GRAIN-SCALE FAILURE IN THERMAL SPALLATION DRILLING

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Geothermal power promises clean, renewable, reliable and potentially widely-available energy, but is limited by high initial capital costs. New drilling technologies are required to make geothermal power financially competitive with other energy sources. One potential solution is offered by Thermal Spallation Drilling (TSD) - a novel drilling technique in which small particles (spalls) are released from the rock surface by rapid heating. While TSD has the potential to improve drilling rates of brittle granitic rocks, the coupled thermomechanical processes involved in TSD are poorly described, making system control and optimization difficult for this drilling technology. In this paper, we discuss ... continued below

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Walsh, S C; Lomov, I & Roberts, J J January 19, 2012.

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Geothermal power promises clean, renewable, reliable and potentially widely-available energy, but is limited by high initial capital costs. New drilling technologies are required to make geothermal power financially competitive with other energy sources. One potential solution is offered by Thermal Spallation Drilling (TSD) - a novel drilling technique in which small particles (spalls) are released from the rock surface by rapid heating. While TSD has the potential to improve drilling rates of brittle granitic rocks, the coupled thermomechanical processes involved in TSD are poorly described, making system control and optimization difficult for this drilling technology. In this paper, we discuss results from a new modeling effort investigating thermal spallation drilling. In particular, we describe an explicit model that simulates the grain-scale mechanics of thermal spallation and use this model to examine existing theories concerning spalling mechanisms. We will report how borehole conditions influence spall production, and discuss implications for macro-scale models of drilling systems.

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PDF-file: 10 pages; size: 1.1 Mbytes

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  • Presented at: Stanford Geothermal Workshop, Stanford, CA, United States, Jan 30 - Feb 01, 2012

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  • Report No.: LLNL-CONF-523558
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1035600
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc843531

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  • January 19, 2012

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  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Nov. 28, 2016, 6:56 p.m.

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Walsh, S C; Lomov, I & Roberts, J J. GRAIN-SCALE FAILURE IN THERMAL SPALLATION DRILLING, article, January 19, 2012; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc843531/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.