News

Research exploring drilling depths of up to 10,000m (33,000 feet)

Drill pipe ready at Jolokia 1, Geodynamics/ Australia (source: Geodynamics)
Alexander Richter 15 Sep 2010

Norwegian researchers are exploring the possibility of collecting geothermal energy from depths down to 10,000m or 33,000 feet.

According to researchers from Norway, “It may be possible to collect geothermal energy from depths down to 10,000 m, or 33,000 feet)”

“Commonly used geothermal energy comes from a depth of 150-200 m where temperatures are around 6-8°C. Researchers at NTNU, University of Bergen, the Geological Survey of Norway (NGU) and SINTEF believe it is possible to drill down to 10,000 m where temperatures can reach at least 374°C and the water has a pressure of at least 220 bars.

“If we manage to produce this kind of energy it would clearly be a ‘moon landing’. This is one of the few sources of energy that we really have enough of. The only thing that we need is the technology to harvest it,” says Researchers at SINTEF Materials and Chemistry, Odd-Geir Lademo.

Learning from the oil industry: Oil companies are already drilling down to 5000 m where temperatures reach 170°C. However, deeper drilling becomes a challenge due to the high temperatures.

Steel becomes brittle and materials such as plastic and electronics will be weakened or melt. Electronic normally only operate a short time at temperatures above 200°C. SINTEF says these problems would have to be overcome.

“We have a strong an innovative oil industry in this country [Norway]. Because the oil industry has wanted to develop oil and gas deposits from inaccessible areas, drilling technology has evolved tremendously over the past 10 years. There are test wells for oil that go 12,000 m into the earth. Knowledge from the oil and drilling industry may be used in the future to capture geothermal energy,” says Lademo and colleague Are Lund, Senior Researchers at SINTEF Materials and Chemistry.”

For the full article see link below.

Source: Renewable Energy Focus