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American-Made Challenges

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Geothermal Manufacturing Prize

Catalyze geothermal manufacturing innovation by harnessing the rapid advances in additive manufacturing.

This challenge is closed

stage:
Judging
prize:
$4,650,000 in total prizes

This challenge is closed

Overview

Challenge Overview

The American-Made Geothermal Manufacturing Prize (Geothermal Prize) is designed to spur innovation and address manufacturing challenges fundamental to operating in harsh geothermal environments. This prize further supports the ability of the geothermal industry to reach the target of 60 GWe of geothermal capacity by 2050  as outlined in the recently released GeoVision study

As part of the American-Made Challenges series, the Geothermal Prize unites the world’s best-in-class research base with the unparalleled entrepreneurial support system of the American-Made Network. Consisting of pioneering maker spaces, dozens of energy incubators, universities, and 17 DOE National Laboratories, the Network is primed to create a sweeping portfolio of innovations to demonstrate the promise of additive manufacturing. 

Prize Stages

Competitors in the Ready!, Set!, Make!, and Geo! Contests participate in four escalating challenges. The contests provide a total of $4.65 million in incentives—$3.25 million in cash prizes, $1 million in vouchers, and $400,000 in field testing costs—to incentivize driving additively manufactured geothermal innovations from concept to prototype testing in two years through an accelerated schedule.


 

Guidelines

Challenge Guidelines

Challenge Guidelines

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

If you want to receive updates on the prize or have any questions, please subscribe by using the contact feature on the HeroX platform or message us directly at

 

Timeline
Updates56

Challenge Updates

Geothermal Manufacturing Prize Finalists Set to Present at Geo! Demo Day Aug. 28

Aug. 9, 2022, 7 a.m. PDT by NREL Challenge

We’re looking forward to the conclusion of the Geothermal Manufacturing Prize, taking place at the Geothermal Rising Conference on Sunday, Aug. 28. The five finalists will present their additively manufactured innovations at Geo! Demo Day, and two winners will be announced the following morning during the conference’s plenary session. 

Coming to the conference? Come hear first-hand about the technologies these five finalist teams are bringing to Demo Day. And check back here to learn more about the two teams taking home winner status, $500,000, and other incentives to further their research and set them on the path to success. 

Good luck to all of the finalists! 


See Geo! Demo Day Live at the Geothermal Rising Conference!

July 22, 2022, 9:16 a.m. PDT by NREL Challenge

The five Geothermal Manufacturing Prize finalist teams are finishing the competition by presenting their technologies at Geo! Demo Day on Sunday, Aug. 28, at the Geothermal Rising Conference in Reno, NV! Anyone attending the conference should stop by to hear all about the finalists’ innovations and their potential for helping grow this burgeoning renewable energy field. 

The two winning teams—who will take home $500,000 each—will be announced Monday, Aug. 29, at the conference’s plenary session. Check back here to read all about the winners after the announcement has been made!

Read more about the finalists’ technologies and get ready to cheer on your favorite team. 


New Geothermal Geophone Prize!

May 12, 2022, 7:49 a.m. PDT by NREL Challenge

We have launched a new Geothermal American-Made Challenge with $3.65 million of cash and vouchers available. Make sure to follow the Geothermal Geophone Prize for more information:

Innovative solutions for economically viable and durable downhole sensors is crucial to the increased deployment of geothermal energy. The Geothermal Geophone Prize is designed to catalyze the development of high-temperature seismic monitoring tools in geothermal environments. 

The Geophone Prize consists of three phases that will accelerate efforts to design, test, and fabricate advanced functional seismometer prototypes. Interested in competing? Register now for the Geophone Prize Phase 1: Concept informational webinar on Thursday, May 19, at 1 p.m. ET to get all of the details you need to compete for $3.65 million in prizes! 

 


Congratulations, Geothermal Manufacturing Prize Finalists!

Jan. 13, 2022, 12:12 p.m. PST by Jackie Petre

On Thursday, Jan. 13, the U.S. Department of Energy announced five Geothermal Manufacturing Prize finalist teams moving on to Geo! Contest. Each team won $150,000 in cash prizes and $75,000 in technical support vouchers. 

These teams were selected for successfully fabricating prototypes of their additive manufacturing designs, identifying Geo! partner(s), and using continual customer and stakeholder feedback to substantially advance their prototypes during the Make! Contest. 

Congratulations to the following Geothermal Prize finalist teams: 

  • Baker Hughes (Houston, TX): This team is developing high expansion packers with additively manufactured backup rings. With an inventive, interlocking petal design, these backup rings will improve the zonal isolation in both open and cased hole geothermal wells.
  • Downhole Emerging Technologies (Houston, TX): This team is developing an innovative alternative to traditional packer systems. The retrievable, all-metal packer system is designed specifically for high temperatures, extreme pressures, and corrosion experienced in geothermal wells.
  • PLUGS (Morgantown, WV): This team is developing a sparger system that uses high-pressure air for artificial lift, which replaces the traditional electric pumps. The technology addresses maintenance issues experienced by existing pump technologies due to harsh geothermal conditions.
  • The Bit Guys (Morgantown, WV): This team is developing an air-hammer drill bit with carbide cutter retention technology that tackles drilling-related challenges in geothermal environments. Basement rock is notoriously difficult to drill through and this bit technology addresses both the strength and temperature requirements for geothermal drilling.
  • Ultra-High Temperature Logging Tool (Houston, TX): This team is developing a technology that uses a labyrinthian heat sink to reduce thermal emissivity and increase the exposure time of temperature sensitive electronic components. The technology solves limitations around maximum temperature rating and lifetime of electronics in logging and measurement tools.

These five teams are now competing in the Geo! Contest, where they will test their fully fabricated additively manufactured prototypes using Geo! partner facilities and use continual customer and stakeholder feedback to substantially advance their prototypes. Two final winners will earn $500,000 in cash prizes each and up to $200,000 in field-testing cost reimbursement. The final winners are expected to be announced in August 2022. 

Congratulations, again, to the finalist teams and good luck in the Geo! Contest! 


Find Out Who Advances as a Geothermal Prize Finalist!

Jan. 12, 2022, 1:27 p.m. PST by Jackie Petre

Tomorrow, Jan. 13, up to five Geothermal Manufacturing Prize teams will advance as finalists, each earning part of $1 million in prizes. Find out who moves on at the Geothermal Manufacturing Prize Make! Demo Day Finalist Announcement.

Since learning of their status as Set! Contest semifinalists in March 2021, nine teams have been working diligently, preparing their technologies for the next milestone: creating a prototype to showcase ahead of Make! Demo Day. For the past several months, these teams have been fabricating prototypes of their additive manufacturing designs, identifying Geo! partner(s), and using continual customer and stakeholder feedback to substantially advance their prototypes. 

Now, it’s time to find out who advances to the Geo! Contest.

If you’ve been following the progress of the Geothermal Manufacturing Prize, you won’t want to miss this exciting milestone! Join the live Make! Demo Day Finalist Announcement tomorrow, Thursday, Jan. 13, at 2 p.m. ET. Register here.


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