Innovative geothermal technology being showcased at central Alberta site

Demonstration project near Rocky Mountain House draws heat from deep underground

A geothermal project described as a huge underground radiator is proving its technology.

Eavor Technologies Inc. completed drilling a pair of 2.4-kilometre deep wells connected by a pair of underground pipelines for its closed-loop geothermal system last September.

Now being tested, the $10-million demonstration project east of Rocky Mountain House circulates liquids through kilometres of underground well bores, picking up heat before returning to the surface.

The heated liquid can then be used for heating or to create power using heat-to-energy technology.

Eavor president and CEO John Redfern said testing carried out while the wells were drilled and connected went well, and now work is underway to test and demonstrate the technology’s thermosiphon effect.

The thermosiphon effect is a natural process that sees warmer liquids rise as colder, denser liquids are introduced.

That creates a continuous circulation of a benign liquid with high heat-retention properties without the need for pumping. A small pump is needed only to get the circulation started and then it continues on its own.

“From what I understand, everything is within two per cent of predicted in the (geothermal) model as we put it though its paces,” said Redfern.

“It’s a lot of fun to go out there and feel the heat radiating out of the pipe as the fluid moves around without any pump pushing it.”

Redfern said there has been lots of interest in the technology, including the Alberta government, which has invested $2 million. Another $13 million has been raised through other investors, including companies such as Precision Drilling and Shell New Energies.

“Even during the drilling phase, we had 14 different groups from 11 different countries come through and tour the construction phase of it,” he said. “Obviously, there’s going to be more people coming through.

“We’ve been marketing it for a year up to this point.”

Redfern said the first commercial project is expected to be built in Bavaria.

“We’ve got a deal there to take over a traditional failed geothermal (system).”

Eavor’s technology allows it to create a system using holes drilled by other geothermal companies that did not meet their technical needs.

“It’s almost as if you had a technology that if anyone ever drilled a dry hole in the oilpatch, you come in and say, ‘I can make that work,’” he said.

”That’s sort of what we have on the geothermal side.”

Eavor is already going through the application process in Germany, which is phasing out its coal power. Japan, Italy, France, Netherlands, the Caribbean, the U.S. and Canada have also shown interest.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATE: Seven-year-old dies and her mother and two brothers are injured in trailer fire

Fire started shortly after 1 a.m. and took four hours to put out

Racist videos targeting Maskwacis are under investigation

Video images of what appears to be teenagers issuing racist and sexist… Continue reading

Red Deer County residents decry lack of public consultation over ‘enormous’ river water withdrawals

Noise, light, diesel emission complaints were made to the Alberta Energy Regulator

Woman no longer co-accused in 2019 Red Deer murder

Preliminary hearing of co-accused in murder began on Friday and resumes next month

Red Deer Mayor says city council’s advocacy isn’t over with shelter and hospital funding gains

Additional Crown prosecutors are still at the top of Tara Veer’s list

Fashion Fridays: Tammy’s big makeover

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Feb. 19 A Liberation of Holland event is being held at the… Continue reading

Canadian-Indians worry for their families as riots break out in India

Naila Saeed could do nothing but worry from afar when rioters descended… Continue reading

Public health agency weighs stronger COVID-19 protection for front-line workers

OTTAWA — The Public Health Agency of Canada says it will consult… Continue reading

Ukraine pledges help for airline compensation for Iran plane crash victims

OTTAWA — Ukraine’s ambassador to Canada says his government will help Foreign… Continue reading

Saskatchewan premier won’t commit to fall election; cites national unrest

ESTEVAN, Sask. — Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says rail blockades and the… Continue reading

Suspect charged with first-degree murder in death of 13-year-old Quebec girl

ST-JEROME, Que. — Friends and family of a teenage girl whose body… Continue reading

Tories call on government to compensate dairy farmers ‘left behind’ in new NAFTA

OTTAWA — The Conservative opposition says the government must compensate dairy farmers… Continue reading

Red Deer Construction Association honours local builders

5th annual Commercial Construction Awards took place on Thursday evening

Most Read