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Lakic Fulfills Tesla's Vision of Dropping Geothermal Systems Down Where the Heat
Geothermal Worldwide, Inc.'s patented technology presents a radical
approach to harnessing geothermal power by boring a fairly large hole and
lowering the boiler, turbine, and generator down where the heat is, rather than
using water or other fluids to bring the heat to the surface. They also have
technology for boring the large diameter hole, enabling geothermal to be
installed just about anywhere.
Pure Energy Systems News
I got a call last week from Nikola Lakic (pronounced Lakich), CEO of Geothermal Worldwide,
Inc., a California based corporation, which has patented technology with a new approach to harnessing geothermal power by boring a fairly large hole and lowering the boiler, turbine, and generator down
to where the heat is, rather than using water or other fluids to bring the heat to the surface.
They call it a Self Contained In-Ground Geothermal Generator (SCI-GGG).
They also have developed a patent-pending technology for boring the large diameter hole.
"This drilling technology eliminates limitations relevant to depth and diameter of the well bore."
While geothermal is conventional free energy technology, and we usually cover more exotic approaches, there are a couple of things about this that piqued my interest.
First, Nikola shares the first name of Nikola Tesla, which is a common name in Montenegro, where he was born. His mother was born just a few miles away from where Tesla was born in Croatia.
Second, this approach is a radical departure from the usual approach; and we like radical.
So I went ahead and did a recorded hour-long interview
with him, which you can listen to.
First, he contrasted his patented design to the two conventional geothermal
methods. One uses hydrothermal reservoirs, pumping up the heated water to turn
turbines, then cooling the steam and returning the cooled steam/water back to
A lot of heat is lost in the process of bringing the water to the surface.
The other methods is called Enhanced Geothermal System, in which bore holes are
drilled, and the ground is fracked. I doubt there are many fans of fracking
in our audience, given how it involves awful chemicals and can pollute the
drinking water for centuries. The risk taken when fracking is that rather than
pool, the injected water will just seep into the fractured openings and
Both of these methods require the use of large volumes of water. "99% of earth's crust is dry rock, no water."
Lakic' Patented Design
Lakic' method of dropping the generator assembly down to where the heat is (175° -
200°C), enables geothermal to be done essentially anywhere. And supposedly, his
new method of being able to drill large bore holes efficiently and effectively,
removes the limits of depth; though the hole drilling is still one of the large
capital expenses of installing such a system.
In Lakic's design, the electricity is produced down in the hole, where the heat
is, and transmitted by cables to the surface. It also involves a cooling fluid
through a separate closed-loop system, so the generator doesn't get too hot. That "cooling" process also has
the potential for secondary energy generation from its heat. The generator and
cooling system would be thermally insulated from the heat in the hole.
He envisions the surface portion of the plant actually being in a basement,
which could have grass grown over the top, so as to allow for multi-use of the
The installation costs would be significant, but because the fuel costs would be
zero, the net cost, over time, would be less than coal or natural gas power.
He expects, using existing technology, that the boilers, turbines and generators
will last 10 years down there, without servicing; and then they can be pulled up
every 10 years to either do maintenance or replace them, to run another 10
years. The engineers who have reviewed Lakic' design have encouraged him.
The generator system in each hole will be capable of producing around a megawatt
of electricity; and a plant would entail a number of holes dug fairly close
together to come up with the total amount of power needed. That would require
1000 holes for a 1 GW plant, which would be the equivalent of a small nuclear
power plant output.
As a demonstration of the feasibility of the design, Lakic envisions hanging
such a unit over a lava tube in Hawaii right away.
About the Company
Geothermal Worldwide, Inc. is a start-up, with a few consultants having engineering
They are looking for funding, including a few million to secure international
protection through PCT.
They are selling some shares of their stock privately, and they are going to
conferences and energy summits to promote the technology.
They plan on selling licenses to big companies who could compete with each other
in coming up with the best design to implement the technology.
Nikola Lakic graduated in 1982 with a degree in architectural engineering. He
holds 25 patents, mostly in areas unrelated to this technology.
He seems quite proud of a medical device for footwear that he has brought to
market called http://inflasole.com. It's an
inflatable sole that absorbs the shock from walking/running/activity. You pump it up according to your weight and
activity, and it eliminates pressure points, improving blood circulation and
massaging the feet.
As I was composing this story, I received an email from someone asking me what
my thoughts were on Terawatt.com.
In answering that email, I misspelled the domain name when taking a peek there,
since it's been a while since I visited their site.
It turns out that http://TerraWatt.com is
describing a system somewhat similar to what Lakic proposes, including a drilling
technology to bore the large diameter hole. They even mention Nikola Tesla's
geothermal quotation in their overview material. [Link].
Their system, however, doesn't appear to involve lowering the
boiler/turbine/generator apparatus down next to the heat source.
Fulfilling Tesla's Vision
The best part of the interview, for me, was at the end, when I read a
statement by Nikola Tesla about geothermal energy that we have posted on our Geothermal
directory page at PESWiki. Lakic had never encountered it before, and he was
honored to realize that his embodiment actually more closely approximates
Tesla's statement than the traditional approaches. Here is that statement, with
"Another way of getting motive power without consuming any material
would be to utilize the heat contained in the earth, the water, or the air
for driving an engine. The difficulties of sinking shafts and placing
boilers at depths of, say, twelve thousand feet, corresponding to an
increase in temperature of about 120Ί C, are not insuperable, and we could
certainly avail ourselves in this way of the internal heat of the globe.
[The] internal heat of the earth is great and, in comparison with the
demands which man can make upon it, is practically inexhaustible; since the
heat contents of the earth are sextrillions of tons." -- Nikola
Tesla ("Our future motive power"; Everyday Science and
Mechanics; Dec. 1931)
# # #
This story is also published at Examiner.
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