A 2,000 meter deep geothermal well has been completed at Lounavoima’s Waste-to-Energy plant


Geomachine | QHeat | Lounavoima

The world’s first 2,000-meter-deep geothermal well drilled for the use of Waste-to-Energy (WtE) plant has been completed at Waste-to-Energy company Lounavoima’s plant in Salo, Finland. The operation of the well is based on the geothermal well solution developed by Quantitative Heat Oy (QHeat) and it was drilled with a GM2000 drill rig developed by Geomachine Oy.

“Geothermal heat is an environmentally friendly and sustainable solution to the world’s growing energy needs,” says Samuli Salmela, CEO of Geomachine Oy. “Since there will be less land available for geothermal wells in the future, the wells must be drilled deeper. One geothermal well drilled to 2,000 meters produces the same amount of energy as some dozens of traditional energy wells, and it is also suitable for heat storage and cooling. Therefore, the solution developed now is suitable e.g. for use on larger construction sites and district heating networks.”

The world’s first GM2000 well drilling rig has been commissioned in Salo, Finland by WtE company Lounavoima’s order. “The operation of the plant generates energy for the district heating network evenly,” QHeat CEO Erika Salmenvaara says. “In the network, however, the heat consumption load changes all the time, so when the consumption is at a low level, the plant has produced excess heat. This energy can now be stored in deep geothermal wells and released from there later as consumption increases. A similar solution has not been used at a waste-to-energy plant before, so we are now the first in the world to implement the project in such an environment. Over the next few years, a total of six wells will be drilled for the Lounavoima waste-to-energy plant.”

In the past, QHeat’s record depth for drilling geothermal wells has been 1,600 meters. The fact that drilling can now be carried out with Geomachine’s GM2000 drilling rig up to 2,000 meters and even beyond, takes the utilization of geothermal energy to a whole new level. “The drilling depth has been increased by a third, which means that the energy production of the well increases more than 60 %. Annually, 950 megawatt-hours were obtained from a 1,500-meter-deep well, and now we obtain 1,530 megawatt-hours from a 2,000-meter deep well,” says Erika Salmenvaara. The numbers are even higher if the energy output of a 2,000-meter-deep well is compared to a traditional 300-meter-deep geothermal well. “Compared to a traditional well, we can now capture up to 60 times more energy from one well than before.”

Geomachine’s geothermal well drilling solution is optimized for down-the-hole drilling in hard Scandinavian rock. Its product development has focused on the overall economy of drilling, the fast drilling progress enabled by DTH technology, automatic recording of drilling data, real-time analysis of the drilling process, and working safety. In addition to the GM2000 well drilling rig, the overall solution includes needed air compressors, drilling accessories and an intelligent control and data logging system for optimizing the drilling process. The solution is also available with electric powerline, which enables a reduction in emissions. The rig’s easy mobility and ramp up also contribute to the overall economic efficiency of drilling. “Thanks to our solution, the driller can monitor the drilling parameters in real time, even though the drilling itself takes place at a depth of hundreds of meters. This reduces equipment breakdowns, speeds up drilling and makes it cost-effective,” says Samuli Salmela, CEO of Geomachine Oy.

The relative share of geothermal heat as the main heat source for buildings has been
growing since the beginning of the 2000s. In the future, the GM2000 solution will especially benefit large real estate sites where the concept can be used as a regional energy source. From one well, there is enough energy to heat even more than three hundred, A energy class 70 m2 apartments.