Descramble: Geothermal Becomes 2.0

Published on Thursday, 15 June 2017

“Descramble aims to reach depths of between 3 and 3.5 km under the earth’s surface, a horizon identified with seismic reflection, called K.”

At these depths, extreme environmental conditions bring water to what is called a “supercritical” state, or a physical condition where some properties typical of the liquid state and others typical of the gaseous state come together at the same time. These conditions, totally unique, multiply the energy potential of the water by ten.

Geothermal 3.0 in the sign of efficiency

The main goal of Descramble is to develop the technologies to drill and extract this “supercritical water” that would allow geothermal plants to reduce the number of wells needed per unit of electricity production, with consequent cost savings and a strengthening of the the industry’s competitiveness.

The three years of the project are dedicated to a succession of activities. The first year will be focused on the phases of general preparation, with the collection and organisation of data and information, numerical simulations and acquisition of new seismic data and the development of drilling instruments and materials. The second year will see drilling and the main test. In the third year will include the validation of predictive models and the development of economic and technical-scientific analysis.

“Descramble has an estimated cost of 15.6 million euro, with a financial contribution from Horizon2020 of 6.7 million euro.”

Thanks to the participation of common partners, other European projects currently under development are being coordinated: IMAGE for the development of integrated techniques for geothermal exploration, DEEPEGS and GEOWELL, aimed both at drilling systems of deep EGS and at continuing the Icelandic project for research of high temperature resources, through new technologies of geothermal drilling.