US company EarthGrid claims it is developing a plasma-drilling robot that can dig underground tunnels 100 times faster and up to 98% cheaper than existing technology, and connects electricity, internet and utility networks to the United States. Planning to use it for resume.
Most of the tunnels being excavated today are made with giant mechanical drilling machines, which scrape cutting wheels against the rock and traverse the tunnel walls to remove the debris behind them. it is A laboriously slow process, extremely expensive, highly pollutingAnd cutter heads and bits often need to be replaced or maintained.
EarthGrid aims to break down the hardest rock by a process called spallation. You can do this without touching the rock walls, so you can tunnel without stopping. It can work 100% with electrical energy, which opens up the possibility of drill without emissions, EarthGrid claims it is much faster and cheaper than doing the work mechanically, to the point where previously unviable projects may become economically viable.
Earthgrid is developing a spallation drilling robot, which has a “Rapid Excavator Robot (RBR), The torches are arranged in a Fibonacci spiral, starting in the center and expanding to cover the entire diameter of the hole.
The RBR lights all the torches at once and rotates the torch disc to ensure complete coverage, backing up the rock and collecting it on small push carts, each connected to a cable that powers the drilling tool. supplies. drilling.
There must be a lot of power in that cable. In projections submitted as part of a patent, EarthGrid founder Troy Helming describes a possible realization of the concept by using 72 plasma torches to drill a 1m hole. In its low power situation, with each torch consuming 500 kW, Helming estimated the total power consumption to be 40 MW. In the high power state, the consumption will be up to 120MW continuously.
In the high-speed setup, EarthGrid claims it can tunnel up to 1 km per day, which it says is 100 times faster than current practices.
As far as cost is concerned, EarthGrid says that low-cost setups can cost as little as $300 per meter of tunnel.
The company says it will sell drilling as a service, or build, own, operate and maintain the tunnels for customers seeking a long-term lease or toll deal. But it also expects to launch enough interconnected customer projects to create an underground network that spans the entire United States. If power lines of sufficient capacity run through this network, renewable energy can be distributed across the country, with an increase in demand on the East Coast leading to an increase in production on the West Coast.
Earthgrid is in seed funding period.
more information: www.earthgrid.io