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Article

Numerical Modeling of the Effects of Pore Characteristics on the Electric Breakdown of Rock for Plasma Pulse Geo Drilling

1
Geothermal Energy and Geofluids Group, Institute of Geophysics, Department of Earth Sciences, ETH Zurich, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
2
Theoretical Physics Research Group, Physics Department, Faculty of Science, Mansoura University, Mansoura 35516, Egypt
3
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jasmin Raymond
Energies 2022, 15(1), 250; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15010250
Received: 22 November 2021 / Revised: 22 December 2021 / Accepted: 25 December 2021 / Published: 30 December 2021
(This article belongs to the Section H: Geo-Energy)
Drilling costs can be 80% of geothermal project investment, so decreasing these deep drilling costs substantially reduces overall project costs, contributing to less expensive geothermal electricity or heat generation. Plasma Pulse Geo Drilling (PPGD) is a contactless drilling technique that uses high-voltage pulses to fracture the rock without mechanical abrasion, which may reduce drilling costs by up to 90% of conventional mechanical rotary drilling costs. However, further development of PPGD requires a better understanding of the underlying fundamental physics, specifically the dielectric breakdown of rocks with pore fluids subjected to high-voltage pulses. This paper presents a numerical model to investigate the effects of the pore characteristics (i.e., pore fluid, shape, size, and pressure) on the occurrence of the local electric breakdown (i.e., plasma formation in the pore fluid) inside the granite pores and thus on PPGD efficiency. Investigated are: (i) two pore fluids, consisting of air (gas) or liquid water; (ii) three pore shapes, i.e., ellipses, circles, and squares; (iii) pore sizes ranging from 10 to 150 μm; (iv) pore pressures ranging from 0.1 to 2.5 MPa. The study shows how the investigated pore characteristics affect the local electric breakdown and, consequently, the PPGD process. View Full-Text
Keywords: plasma pulse geo drilling; electropulse drilling; geothermal energy; plasma physics; micro-plasma modeling; partial discharge; electric breakdown; high-voltage pulses plasma pulse geo drilling; electropulse drilling; geothermal energy; plasma physics; micro-plasma modeling; partial discharge; electric breakdown; high-voltage pulses
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ezzat, M.; Adams, B.M.; Saar, M.O.; Vogler, D. Numerical Modeling of the Effects of Pore Characteristics on the Electric Breakdown of Rock for Plasma Pulse Geo Drilling. Energies 2022, 15, 250. https://doi.org/10.3390/en15010250

AMA Style

Ezzat M, Adams BM, Saar MO, Vogler D. Numerical Modeling of the Effects of Pore Characteristics on the Electric Breakdown of Rock for Plasma Pulse Geo Drilling. Energies. 2022; 15(1):250. https://doi.org/10.3390/en15010250

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ezzat, Mohamed, Benjamin M. Adams, Martin O. Saar, and Daniel Vogler. 2022. "Numerical Modeling of the Effects of Pore Characteristics on the Electric Breakdown of Rock for Plasma Pulse Geo Drilling" Energies 15, no. 1: 250. https://doi.org/10.3390/en15010250

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