Harsh Environment Silicon Carbide Sensor Technology Geothermal Project

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Last modified on July 22, 2011.

Project Title Harsh Environment Silicon Carbide Sensor Technology
Project Type / Topic 1 Recovery Act: Enhanced Geothermal Systems Component Research and Development/Analysis
Project Type / Topic 2 High-Temperature Downhole Tools

Project Description The development of harsh environment silicon carbide (SiC) sensor technology can aid in data logging and monitoring of geothermal reservoirs which are challenging to assess. State-of-the-art sensors based on silicon technology are limited to temperatures below 300oC and are not suitable for supercritical conditions. As a result, new material platforms that utilize chemically inert, ceramic semiconductor materials are proposed for harsh environment applications. Technology developed at UC Berkeley has demonstrated the chemical and mechanical robustness of SiC sensors at temperatures as high as 600oC and in dry steam.
State California
Objectives In the proposed work, two types of physical sensors (pressure and temperature) and a sensor bonding process that can withstand the harsh reservoir environment will be developed.
Awardees (Company / Institution) Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley
Legal Name of Awardee The Regents of the University of California
Awardee Website http://www.me.berkeley.edu/
Partner 1 -










Funding Opportunity Announcement DE-FOA-0000075

DOE Funding Level (total award amount) $1,824,281.00
Awardee Cost Share $456,071.00
Total Project Cost $2,280,352.00



Principal Investigator(s) Albert P. Pisano, Professor and Department Chair, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley


Targets / Milestones -Develop a SiC pressure sensor that can operate in harsh supercritical conditions

-Develop a SiC temperature sensor that can operate in harsh supercritical conditions while maintaining high sensitivities -Develop a bonding process for adhering SiC sensor die to well casing couplers -Perform experimental exposure testing (at 220 bar and 374oC) of sensor materials and actual sensor devices in a small-scale pressure vessel





Location of Project Berkeley, CA
37.8715926°, -122.272747°



Impacts If successful, the project would allow permanent well sensing at high temperatures.
Funding Source American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

References EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs[1]

References

  1. EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs