Archive for August, 2016


Plasma drilling

While our geothermal pundits are battling with draft policy with committees that have marginal knowledge on geothermal, other countries have advanced with plasma drilling technology for deep geothermal. Robust plasma generator is the method behind this technology developed in Slovakia. This non-contact drilling process can withstand extreme P & T. Electronic plasma is utilized to drill a hole in granites to extract heat for power generation and other direct application. Other most important advantage is the real time data collection of the rock that is in contact with the plasma at any given point of time, depth and temperature. This technology cuts drilling and infrastructure costs (that is very high in conventional drilling), costs related to rig movement, hiring, drill bit costs, drilling mud etc. The GA company, acronym for “Geothermal Anywhere” has pioneered in this technology and this technology is the future drilling technology for energy security and energy independence to many countries endowed with high heat generating granites.

India is one of the few countries that contain geological formations extending from Archean to recent. The country has excellent exposures of rocks belonging to the entire geological age spectrum, and a major volume is represented by volcanic and plutonic rocks. Volcanic flows and sedimentary formations provide excellent heat insulation to these plutonic intrusions. These plutonic rocks play an important role in the Indian stratigraphy. Granites of age varying from the Precambrian to Recent occur in India and the area occupied by these granites is over 150,000 (Hot Dry Rock Potential in India: Future Road Map to Make India Energy Independent by Chandrasekharam and Chandrasekhar, World Geothermal Congress, 2010). These granites are “comfortably” covered by the Deccan flood basalts and alluvium. Some of these granites have the capacity to generate high heat due to high content of radioactive elements. They have the capacity to generate energy equivalent to 3.133 x 1022 BTU. India can plan to use this technology to have several micro-grids across all its villages and make rural India to have electricity and water for ever. This will happen when right people are in the right place.