Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Ultra-deepwater and Unconventional Resources Program)
Deep Sea Hybrid Power Systems
Houston Advanced Research Center, The Woodlands, TX 77381
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94550
Naval Facilities Engineering Service Center, Port Hueneme, CA 93042
Yardney Technical Products, Pawcatuck, CT 06379
Shell Oil Company, Houston, TX 77252
Chevron Oil Corporation, San Ramon, CA 94583
GE, Houston, TX 77027
The Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) will partner with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Naval Facilities Engineering Service Center, Yardney Technical Products, Shell, Chevron and GE to evaluate alternative methods for locally generating significant electrical power on the seafloor near large consumption points. Dr. Richard C. Haut from HARC will be the Principal Investigator leading the team effort with the objective of developing hybrid energy conversion and storage systems for deep ocean operations. Such power systems will be located on the oceans floor, and will be used to supply oil and gas exploration activities, as well as drilling operations required to harvest petroleum reserves.
An investment in subsea (deep-ocean) hybrid power systems is required to enable offshore oil and gas exploration and production. Advanced deep-ocean drilling operations, locally powered, will provide access to oil and gas reserves otherwise inaccessible and could decrease the air emissions associated with offshore operations. Such technology will therefore enhance the energy security of the United States. There is a strong driving force for the development of subsea capabilities on the ocean floor. Such facilities will require ample supplies of local power to operate machinery on the floor, ranging from drills to pumps and compressors.
Several potential systems for energy generation and storage technologies for unattended environmentally friendly deep-sea application, will be systematically screened during the Phase I effort of the project. Following the screening phase, work will then transition into the design and fabrication of prototypes, with both surface and sub-sea testing, Phase II. The successful technology will then be commercialized through appropriate industrial partnerships.
The proposed work will begin with the definition of systems requirements, and the establishment of quantitative and qualitative selection criteria. These criteria will be used to guide the development of subsea hybrid power system suitable for powering oil and gas equipment on the ocean floor. The existing knowledge base of high-performance energy conversion and storage systems, appropriate for underwater applications, will be used as the basis of several conceptual designs, and then those conceptual designs will be systematically screened for the best hybrid system. The data base will be archived in technical reports for use by the oil and gas industry. The selection will be performance-based, and done in a way to screen out any potential biases towards a particular technology. Following selection of the most promising generation-storage combination, a detailed conceptual design will be developed, for both a subscale prototype for initial testing and demonstration, and for a full-scale system to serve as the basis for precise economic evaluation. The prototype will then be constructed, leveraging several of the teamís relationships with other organizations, and tested at operating pressure in collaboration with the Navy. With adequate high-pressure cold performance of the prototype demonstrated, the system will then be deployed to the ocean floor for additional performance testing. After satisfactory ocean-floor testing, the Procurement Programs of the various Team members will be exploited for RPSEA, to integrate those vendors required for initial deployment, with involvement of partners from the oil and gas industry.
Principal Investigator Richard Haut