Science & Technology
World's deepest hole could be the key to limitless energy
March 13, 2022 | 44 comments
Beneath our feet is enough heat to power the whole world. Image Credit: USGS
One energy company is hoping to change the world by producing electricity from the heat found deep beneath our feet.
Drilling deep down into the planet's surface is a particularly challenging feat - to date the furthest anyone has gone is around 7.6 miles, which is hardly 'Journey to the Center of the Earth'
The problem lies in the fact that operating a drill at extreme depths and pressures is very difficult, as is transporting the drilled material from the bottom of a miles-deep hole back to the surface.
While probing what lies deep beneath our feet can provide large amounts of data for scientists hoping to learn more about the interior of the Earth, such endeavours also have another potential benefit in the form of geothermal energy.
While the crust of our planet is relatively cool, the interior is very warm indeed. Tapping this heat to produce electricity has the potential to provide a practically limitless amount of clean energy to the masses, that is, at least, if we can actually reach it.
Now though, energy company Quaise is hoping to achieve such a feat by combining a megawatt-power gyrotron (which forces atoms to melt together) with the latest state-of-the-art drilling tools to dig deep down into the Earth's surface and tap this underused source of energy.
The firm hopes to reach depths of over 12 miles and is aiming to produce power within four years.
If it succeeds, it could give wind and solar energy solutions a run for their money.
Source: Science Alert
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