Technology Breakthrough To Open Up Geothermal
Sandia National Laboratories and a commercial firm have designed a drilling tool that will withstand the heat of geothermal drilling.
July 21, 2016 (Science Daily)
“The downhole hammer attaches to the end of a column of drill pipe and cuts through rock with a rapid hammering action similar to that of a jackhammer. Downhole hammers are not new -- the oil and gas and mining industries have used them since the 1950s -- but the older design, with its reliance on oil-based lubricants, plastic and rubber O-rings, isn't suited for the hotter temperatures of geothermal drilling…The Department of Energy (DOE) Geothermal Technologies Office funded Atlas Copco as prime contractor on the project, and the company partnered with Sandia as the subcontractor…The Geothermal Energy Association's 2016 annual production report said the U.S. had about 2.7 gigawatts of net geothermal capacity at the end of 2015. In addition, the U.S. market was developing about 1.25 gigawatts of geothermal power, and new renewable portfolio standards in states such as California and Hawaii could create opportunities for geothermal energy…[T]he high temperature hammer could help reach those development goals…” click here for more