Drillers throughout the years have been frustrated with the inability of tricone roller bits to efficiently handle geothermal drilling in the harder rock formations. Today, with advances in drilling technology and methodology, drillers are turning to DTH hammers and bits in order to complete their challenging projects. Many drillers have found that increased performance and total lower cost of drilling provided by DTH products have been instrumental in their continued success.
One such drilling company that has realized the significant benefits of DTH drilling is Evans Energy Development. Evans is a drilling outfit 21 years of experience in the energy industry and has vast experience with drilling in all types of environments. Having to deal with diverse conditions, the company is always looking for products and methods that can help them complete their projects more quickly and easily. Recently, Evans utilized Numa’s new Patriot® 60 down hole hammer on a geothermal project in eastern Kansas. The Patriot® 60 hammer allowed them to complete the job in less time and at a much lower cost than if they had used a tricone method.
Evans was supplied with their Numa Patriot™ 60 hammer by Numa distributor NDS Drilling Supply located in Elko, Minnesota. Since the drill crew was new to the DTH drilling method, Numa’s regional manager, Kathy Wagoner, went to the job site to provide training. Kathy’s presence allowed the drillers to ask questions and learn how to maximize the efficiencies of the DTH hammer and bits. The training proved to be invaluable with the tremendous performance Evans was able to yield from the new products.
The project involved the drilling of geothermal boreholes to be used for a newly built Church ministry retreat camp for Stonecroft Ministries. The vertical heat loop will supply heating and hot water for the camp, which includes a 10,000 sq ft (112 sq m) office and a two-story dorm with 41 apartments totaling 60,000 sq ft (672 sq m). Forty (40) holes were required for this project in ground conditions that consisted of clay, limestone and shale. Holes were drilled to a depth of 350 feet (107 m) by a 2001 Gefco Speedstar 30K rig with 1000 CFM / 350 PSI (472 l/24 Bar) onboard compressor.
Geothermal is an emerging energy source that provides advanced, energy-efficient heating and cooling systems that can provide savings up to 60% over conventional heating and cooling systems. It is environmentally friendly as it generates zero hazardous emissions. This helps to minimize many common problems such as acid rain, air pollution and the destruction of the ozone layer that are typically found in fossil fuel systems. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has endorsed this system as a viable alternative for heating and cooling homes and businesses. There is even legislation being reviewed that, if passed, will require geothermal heat loops in all government financed building projects.
There are many different types of geothermal energy systems available today and one of the most widely used is the closed loop system. The closed loop system harnesses both the energy sources inside the earth and solar heat radiating down from the sun. These forces combine to provide a fairly constant temperature of 50° F (10° C) in the outer layer of the earth that is used in these revolutionary energy systems. A geothermal heat loop system consists of series of pipes, a heat exchanger and ductwork that goes into the structure being heated and cooled. During the winter months, heat from the earth is collected in the exchanger and distributed into the structure. In the summer, the heat is absorbed from the air and the water source carries the heat back to the earth in order to cool. The system is also very beneficial for heating water.
The Numa Patriot® 60 hammer has a wealth of features including an impressive penetration rate which easily outperforms competitor hammers. The ultimate goal of the hammer is to provide the drilling industry with a complete combination of speed and long life. A compact design provides for the transfer of drilling energy to the bit quickly and efficiently. Due to this innovation, drillers realize faster drilling speeds and the completion of more holes in less time.
The Patriot® 60, with only 8 major parts, is a simplified geothermal drilling hammer design that was accomplished by eliminating several internal components. Less overall parts makes the Patriot® 60 easier to maintain than competitor hammers, which means more time can be spent drilling. Numa engineers also designed the hammer to attach the feed tube directly to the backhead of the hammer to provide outstanding alignment of all hammer parts. This enhancement results in longer hammer life and improved overall hammer performance.
Another key feature of the Patriot® 60 is the ability to handle difficult back pressure drilling conditions. When faced with high heads of water, The Patriot® will continue to drill where other hammers will quit. It is not uncommon for the Patriot® to continue drilling flawlessly against 100 gallons (380 l) or more of water in the hole.
From the outset of this project, the increase in drilling speed over previously used methods was obvious as the crew had to alter their typical procedures. The crew now spent much of their time changing connections due to the speed of the Patriot® hammer. The Patriot® 60 drilled at 130 to 140 feet (40 – 43 m) per hour and was able to complete an average of 1000 feet (305 m) per day which was the equivalent of 2 – 3 holes. This virtually tripled their production previously realized with the tricone method where it would take up to three days to complete the same amount of holes now done in one.
The Patriot® DTH method definitely has made an impression on Evans Energy in the manner of improved performance and saved cost. The remarkable increase in production has allowed the company to complete more holes in less time which resulted in a much lower cost per foot. Furthermore, the DTH method has reduced equipment requirements. On this project alone, Evans was able to reduce cost by 33% by using the Numa DTH method. So no matter what your drilling need, you can count on the Patriot’s overall combination of speed and performance to provide you with successful results. Contact Numa today at 800-356-NUMA or 860-923-9551 to get a head start on drilling with the best hammer in the business – The Numa Patriot® 60.
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