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Development of novel and cost-effective drilling technology for Geothermal Systems

Project description

Optimising technology for geothermal extraction

Geothermal energy is an environmentally friendly resource that has the potential to meet the heating, cooling and electricity demands of the future. However, it remains largely untapped because of expensive and prolonged drilling practices. The EU-funded Geo-Drill project aims to develop optimised drilling equipment to cut costs and increase the rate of penetration in geothermal extraction. This innovative drilling technology will combine durable mud hammers operated with bi-stable fluidic amplifiers, 3D-printed sensors and cables to enhance monitoring, and graphene coatings to improve drill resistance and lifetime. Reducing drilling costs by up to 60 %, it will motivate investment and make geothermal energy more widely accessible.


Geothermal is the most under-utilized of renewable sources due to high investment costs and long development cycle. A big part (53%) of the cost is in drilling and it is time-dependent. Geo-Drill aims to reduce drilling cost with increased ROP and reduced tripping with improved tools lives. Geo-Drill is proposing drilling technology incorporating bi-stable fluidic amplifier driven mud hammer, low cost 3D printed sensors & cables, drill monitoring system, Graphene based materials and coatings. Geo-Drill fluidic amplifier driven hammer is less sensitive to issues with mud and tolerances, less impact of erosion on hammer efficiency and it continues to operate with varying mud quality in efficient manner. It is also less affected by the environmental influences such as shocks, vibrations, accelerations, temperature and high pressures. Low cost and robust 3D-printed sensors & cables along the surface of the whole length of the drill string provides real-time high bandwidth data during drilling; e.g. estimation of rock formation hardness, mud flow speed, density, temp, etc. Flow assurance simulations combined with sensor readings and knowledge-based system will assist in optimizing drilling parameters and cuttings transport performance and safety conditions. Graphene's ability to tune the particular form lends itself uniquely as a component in a wide variety of matrices for coating developments with enhanced adhesion and dispersion properties and improved resistance to abrasion, erosion, corrosion and impact. Placing few mm hard-strength materials on drill bit, drill stabilizer through diffusion bonding improves their wear resistance and improve the lifetime. Geo-Drill's hammers improved efficiency and lifetime, drill parameter optimisation and CTP via sensors, reduced time in replacing tools with improved lifetime work together to improve ROP & lifetime resulting in reduced drilling time. Thereby, Geo-Drill will reduce drilling cost by 29-60%.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 673 975,00
Granta park great abington
CB21 6AL Cambridge
United Kingdom

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East of England East Anglia Cambridgeshire CC
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (12)