I am going to continue the topic of R&D’s role in the world of energy. Geothermal is becoming a popular means of energy production across the globe. While geothermal may be efficient, there are countless engineering-related obstacles that must be dealt with in order to efficiently offer such a luxury. Geothermal contains a near infinite supply of energy beneath the surface that is renewable and free of emissions. (Metcalfe, Tulley, & Vandermeer. 2017).
Geothermal systems are able to offer both warm and cool water during the winter and summer months using the ground temperature. The geothermal system is able to use a pump to extract the heat from the ground during the winter or push out the heat into the ground during the summer.
Geothermal systems have been popular with university’s, such as Ball State University successfully implementing geothermal along with the University of Notre Dame being in the process of building a new geothermal energy source.
Baker Hughes Incorporated, a global oilfield services company, with investment from the Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO), developed and successfully demonstrated an advanced drilling system designed for these critical conditions… The system uses a high-temperature lubricant in the drilling fluid, a full metal drill bit to break the formation, and a full metal drilling motor known in the drilling industry as a “metal-to-metal motor.” (Metcalfe et al., 2017). During a test run the motor was able to fully operate for a continuous 270 hours, setting a new record for this type of system.
It is impossible to accurately quantify the impact that this will have on the economy in the long run, but it undoubtedly has enormous potential. By “expanding just the Enhanced Geothermal Systems it could potentially yield more than 100 gigawatts of economically viable electric generating capacity in the United States, which is enough to power 100 million homes.” (Metcalfe et al., 2017).
The future is exciting in the world of energy. This new geothermal technology can benefit the oil & gas, nuclear and energy industries in a really big way .
Metcalfe, E., Tulley, E., Vandermeer, B. ( January 9, 2017). New Drilling Technology Could Drive Advances in America’s Geothermal Industry. Energy.gov – Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. Retrieved from https://energy.gov/eere/articles/new-drilling-technology-could-drive-advances-america-s-geothermal-energy-industry.