A startup has developed a system that can tap into geothermal energy almost anywhere
Spotted: Renewable energy is gaining steam, but many people feel that progress is not moving fast enough to have the kind of impact needed to hold global warming to 2 degrees Celsius. Energy company GA Drilling argues that small changes will not help. Instead, it has developed a series of scalable geothermal solutions that rely on ultra-deep drilling to tap into the heat produced deep within the Earth. The startup combines this drilling with scalable surface infrastructure.
GA Drilling uses its patented PLASMABIT drilling system to drill down up to 10 kilometres. At this depth, there is an unlimited supply of geothermal energy in the form of heat under virtually any piece of land. Although drilling this deep is normally extremely expensive, GA’s system reduces drilling costs and inefficiency, making it cost-effective in some situations.
PLASMABIT is a modular system that can be connected to other commercially available equipment and is less prone to mechanical wear because it does not require physical contact with the rock – reducing the need for downtime or expensive repairs and replacements. It also produces much less noise than conventional drilling, allowing it to be used in populated areas.
The company describes its system as an ‘intelligent modular platform’ and says that it is a “clear step-change [and has] cost, performance, working life and environmental impact advantages compared to a conventional mechanical bit in deeper depths.” It adds that, “With our unique technology any location on Earth can provide clean, inexpensive, and nonstop available geothermal energy.”
Other recent geothermal energy innovations spotted by Springwise include modular geothermal panels installed in underground parking garages and the use of geothermal energy to power energy-intensive Bitcoin mining operations.
Written By: Lisa Magloff