About Me

I am a thought follower. My expertise lies in my ability to gather everyone else's work into cohesive, comprehendable products. I like working with reservoir engineers, mechanical engineers, geomechanical specialists, geophysicists, geologists, and other geoscientists to bring their thoughts to life. My formal training is wide ranging, including: heating and cooling hydraulic design, district energy systems, applied data science, geothermal systems, thermodynamics of power cycles, energy geology, geothermal well drilling and design, through full-stack development, economics, environmental assessments, and natural resource law. With a full-spectrum geothermal specialization, I often find myself carrying a treatise on geothermal to those that matter. Of course, going forward with the energy transition, we will rely heavily on integration. Beyond baseload, geothermal will also be there.

Nicholas Fry

Recently, I extended my research in rural geothermal district heating systems to a group project with students and faculty at the University of North Dakota. For five months we were able to investigate the energy demand of the community of Mandaree, the geothermal resource that lies beneath the town, and the potential of converting oil wells for such a system. With my personal expertise on interactions between a geothermal reservoir and the demand of a surface energy system, I tied together the inputs from a diverse team of geoscientists and engineers. This was part of a US Department of Energy collegiate competition. Our comprehensive plan beat out 15 other teams from across the United States. I hope it inspires rural counties and states to consider more active participation in the energy transition.

Mandaree is a town on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation.

My primer for learning to put together a comprehensive geothermal energy plan, from the drilling, system design, economic, and social perspectives, was my master's thesis. My focus was almost exclusively on rural geothermal district heating. If a business case can be made for heating retrofits in sparse single-family home areas, then it is easy to do elsewhere. I took an individual geothermal district heating system and ran simulations, really hundreds of times, to tweek and idealize residential-commerical building heat in the Westside Neighborhood of Helena, Montana. I know how to make heat network business plans that beat the price of natural gas with these low marginal heat generation cost sources, like geothermal energy.

Using heat source matching in district energy simulation, it is possible to match the thermal drawdown from a geothermal reservoir.