The energy company Quaise has attracted a lot of attention since it launched its very ambitious project to go and dig the deepest hole on Earth. Its goal is to try to exploit geothermal energy which is a renewable energy currently more than neglected.
For the realization of its project to get as close as possible to the center of the Earth, the Quaise company has already succeeded so far in raising the sum of 63 million dollars. This is a fairly substantial amount that could eventually make geothermal energy a much more accessible energy.
Quaise’s vision for this project is to combine traditional drilling methods with new technologies, including a sort of “flashlight” with megawatt power.
Geothermal energy, a forgotten source of energy
The green energy market is currently dominated by solar energy and wind energy while geothermal energy has fallen into oblivion. Hardly anyone thinks of exploiting the heat reservoir, which is theoretically accessible to everyone. However, we understand the reason for this situation, and it is the fact that it is not at all easy to access the molten rocks found in the bowels of our planet. Quaise wants to offer a technology capable of digging holes deep enough to be able to exploit this energy.
For now, the deepest hole ever dug by humans is 12.3 km deep. Reaching this figure is already a feat, but we will have to go even further.
To be able to go beyond what has already been done, a solution would have to be found to crush the rocks found inside the Earth and bring them to the surface. Drilling tools will also need to be able to withstand temperatures above 180 degrees Celsius.
Quaise’s Bold Solution
What the company offers is a possible option to overcome the obstacles that have so far prevented us from exploiting geothermal energy.
The company wants to use millimeter waves of electromagnetic radiation, a technique that forces atoms to fuse together. According to Quaise, devices called gyrotrons can continuously produce beams of electromagnetic radiation. By installing a gyrotron with a power of the order of a megawatt at the level of the cutting tools, it would be possible to reach a depth of 20 kilometers in a few months. At this depth, the temperature can reach 500 degrees Celsius, an ideal temperature to bring the water to a supercritical state close to steam which will make it possible to produce electricity.
Quaise’s forecast for his project is to have field devices capable of providing proof of feasibility within two years. If there is no problem, the company hopes to develop a system capable of producing energy before the year 2026. By the year 2028, the goal will be to transform into steam power plants old coal-fired power plants.
This technology raises many questions about its feasibility, but according to reports, even without it, almost 8.3% of the world’s energy could come from geothermal sources.
To achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050, the use of geothermal energy would have to increase by 13% each year. For the moment, this source of energy is still far from being the most exploited, but let’s hope that with the Quaise project, this situation will improve in the years to come.