Ozark Integrated Circuits Inc., a technology firm located in the Arkansas Research and Technology Park at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, has received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.
The money, according to a news release from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, will enable Ozark IC to use its unique high-temperature expertise and technology to develop a system to continuously profile high-temperature geothermal wells.
A geothermal production well produces fluid heated by the natural heat of the earth. Geothermal fluids may be steam or hot water and can be used for electrical power generation. Cooler, but still quite hot, geothermal fluids are used for projects such as space heating, aquaculture, snow melting, food processing, dehydration, and hot tubs and spas.
“We are a product of a research-and-development ecosystem in Arkansas, in the same lineage as Arkansas Power Electronics International, Wolfspeed and SurfTec,” Ozark IC founder Matt Francis said in a statement. “It all comes down to the University of Arkansas — the technologies and the people — that has made Northwest Arkansas a cluster for extreme environment engineering and research.”
According to the release, Ozark IC has won contracts from NASA to help them develop, among other things, components for an ultraviolet imager to study the environment on Venus. They are also working the U.S. Air Force and the University of Arkansas (UA) High Density Electronics Center (HiDEC) to develop packaging and assembly systems for controls in jet engines that can operate at temperatures up to 300 degrees Celsius.
In all, the Energy Department awarded 95 grants totaling $95 million to 80 small businesses in 26 states.