Thermochem’s US Headquarters is their Geothermal Energy Research Center, based in Northern California, not far from The Geysers, in Santa Rosa, California. The 20,000 ft2 Research Center includes state-of-the-art analytical laboratories where samples of liquids, gases, and solids from around the world are shipped for analysis. This Center provides a base for field testing activities, with a comprehensive inventory of test equipment, specialized instrumentation, safety gear, and spare parts. Instrumentation for temperature, pressure, flow and chemical sensors calibration are calibrated at the Center to traceable standards.
The Research Center also includes manufacturing, machining, welding and assembly capabilities for chemical process equipment, specialized instrumentation, wellbore logging tools and electronics. Mass flow controllers for gas, steam, and liquid are used for primary flow calibration and testing of field equipment and on-line monitors. A steam generation test loop provides saturated and superheated steam for calibration and testing of wellbore tools, power plant monitors, and instrumentation. Flow calibration loops are available for testing flowmeters and wellbore velocity sensors.
Thermochem’s USA team is comprised of highly qualified scientists and engineers with expertise including chemical process engineering, chemical simulation modeling, analytical chemistry, geochemistry, mechanical engineering, 3D CAD modeling, electrochemistry, electronics design and computer science. Meet the leadership team at Thermochem’s Geothermal Energy Research Center:
Paul von Hirtz is the President of Thermochem, Inc. and Commissioner of PT. Thermochem, Indonesia. Paul has worked as a chemical process engineer and researcher for the energy industry over the past 30 years. He is the chairman of the ASTM committees E44.15 and E44.40 which develop and standardize testing procedures and materials selection for the geothermal energy industry, and also serves on the ASME PTC46 committee for the standardization of geothermal power plant performance testing procedures and the EBTKE RISN committee for the standardization of well testing procedures in Indonesia. Paul is an editorial board member for the Geoscience journal Geothermics and has served several years as a board member of the International Geothermal Association and Geothermal Resources Council. For over 30 years, Paul has specialized in geothermal well testing operations, the design of measurement instrumentation for two-phase flow, and pilot-plant and full-scale testing for the evaluation and development of chemical processes for corrosion, scale and emissions control. This includes instrumentation such as on-line NCG, steam quality and purity monitors and two-phase high-temperature wellbore samplers; and processes such as H2S abatement, silica scale mitigation in bottoming cycles, removal of HCl from superheated steam and treatment of acidic brine. Paul has a BS degree in chemistry and minor in Physics from Sonoma State University. As a practicing chemical engineer with a background in analytical chemistry, he understands the limitations inherent in physical and chemical measurements and how to improve data quality when necessary. He is very experienced in chemical process and geochemical modeling, propagated error analysis and sensitivity studies, and understanding of complex chemical process systems involving multiple data sources.
Paul can be contacted at Paul@thermochem.com
Russell is the Vice President of Thermochem. He has served previously as Laboratory Director for Thermochem and is an experienced analytical chemist. Russ has many years of experience in the design of single- and multi-phase reservoir tracer tests and in pilot plant testing. Russ now specializes in programmable logic control (PLC) systems for use in pH-modification process control, corrosion mitigation chemical treatment, well production test facilities and on-line steam quality and purity analyzers. Russ also works on the design of high-temperature Pressure-Temperature-Spinner (PTS) and Downhole Sampling (DHS) tools. Russ has participated in geothermal projects worldwide, including major geothermal installations in the United States, as well as Indonesia, the Philippines, Iceland, Japan, Guatemala, Portugal, and Kenya. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Sonoma State University.
Russ can be contacted at Russ@thermochem.com
Mark Broaddus joined Thermochem in 2014 after 15 years’ experience in the nuclear industry engineering and implementing in-vessel repairs, modifications and services for Pressurized Water (PWR) and Boiling Water (BWR) Reactors in the United States and Japan. His prior experience also includes thermal/mechanical failure analysis, autonomous reflector cleaning robot development, and field engineering for thermal solar projects in India. He earned his Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Davis and has training in SixSigma and Root Cause Analysis. As Thermochem’s Engineering Manager, Mark provides advanced engineering support, direction and task execution in the areas of new product development, product analysis, product qualification testing, production, and engineering processes such as manufacturing, mechanical integrity, fluid dynamics (CFD) and resonance vibration analysis. With Thermochem Mark has helped enhance existing equipment designs and contribute to the development of new products and services for the Geothermal industry. All these products are now modeled in SolidWorks for detailed 3-dimensional analysis and presentation. This includes Thermochem’s wellbore logging tools (two-phase sampler and PTS tools), on-line steam quality and purity systems, TFT® tracer injection equipment, power plant pH-modification systems and well flow test equipment (LECM, instrumentation and piping systems).
Mark can be contacted at Mark@thermochem.com
Steven has 10 years of experience working as a physical and analytical chemist designing, implementing, and troubleshooting interdisciplinary experiments with data processing and interpretation. At Thermochem his responsibilities include laboratory data review and reporting, quality control, method development, and laboratory staff management. Steven has developed, analyzed, and characterized a new and emerging class of fluorophores using techniques such as mass spectrometry, liquid chromatography, and fluorescence and absorbance spectroscopies. He is experienced in many other analytical techniques including ion mobility mass spectrometry, circular dichroism spectroscopy, gas physisorption, laser diffraction, and gas chromatography resulting in a broad knowledge base of analytical instrumentation and techniques applicable to geothermal fluid analysis.
Steven Swasey can be reached at email@example.com
Matt Broaddus has worked for Thermochem for 20 years, fulfilling a wide range of roles including analytical chemist, Laboratory Director for PT. Thermochem Indonesia, and Worldwide Field Services and Product Manager. Matt holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from the University of California, Davis. He is fluent in Bahasa Indonesia, French and Spanish. As Laboratory Director for PT. Thermochem, Matt worked for four years in Indonesia hiring, training, and supervising Indonesian employees and directed all laboratory testing and field services at multiple geothermal and oil and gas project sites within Indonesia. Currently, as Field Services Manager, Matt provides planning and supervision of all field sampling, TFT® surveys, tracer tests and power plant performance test projects worldwide, including Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Nicaragua, Guatemala, New Zealand, Chile, Bolivia, Iceland, Kenya, Turkey, Canada and the United States.
Matt can be contacted at Matt@thermochem.com
Elisabeth has 10 years’ experience in geothermal geochemical interpretations for production monitoring, integrated resource conceptual model development, well targeting, and resource development feasibility studies. Elisabeth currently serves as the Geochemistry Manager for Thermochem. While living in Indonesia for 4 years, she served as project manager for large geoscience projects including a multi-year conceptual and numerical modeling study and production forecast scenarios for a 100 MW expansion at the Ulubelu geothermal field, conceptual model development for the Gunung Talang and Gunung Kembar geothermal prospects in Sumatra, and multiple years of annual reporting on geochemistry Lahendong and Sibayak. Elisabeth also has worldwide geothermal project experience in Kenya, Colombia, Chile, Turkey, New Zealand and the United States performing exploration surveys and conducting field geochemistry services. She is currently based in New Zealand. Elisabeth earned her M.Sc. in Geochemistry from the Colorado School of Mines where she worked on several DOE-funded research grants to study geothermal resource potential in continental rift systems.
Elisabeth can be contacted at Elisabeth@thermochem.com
Since joining Thermochem in 2012, Joe has been responsible for the electronics and software design and development of downhole logging tools. Joe is also a key contributor for various surface projects involving electronics and instrumentation including LECM, MicroMods, and WPM (Well Pressure Monitor).
Prior to joining the Thermochem team, he worked at Sandia National Laboratories for nearly 29 years. Sandia is a multiprogram engineering and science laboratory. In addition to supporting various missions within Sandia National Laboratories, Joe worked for 16 years in the geothermal program where he led the development of geothermal downhole tools and is recognized worldwide as an authority for HT downhole tool design. His work at Sandia included mechanical and electronic design, software development (embedded and topside), Field Programmable Gate Array designs, circuit simulation, PC board layout, topside electronics design, involvement in numerous geothermal industry testing programs and hardware development of tools.
Joe can be contacted at Joeh@thermochem.com
Darrell has 34 years’ experience in production optimization for the petroleum industry, beginning with Texaco, Unocal and then Chevron, finally with Thermochem, Inc. in 2010. He is an internationally recognized authority on oil and gas production, chemistry, flow assurance, geothermal energy production, water treatment and environmental processes. His hands-on problem solving and process development philosophy (Laboratory / Pilot / Demonstration / Commercialization) has delivered an impressive track record of success in solving complex process chemistry and engineering problems. Darrell has over 60 patents and is the inventor of the pH-modification process. Darrell is currently focusing on production process chemistry, mercury management, corrosion and silica scale control as Senior Process Chemist for Thermochem.
Darrell can be contacted at Darrell@thermochem.com
Steve is a chemical engineer and electrochemist with over five years of experience in geothermal energy and battery storage technologies. He has worked at Thermochem, Inc. as a Field Chemical Engineer, primarily on Pilot Plants, and at Primus Power as a Flow Battery Engineer, developing zinc-bromine batteries. Steve is also a chemistry instructor at Santa Rosa Junior College. Steve’s B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees are in chemical engineering, and his Ph.D. thesis at Case Western Reserve University was focused on iron-based flow batteries. He is an expert at electrochemistry and electrochemical engineering and is the author of several peer-reviewed publications and patents. Currently, Steve is the CEO and CTO of Iron Batteries, Inc., which is 33% owned by Thermochem, Inc. and based at our Santa Rosa research facility.
Steven can be contacted at Steven@thermochem.com