Seminar - How Plasma-Pulse Geo-Drilling (PPGD) can make Geothermal Energy Cheaper - Mohamed Ezzat

Hosted by the MERGE team (Led by Professor Shehab Ahmed) and ANPERC, don't miss an exciting seminar on June 7th, 2022 (12:00 -13:00), entitled “How Plasma-Pulse Geo-Drilling (PPGD) can make Geothermal Energy Cheaper” delivered by Mr. Mohamed Ezzat.

Mohamed Ezzat is a 4th-year Ph.D. candidate in Geothermal Energy and Geofluids Group at ETH Zurich. His Ph.D. investigates the physics underlining the Plasma-Pulse Geo-Drilling technology using numerical modeling and lab experiments under ambient and deep wellbore conditions. In 2018, Ezzat received the European MSc of Nuclear Fusion and Engineering Physics jointly from Stuttgart University (Germany), Carlos III Madrid University (Spain), CIMAT (Spain), and Ghent University (Belgium). In 2015, Ezzat received his BSc in Physics from Mansoura University, Egypt.

Geothermal energy is, in principle, a limitless energy resource that can work as a decentralized power source assuming the implementation of enhanced or advanced geothermal systems, which requires drilling at least 5 km deep, i.e., into hard crystalline basement rocks. However, drilling to such depths is currently too expensive as it results in specific capital electricity costs of about 145 USD/We. These costs need to be about 2-5 USD/We in order for geothermal energy to compete with other renewable energy sources.

Plasma-Pulse Geo-Drilling (PPGD), among other contactless drilling technology, may reduce the cost of drilling, thereby utilizing such geothermal energy resources. During PPGD, two electrodes transmit high-voltage pulses at >200 kV and rise times <0.5 microseconds to the rock surface, inducing electric breakdown inside the rock and thus rock fracturing. Even though comparative analysis has shown that PPGD is 17% cheaper than mechanical rotary drilling, further research and development may reduce the costs by more than 90%.

This talk presents: (1) our developed numerical models that investigate the physics underlining the PPGD process on the pore scale, and (2) the super recent experimental results that show the effect of the deep wellbore conditions (i.e., lithostatic and hydrostatic pressures and the temperature) on the PPGD performance.



Event Quick Information

07 Jun, 2022
11:45 AM – 13:00 PM