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Geothermal power is a reliable source of energy that is reduced by materials including the need to find plants in areas where tropical water reservoirs are easily accessible. Carlos Araque is looking to change this through his company, Quaise, using state-of-the-art technology developed at MIT.

Araque said: “We need to go deeper into making global warming a major source of global warming, so that we can no longer be near a volcano or in Iceland or in tropical areas,” says Araque. But deep drilling — 2 to 12 miles[12 to 12 km]underground — is expensive and time-consuming. His company found the answer in a study conducted by Paul Woskov at the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center. Instead of drilling, which quickly dies and needs to be replaced frequently, Woskov decided to use high-speed microwaves of 30- to 300-gigahertz from a gyrotron device. “It’s like a magnetron in your microwave oven, but it’s much stronger and more efficient,” says Araque.

Its purpose is to drill a mile or two down to the rock, through which oil and gas are often found; then the gyrotron takes over. Superheated vaporized rock is pushed to the surface by air pressure. The water then flows in and out of the cisterns, heating it in the process and forming a very dangerous vapor that drives the turbines. One of the advantages of this technology is that it makes extensive use of equipment already established in the oil, gas, and heating industries.

Hailing from Colombia, Araque studied mechanics at MIT. He spent 15 years at Schlumberger, an oil and labor specialist, before joining The Engine, a corporate company founded in 2016. After Woskov made his decision in 2018, Vinod Khosla, a well-known capitalist, decided that Araque should form a company, giving money “if I could lead. . “

With $ 23 million in grants and seed donations, Quaise is working with the Department of Energy to develop the technology to make a pilot machine in the western US by 2024. Surprisingly for Araque, he has found support within the oil and gas industries. gas. “These companies are beginning to understand that they need to embrace you [green] change power, ”he says.

As the world moves towards clean energy, Araque is confident that geothermal will play a major role. “We are talking about powerful territories — not megawatts, not gigawatts, but territories,” he said. “But in order to realize this, we must acknowledge these complex technologies. That is exactly what we are trying to do. We want to deliver all geothermal energy.”

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