Texas Patent of the Month – May 2022

Sage Geosystems, Inc. are dedicated to developing technologies to bring geothermal energy sources on par with solar and wind power. Their technologies are intended to create and deliver a step-change in geothermal efficiency covering both surface and subsurface needs.

Geothermal energy is a renewable energy source, pulled from the Earth’s core. Heat is continuously generated and has been since the formation of the planet. As materials radioactively decay, the expelled heat is stored in rocks and fluids below the earth’s surface.

Fracking and fracturing techniques can be used to access and harvest this geothermal energy. Sage Geosystems developed a system for controlling fracture growth to ensure the fracture is optimized in size and depth. In some cases, fractures grow in an upward direction which causes the frack fluid to gather and pool in the shallowest perforated zone.

Sage Geosystems’ process controls the rate of fracture growth by varying the specific gravity of the slurries and fluids being pumped into the well. These complex slurries are created by mixing heavy solid particles with sand or ceramic proppants and water. The engineer can then choose to pump alternately heavy and light frack fluids. During fracture initiation, the difference between the pressure required to frack up instead of down is minimal. As the fracture grows vertically, the difference increases and therefore the control afforded by this method increases. The mix ratio for the slurry can be modified as needed based on monitored changes in pressure. This can ensure geothermal energy harvesting operations are more reliable and controlled overall.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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