FastCAP Achieves Breakthrough in High Temperature Energy Storage
Ultracapacitors developed by FastCAP Systems have successfully completed third party validation testing by Sandia National Laboratory. The ultracapacitor (ultracap), which reliably operates in extreme temperatures (roughly 400˚F), is paving the way for cheaper geothermal energy, the company said.
The devices were developed under a 2012 grant from the Department of Energy Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO). They are expected to be released commercially later this year for use in the oil, gas and geothermal industries.
FastCAP’s existing commercial ultracaps, the first in the world to operate at 300˚C, served as a starting point for the GTO research and development. FastCap said its long-term goal with the product line is to enable a new era of geothermal energy exploration and development.
If the intelligent drilling and smart well techniques that are currently ubiquitous in the oil and gas industry were deployed in the geothermal context, the company explained, geothermal energy would quickly become a major contender to meet global energy demand.
One of the most significant obstacles to such a deployment are limitations related to the maximum operating temperatures of downhole batteries used in the oil and gas industry, which currently provide power for downhole sensors, steering tools, telemetry equipment and other technologies. The lack of energy storage devices that can operate reliably and safely at temperatures encountered in geothermal wells is perhaps the most significant obstacle standing in the way of deployment of smart well technologies in geothermal applications.
FastCAP expects the new technology to be demonstrated in a well by early 2015.
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