Heating any Building with the Earth's Heat

The interior of the Earth is quite warm. The Core of the Earth is so hot that the iron core is fluid. However, we do not have any technology to get that far down. Actually, the deepest we have ever bored a hole through the Crust has been about 8 miles, so we have never actually even ever directly accessed the Mantle, except when volcanoes blow a hole through the Crust to eject some Mantle material.

However, the Earth also contains a significant amount of Uranium and other radioactive materials which generate heat as it decays. So heat constantly conducts upward through the Earth from that hot Core.

It turns out that in most locations around the Earth, at about 3000 foot depth (1000 meters) the temperature of the rock layers tends to be around 140°F (or 70°:C). This has been a real danger for miners in some deep mines where they overheat. I saw potential there.

This is one of the few inventions that I never got around to experimentally confirm to work. Around 1990, I did the Engineering for a very deep borehole underneath my building in northern Indiana. I designed two different inventions:

(1) A pair of 4" boreholes, like is made for a deep water well, but 3,000 feet deep. The two boreholes would need to stay just a few inches apart, so that some strong hydrochloric acid would be dumped down the completed boreholes to create a small cave down there such that the two boreholes would become joined.

I found that a well-drilling company wanted to charge me far more money than I wanted to pay for that experiment, and so I never proceeded with that.

A rather high-pressure squirrel cage blower would blow house air down into one of the boreholes, which would force the 140°F air from near the bottom of the the other borehole up to come into the house.

In the Engineering for this, I found two possible complications. Even with a fairly strong squirrel cage blower, a 4" passsageway cannot easily transfer more than about 100 cubic of feet of air per minute. Even if that hot air made it all the way up to the house without cooling off in the cooler upper borehole, that would only supply heat for two or three moderate sized rooms. If the whole thing could be 12" boreholes, then enough air flow might occur for an average sized house, but the hold-drilling cost would be outrageous. The other possible complication is that the 140°F air would take about 12 minutes to move up the entire upward borehole. For 140°F air to be passing through an uninsulated 3,000 foot borehole, the majority of the heat would be lost to the surrounding (cooler) rock layers. I could not figure out any way to install any thermal insulation in the (upward) borehole.

So even as a rather expensive experiment, the amount of house heating that would likely occur would be only a few hundred Btus, comparable to hiring some any human to sit in the house to radiate off that amount of body heat.

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(2) The second Engineering project was for a much larger diameter borehole, still 3000 feet deep, but maybe 24" in diameter. (ONE borehole). A second, highly insulated coaxial pipe would be inside it, 8" inside diameter and with insulation thickness of two inches (for R-10) or an overall diameter of 12".

The cost to make such a huge borehole would cost more than the house cost, but it should work fine. The standard furnace-sized but higher horsepower squirrel cage blower would blow air down into the larger (outer) opening, and the warm air would come up through the inner tube. It would easily heat an entire house or building, forever and for free.

This concept was first Invented and Engineered in 1990. This presentation was first placed on the Internet in March 2018.

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Carl W. Johnson, Theoretical Physicist, Physics Degree from University of Chicago