Venture Capital: Investors, Including Big Oil, Back Eavor Technologies With $40M

Eavor Technologies leverages deep drilling expertise from the oil industry to construct a looped well that harvests geothermal energy from deep below the earth.

Eavor Technologies has developed a geothermal energy system with a difference. The Eavor-Loop does not have parasitic pumps that consume most of the energy drawn from the earth. Instead, it is a closed system within which a proprietary working fluid is contained and circulated. The closed-loop is a pipe system buried deep within the earth but connected at the surface. It acts as a radiator or heat exchanger. The technology has drawn a $40 million investment, including from Big Oil companies such as the venture arms of BP (LON: BP) and Chevron (NYSE: CVX). (THE EDGE Markets)

New investors in the funding include Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd, BDC Capital Corp, Eversource, and Vickers Venture Partners.

How it works

From the Eavor website: “The Eavor-Loop consists of connecting two vertical wells several kilometers deep with many horizontal multilateral wellbores several kilometers long. As these wellbores are sealed, a benign, environmentally friendly, working fluid is added to the closed-loop as a circulating fluid.  This working fluid is contained within the system and isolated from the earth in the Eavor-Loop. The wellbores act like pipes, not wells producing fluid from the earth.”

“The working fluid naturally circulates without requiring an external pump due to the ‘thermosiphon’ effect of a hot fluid rising in the outlet well and a cool fluid falling in the inlet well.  The working fluid contained in this closed-loop pipe system brings thermal energy to the surface where it is harvested for use in a commercial direct heat application or converted to electricity with a power generation module (heat engine).”

It is important to note that the conducting fluid is a proprietary formulation that is added to the system. In contrast, in geothermal wells, surface pumps draw up the hot natural liquids residing in deep underground reservoirs.

The company has a fully functional demonstration site near Rocky Mountain House, Alberta. Designated Eavor-Lite, the site is not intended to be commercially viable but demonstrates all the critical elements of Eavor’s technologies at the lowest cost.

Advantage: Eavor

The Eavor-Loop technology is not dependent for energy production on the vagaries of the weather, such as the green technologies of wind and solar.

It is also not susceptible to the many disadvantages of traditional geothermal solutions. These include the exploratory risks and being limited to select geographies that must provide volcanic-like temperatures and aquifers.

“Eavor’s solution (Eavor-Loop™) represents the world’s first truly scalable form of clean baseload power. Unlike other forms of power, Eavor is benign enough to literally fit in someone’s backyard.”

Use of funds

Eavor Technologies will use the funds raised on further R&D and for business development. It aims to power 10 million homes by 2030, hence the money will be handy for scaling up its technology and reduce costs.

Eavor is already working on potential installations in Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, and the U.S.

Related Story:  Softbank Vision Fund Makes its Maiden Investment in an Energy Firm

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