High Power Laser Innovation Sparks Geothermal Power Potential

May 29, 2015

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The Energy Department's project partner Foro Energy lab tests a high power laser tool with a patented technology that could maximize heat recovery from geothermal wells. Source: Foro Energy.

The Energy Department's project partner Foro Energy lab tests a high power laser tool with a patented technology that could maximize heat recovery from geothermal wells. Source: Foro Energy.

Lasers have already touched our lives in telecommunications, automotive, and medical applications. Now, through a 50/50 cost share award from the Energy Department, high power lasers could become a key factor in reducing the cost of producing clean geothermal energy. Project partner Foro Energy is designing a high power laser completions tool that, following the drilling of the well, is used to precisely engineer the connection between the wellbore and the geothermal formation energy resource. With this new tool in the geothermal reservoir engineer’s toolkit, Foro’s novel innovation could maximize fluid flow and the total geothermal heat available from a given resource. 

The project builds upon Foro Energy’s unique foundational capability and hardware platform to transmit high power lasers over long distances in fiber optic cables. This “power cord” capability and hardware was developed with assistance from DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA–E) award.

Through this latest award, the company has developed and built a system and tool that is being field tested. Following successful completion of the field testing, the company plans to commercialize this application within a suite of enabled high power laser services.