Gyrotrons is a new tech that could revolutionize geothermal power extraction

Gyrotrons is a new tech that could revolutionize geothermal power extraction

April 16, 2024 1 By Alicia Moore

Gyrotrons might sound like transforming robots from a 1980s cartoon, but this tech is real with awesome potential.

Unlocking geothermal power potential requires drilling deep into the earth, using technology that is efficient, cost-effective, and widely accessible. Gyrotrons, a new technology developed by a team or researchers out of MIT, could revolutionize geothermal energy extraction via deep drilling and melting rock with energy beams.

A technological breakthrough.

Although not the first technology used in an attempt to improve geothermal extraction, Gyrotrons is one of the more promising breakthrough technologies to be introduced to the sector.

This potential drilling geothermal power tech doesn’t come from the fossil fuel industry either, like fracking tech does. Instead, it is currently used in nuclear fusion experiments to heat and maintain plasma. However, the spin-off MIT team behind it claims that it can also be utilized to drill deep into the earth by melting rock with energy beams, allowing for further penetration and greater efficiency.  What is even more impressive is that gyrotrons drilling can be accomplished using the same amount of energy required to power a typical drilling rig.

Obtaining geothermal power quickly and cheaply.

IEEE Spectrum reports that according to the team’s mathematical and experimenting models, “a millimeter-wave source targeted through a roughly 20 centimeter waveguide could blast a basketball-size hole into rock at a rate of 20 meters per hour.” Continuous drilling for just over 25 days at that rate would create the deepest hole in the world, adds IEEE Spectrum.

Geothermal Power - Drilling Tech

To put this into greater perspective, this speed and depth means that drilling for geothermal energy would be the fastest and cheapest it has ever been.

Presently, Quaise Energy has raised $95 million in investments to apply gyrotrons to geothermal power extractions.

Could Gyrotrons tech be an industry disruptor?

hydrogen news ebookGyrotrons may have the potential to disrupt the energy industry. Not only because it can be used for deep drilling that is faster and cheaper than other methods, but because it can make geothermal power widely accessible. Currently, geothermal energy is only viable in certain parts of the world, like Iceland. For this renewable resource to make an impact that would disrupt the fossil fuel industry and pave the way for a clean and sustainable energy future, drilling technology needs to be able to go deeper and hotter to access this power in places where it isn’t so easily reached.

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