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Drilling like lightning


95% of the geothermal water resources in Germany are situated in crystalline rock. Existing drilling methods, however, are only able to advance slowly though this hard rock and the drill bits wear out quickly. The BINE Projektinfo brochure “Electric impulses fragment hard rock” (13/2015) presents an alternative drilling procedure. Here, a high-voltage impulse fragments the rock. This method causes little wear to the drill bits and enables up to 30% lower drilling costs.

New process uses high voltage for deep geothermal drilling

The BINE Projektinfo brochure “Electric impulses fragment hard rock” (13/2015)

© BINE Informationsdienst

When drilling with the electric impulse process (EIP), two electrodes are positioned below ground on the rock layer. Through them, 400-kV impulses are shot into the rock. In the impulse’s breakdown channel, the pressure and temperature within the rock increase and the rock breaks up.

The resulting drill cuttings are removed by a non-conductive drilling fluid. The EIP drill bit has been successfully tested on a test stand under wellbore-like conditions. The aim of the ongoing follow-up project is to develop a complete drilling system and to test it in a real borehole.

Scientists at Dresden University of Technology are developing the EIP drilling system in collaboration with industrial partners. Drilling work can account for up to 90% of the investment costs in geothermal projects. Each technical improvement and cost reduction in the drilling process therefore brings new geological heat reservoirs within economic reach.

You found all informations about the BINE Projektinfo brochure “Electric impulses fragment hard rock” (13/2015) here:

Uwe Milles/Birgit Schneider

About BINE Information Service

Energy research for practical applications

The BINE Information Service reports on energy research topics, such as new materials, systems and components, as well as innovative concepts and methods. The knowledge gained is incorporated into the implementation of new technologies in practice, because first-rate information provides a basis for pioneering decisions, whether in the planning of energy-optimised buildings, increasing the efficiency of industrial processes, or integrating renewable energy sources into existing systems.

About FIZ Karlsruhe

FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz Institute for Information Infrastructure is a not-for-profit organization with the public mission to make sci-tech information from all over the world publicly available and to provide related services in order to support the national and international transfer of knowledge and the promotion of innovation.
Our business areas:
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FIZ Karlsruhe is a member of the Leibniz Association (WGL) which consists of 87 German research and infrastructure institutions.

Weitere Informationen: - BINE Informationsdienst

Rüdiger Mack | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

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