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Scientists have turned an abandoned oil well into a giant geothermal battery

There are tens of thousands of abandoned oil and gas wells in the world, which are a serious problem for the environment. However, if desired, they can also be used, as researchers from the University of Illinois did.

University lead researcher Tugs Beiser and colleagues have turned an abandoned oil well in the Illinois Basin into a geothermal battery. To do this, they pumped water into it, preheated to a temperature of 50 ° C, to a depth of about 915 meters into a layer of porous sandstone, which is an excellent natural heat insulator.

The result of the experiment exceeded all expectations: the natural geothermal battery kept the received heat at the level of 82% (41 °C) for a long time. Moreover, calculations have shown that this technology will be able to make a profit in the future – the price of 1 kWh of energy stored in this way is only 0.138 dollars.

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