Skip to main content
 

Lawrence Livermore National Lab

About Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Staffed by more than 6,500 employees serving in an array of fields, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is the premier research and development facility for science and technology solutions to some of our nation's greatest challenges. The lab has a 60-year legacy of championing science in the national interest. Perhaps best known for its work securing the nation's nuclear stockpile and enhancing global security, LLNL is also advancing energy security through the discovery, development, production, and deployment of cost-effective, sustainable systems while protecting the environment.

Capabilities

The LLNL geothermal program researches new technologies to aid U.S. efforts to find, develop, and produce geothermal energy. Research projects span a variety of technologies, from high-performance computing to micro-manufacturing to field experiments. Past research and technology transfer has led to mineral extraction from geothermal brines. Recent work includes award-winning (2015 Geothermal Energy Association) studies on ancillary power services to increase revenue from geothermal power. Ongoing geothermal studies span a wide variety of topics:

  • Modeling of hydrothermal and enhanced geothermal systems
  • Surface measurements of gas flux
  • Deep electrical resistivity measurements
  • Measurements of chemical reactions at high temperatures
  • Exploration geophysics and modeling
  • Modeling of laser drilling
  • Advanced signal detection of micro-seismicity
  • Passive seismic measurements of rock properties and moment tensors
  • Application of 'big data' and HADOOP clusters to seismological data analysis

Facilities

Geothermal expertise includes world-class geo-mechanical modeling which includes fracture modeling (hydraulic or explosive), subsurface fluid flow (THMC), geophysical analysis (EM, MT, and active and passive seismic), micro-seismic analysis (advanced detection, Bayesian location and moment tensor), 3D full waveform seismic modeling, MCMC inversion, laser and optical fiber sensors, additive manufacturing, techno-economic analysis, and geothermal geochemistry, both laboratory and computational.

  • High-performance computing
  • Thermo-hydrologic-mechanical-chemical (THMC)
  • Seismological computer codes
  • Fiber optic draw tower for novel down-hole sensors
  • Explosives testing facility
  • Additive manufacturing
  • A variety of analysis tools and laboratories
Photo of a diagram  of grid-scale bulk energy storage and ancillary grid services and how it works.
Photo of a 3-D chart showing the analysis tools at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Photo of the 3-D representations of aperture heights and flow velocities for geothermal processes.