GE (NYSE: GE) Global Research today announced it has signed a contract with the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), part of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory system, to build a multi-point sensing system to monitor carbon dioxide (CO 2) injected into geothermal containment wells. The use of these cavities, which extend 1-2 kilometers below the surface of the Earth, is being explored by the federal government and power producers as an option for the long-term storage of CO 2.
To illustrate how extreme these underground conditions are, Challener noted that 250°C is about 40% hotter than boiling water and 10,000 psi is equivalent to the pressure encountered 4.25 miles under the ocean. Additionally, some high-power industrial power washers exert a pressure of 10,000 psi and those are capable of slicing metal and concrete.Another key component of the project is wireless communication. GE scientists will develop a remote monitoring system capable of activating and operating the sensors from an off-site control room. “The end-goal is to ensure confidence in the long term stability of CO 2 sequestration sites,” said Challener. “We believe the fiber optic cable and sensing system we’re tasked with fabricating will help make that goal a reality.” Work on the two-year, $1.2MM joint venture between GE Global Research and NETL is slated to get underway in January, 2013. About GE Global Research GE Global Research is the hub of technology development for all of GE's businesses. Our scientists and engineers redefine what’s possible, drive growth for our businesses, and find answers to some of the world’s toughest problems. We innovate 24 hours a day, with sites in Niskayuna, New York; San Ramon, California; Bangalore, India; Shanghai, China; Munich, Germany; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Visit GE Global Research on the web at www.ge.com/research. Connect with our technologists at http://edisonsdesk.com and http://twitter.com/edisonsdesk. Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=50431155&lang=en