Fayetteville-based electronics manufacturer Ozark Integrated Circuits (Ozark IC) earned its second American-Made Geothermal Manufacturing Prize, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced Wednesday (April 7). Ozark IC also recently celebrated its 10th anniversary.
Ten U.S. companies will share the $1 million prize, and each will receive $75,000 in vouchers for use at DOE National Labs, according to a news release.
The American-Made Geothermal Manufacturing Prize was launched in April 2020 and was designed to spur innovation using additive manufacturing to address the challenges that are fundamental to operating in harsh geothermal environments. The contest comprises four progressive competitions with the first called Ready!. Ozark IC was one of the winners in that round, which was announced in October.
In round two, Set!, the competition was open to all. Competitors demonstrated their design’s expectations to meet engineering and operational requirements. The competitors were expected to make progress in establishing a team to build and create a prototype design. The 10 winners of Set! will compete in the Make! contest, which will have up to five winners. These five will be eligible for the final Geo! contest, which will have one or two winners and the grand prizes.
The following supported Ozark IC in the Geothermal Prize submission:
- Helmerich & Payne Corporate Ventures LLC, specifications from well exploration operations
- AltaRock Energy Inc., geothermal specifications and defining the value-add for each sensor channel
- Sporian Microsystems Inc., ultra-high temperature pressure and accelerometer sensors
- Sciperio Inc., development and transfer of advanced nScrypt additive electronic manufacturing techniques to Ozark IC’s manufacturing line.
Ozark IC also was supported by two national DOE laboratories: Pacific Northwest National Laboratories and Oak Ridge National Laboratories – Manufacturing Demonstration Facility.
Ozark IC’s entry, “Using Additive Manufacturing to rapidly deploy new sensors into Enhanced Geothermal Systems,” in the competition makes use of multiple years of expertise in the application of additive manufacturing to enable the rapid integrations of sensors into the XNodeTM, Ozark IC’s high-temperature signal processing platform. The additive manufacturing techniques are essential in enabling this capability, the release shows.
Matt Francis, the president and CEO, founded Ozark IC on Feb. 24, 2011. The company’s mission is to bring the internet of things (IoT) to the edge of extreme environments and create solutions with an emphasis on extreme environment applications, such as those experienced in energy, exploration, aerospace, space exploration and industrial controls industries.
“Using novel additive manufacturing techniques, we’ve broken down the barriers to rugged electronics; low-cost,” Francis said. “We firmly believe you should not have to promise to pay the moon to have technology that will get you to the moon.
“As we move forward into our next decade, we will continue to provide best-in-class technology for each customer, be it from the aerospace industry, energy exploration or other industrial markets,” Francis added.
The company started as one that would build a new custom solution for each client or problem, but in recent years, it’s worked to design and manufacture proprietary solutions that can be customized based on each client’s needs. The company recently developed manufacturing space in its Fayetteville headquarters where it builds the proprietary XNodes.