WorldWide Drilling Resource

64 DECEMBER 2021 WorldWide Drilling Resource® RENEW - SUBSCRIBE NOW! PLASMABIT® Technology for Europe’s Deepest Geothermal Well Compiled by the Editorial Staff of WorldWide Drilling Resource® Large-scale geothermal energy has long been limited to volcanic areas where heat is easily captured and turned into electricity. Current geothermal drilling challenges are prohibitive drilling costs and inefficiency of drilling operations at greater depths. Conventional geothermal drilling is only cost-efficient up to the depth of three miles into soft rock. With each additional 3000 feet, and especially in harder rocks, costs increase exponentially and beyond a sustainable return on investment. Recent breakthroughs in drilling techniques may transform the European energy market and limit its dependence on fossil fuels. Slovakian company GA (Geothermal Anywhere) Drilling, Finnish company Finest BayArea Development Oy, and the Finnish Pyhäjärvi city-owned postmining development company Callio have collaborated to test, develop, and operate GA Drilling’s PLASMABIT® geothermal technology at Pyhäsalmi Mine, aiming to drill Europe’s deepest geothermal borehole. Pyhäsalmi Mine at Pyhäjärvi in the northern part of Finland is an ideal test area. It is a 60-year-old base metal mine almost 4600 feet deep, including more than 62 miles of tunnels. Due to the mine’s planned closure at the end of 2021, the city and Callio were looking for new uses for the mine infrastructure and surroundings. Callio in Pyhäsalmi Mine was already an established geothermal energy development site, so this collaboration with GA Drilling was well-suited. Industry estimates say 70% of the earth’s surface could provide geothermal power using modern drilling techniques. GA Drilling has developed a reliable drilling technology which can make geothermal energy an affordable primary energy source anywhere. The PLASMABIT drilling platform has clear step-change cost, performance, working life, and environmental impact advantages compared to a conventional mechanical bit at greater depths. Also, it has a lower noise generation and resonance, making the technology viable in populated areas. PLASMABIT has a rapid rate of penetration in hard rock to ensure linear drilling costs instead of exponential, making drilling costs per foot much lower. It does not require contact or rotation with the formation and is inherently less prone to any mechanical wear; thus reducing the need for regular replacement of the tool. This eliminates costly downtime. With a potential to accelerate the transition to cleantech in several industries, PLASMABIT unlocks a whole cascade of applications by accessing very high temperatures in depths. This can make geothermal power into a most versatile, constant, and less expensive source of available energy. With PLASMABIT technology, it is possible to drill geothermal wells as deep as six miles quickly and cost-efficiently. As the temperature of the earth’s crust increases with depth by around 86ºF (30ºC) for each 3000 feet, deep drilling increases the availability of geothermal energy. The deep boreholes allow greater energy production per well than previously calculated, with the possibility of not only heat but also electricity creation. Any location can provide clean, inexpensive, and nonstop available geothermal energy. Igor Kocis, CEO and founder of GADrilling said, “We are excited about the collaboration . . . and see great potential in working together to bring carbonfree future for all. Geothermal anywhere is the solution for a local, independent source of electricity, heating, clean water, and food production in the world.” PLASMABIT® drilling platform. Image courtesy of GA Drilling. GEO Atlantis Vault • Self-Contained • Simple installation • Trouble-free operation For more information call: (270) 786-3010 or visit us online: Irrigation by: Rain Bird Academy Training January 3-7 ~ Campbell, CA January 3-7 ~ Boston, MA January 10-14 ~ Walnut, CA January 10-14 ~ Chicago, IL January 11-13 ~ Reno, NV January 17-21 ~ Sioux Falls, SD January 24-28 ~ Meridian, ID January 25-27 ~ Chicago, IL January 31-February 4 ~ St. Louis, MO phone: 800-498-1942 E-mail: More education opportunities during events can be found by clicking here online at: Education Connection Connection Exciting things are happening in the Geothermal World!