages America’s incubators, investors, universities, 17 national laboratories, and others to help participants achieve their goals.

 

Figure 1. The Geothermal Geophone Prize offers three escalating rounds and substantial cash and other benefits to spark innovation in high temperature seismic sensors.

 

Competitors in the Phase 1: Concept! , Phase 2: Design!, and Phase 3: Build! Contests participate in three escalating challenges. The contests provide a total of $3.65 million in incentives—$2.55 million in cash prizes, $1.1 million in vouchers. Winning Phase 2: Design! is required to compete in Phase 3: Build!; however, new teams may join during Phase 2: Design! without competing in  Phase 1: Concept!. 

 

Guidelines

Challenge Guidelines

Please review the official rules for the complete application process and instructions for competing.

If you want to subscribe to updates on the prize or have any questions, you may use the contact feature on the HeroX platform, or message us directly.

Timeline
Updates10

Challenge Updates

Phase 1 Deadline, Thursday, Sep 29 at 5pm ET

Sept. 26, 2022, 8:20 a.m. PDT by NREL Challenge

All Phase 1 submissions are due this Thursday at 5 p.m. ET. Please be sure to upload your completed submission well before the deadline to avoid potential delays due to technical difficulties. Submission will not be accepted after 5 p.m. ET.

Do not hesitate to reach out with questions at geophoneprize@nrel.gov. We look forward to seeing your submissions.

Thank you!


FINAL REMINDERS BEFORE PHASE 1 CLOSES

Sept. 15, 2022, 3:41 p.m. PDT by NREL Challenge
  1. Voucher Slide: Please take the time to review the voucher capabilities menu. This will enable national laboratories participating in this prize to be able to successfully complete your submission for Phase 1. The capabilities menu can be found here (and also under the resources tab). Once you and your team has reviewed, you can connect directly with the Point of Contact for the lab to create your voucher slide for your Phase 1 submission.
     
  2.  Teaming: It’s not too late to join or add to your team! Explore potential Geophone Prize partners by clicking “Join a Team” on HeroX. Here, you’ll find the Team Matching tool that shows how other innovators can bolster your submission or you can post about your unique position in the field to find new teammates.
     
  3.  Final two Office Hours tomorrow and next Friday: Experts at Clean Energy Business Network are available for 1:1 office hour sessions. Take advantage of this opportunity to find the resources you need and receive support on your Phase 1 submission. 
     
  4. Deadline: All Phase 1 submissions are due in two weeks! Submissions will not be accepted after Thursday, Sept. 29 at 5 p.m. ET!

The Voucher Capabilities Menu is Live

Sept. 6, 2022, 4:25 p.m. PDT by NREL Challenge

Please take the time to review the voucher capabilities menu for national laboratories participating in this prize to be able to successfully complete your submission for phase 1. The capabilities menu can be found here (and also under the resources tab). 
 

Once you and your team has reviewed, you can connect directly with the Point of Contact for the lab to create your voucher slide for your phase 1 submission. Please submit your voucher slide (sample in the capabilities menu) with your phase 1 submission no later than September 29!
 

Also please see the voucher guidelines for more information on the voucher process.  

 

Thank you!

 

 


Now’s the Time to Join a Team

Aug. 26, 2022, 7:08 a.m. PDT by NREL

Explore potential Geophone Prize partners by clicking “Join a Team” on HeroX. Here, you’ll find the Team Matching tool that shows how other innovators can bolster your submission or you can post about your unique position in the field to find new teammates. There are currently three innovators looking for a team and a team looking for a new member.

Don’t delay—the Phase 1 submission deadline is September 29!   

 


TODAY! You Don't Want to Miss This Event

Aug. 23, 2022, 10:01 a.m. PDT by NREL

Join Clean Energy Business Network for today's Geophone Prize Workshop and Teaming Event. Discuss state-of-the-art tech, get all the details about the Geophone Prize, and meet your potential partners!


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