An Innovative Design of Downhole In-Situ Power Generation: A Sustainable Manner of Geothermal Energy Utilization

EPA Grant Number: SU839292
Title: An Innovative Design of Downhole In-Situ Power Generation: A Sustainable Manner of Geothermal Energy Utilization
Investigators: Wu, Xingru
Institution: University of Oklahoma
EPA Project Officer: Page, Angela
Phase: I
Project Period: February 1, 2018 through January 31, 2019
Project Amount: $15,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2017) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Sustainability , P3 Awards , P3 Challenge Area - Energy


This design will help increase thermal recovery efficiency by in-situ conversion of thermal energy to electricity to enhance the economic competitiveness of geothermal energy for large-scale utilization, capitalize on existing or even abandoned hydrocarbon recovery wells, and reduce the greenhouse gas emission and benefit the people, prosperity and planet by contributing to the environment protection.


We are going to design an innovative in-situ power generation well prototype that can enhance the thermal conversion efficiency and minimize footprint on surface facility for a better environment and safer operation.


This research will be a teamwork conducted by graduate students from petroleum engineering, mechanical engineering and electrical engineering from the University of Oklahoma. This multidisciplinary team will work together with needed expertise to design, validate, and test the concept of the new geothermal recovery well prototype.

Expected Results:

The outcomes in this project will be expected and measured by: 1) A detailed diagram of wellbore structure for downhole power generation; 2) Evaluate the technical/operational feasibility of such a well; 3) Power generation calculation models to determine power generation efficiency; 4) A comparison of electricity generation capacity and efficiency between current surface power plant and proposed downhole power generation.

Supplemental Keywords:

renewable energy; geothermal energy utilization; energy recovery; geothermal power generation; electricity generation; geothermal reservoir engineering

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final