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GeoThermal Power

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posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 05:11 PM
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In the quest for environmentally friendly renewable energy, many of us across the net and beyond search for alternative sources of energy.

One of the older and more established concepts is geothermal power, relying on naturally produced steam and thermal energy to produce electricity. I was reading about the geothermal energy company The Vulcan Power Company and the industry. Currently being used in 24 countries, geothermal supplies tens of millions of people worldwide. Vulcan also offers info on how Geothermal energy production evolved.

The question is, in what ways can we expand this? Can geothermal make it hundreds, rather than tens of millions? Fossil fuel energy is a BIG gap to fill, so serious and heavy investment would be needed to enable geothermal to take a bigger slice of the energy production pie. And is geothermal a better rebewable than say, windfarming?




posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 05:24 PM
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reply to post by Terran Blue
 


While I can see the necessity of this type of thing, I can not see how it can have a big enough impact to make a major transition towards saving planet Earth from being raped by the oil industry, the powers that be, or the stupidity of not only American citizen, but the international community as well. It frustrates me to no end to know that this option has been available for decades and they are just now implementing it when the world is practically falling apart because of politicians stupidity in abusing their power and pushing the Big Business initiatives they float out of the political platforms like throwing rice at a wedding as the bride and groom are leaving the chapel.

The question is not about this one company, but in how many other companies would it take to get involved in order to do a damn thing in order to stop the Earth from being screwed up by big business, like Halliburton, Shell Oil, or British Petroleum? I think there should be a bigger picture perspective in order to get this initiative in order to stop it taking so long for the politicians to do the right thing.



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 06:14 PM
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reply to post by SpartanKingLeonidas
 





The multibillion dollar geothermal power industry uses natural steam created by the intense planetary-scale heat of the earth to produce reliable clean electric power. Geothermal now supplies 2,800 megawatts (MW) in the United States, sufficient for 2.8 million Americans, and 8,500 MW worldwide supplying tens of millions of people in 24 countries. Geothermal is believed to now be the largest renewable power source west of the Mississippi (non-hydro). The US Department of Energy (USDOE) has estimated there is sufficient geothermal in the United States for massive growth and proposes geothermal increase by 4,300 MW to supply 10% of all power in the West. This would nearly triple current output. Such growth would dwarf other new renewables. By way of example 7,100 MW of geothermal equals an estimated 21,000 MW of wind output at 33% capacity factor


Looks pretty significant to me if it can provide 10% of our nations power and looks like a long term solution that is not really depleted like fossil fuel.

[edit on 9/6/2008 by UFOTECH]



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 06:21 PM
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Not all geothermal energy is high temperature, there is no need of high temperatures for heating water and houses, and that save a lot of fossil fuels, specially in cold weather countries.



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 06:36 PM
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Look to Iceland as an example of geo-thermal and it would mean a trade-off in the USA. Would you trade Yellowstone, one of the largest sites, for say a 10% reduction in oil imports? Geothermal is used to make electricity same as a nuclear power station but is 99% better for the environment. And the electricity can be used to extract Hydrgen from water which powers fuel cells- a 100% polution free way to power electric cars. But we would need 10,000 thermal wells in Yellowstone and maybe 100,000 in Hawaii. But that could provide a significant amount of electricity.

I'm not an engineer so someone has to do the math, just estimates, but the big island of Hawaii is te #1 spot and I'll suggest we start there before putting 10,000 wells in Yellowstone !!

Retsdeeps



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 06:43 PM
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A typical home Geothermal soluton costs under 20k and supplys 3/4 of the energy to heat and cool the home. That means is uses 1/4 of the fuel.

Since it produces 300% more energy than is put in, you can upscale it and actually generate surplus electricy with a generator powering it and your home, and selling the surplus back to the grid.

Cha Ching! I plan on putting one in my home next year, if I can scrape up the moola.

What do you think takes more fuel, your house or your car if you live in a northern climate? My bills say my house does.

I think it can have a substantial impact.



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 08:42 PM
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The drawback is that geothermal energy is available only in the regions where there are natural springs of hot water coming out of the ground and this would be somewhere in the desert or the forest and the cost of setting up the plant and the cost of equipment needed to transport the power to the cities would be enormous so most corporates are considering setting geothermal energy plants risky, so I think most people would stick to wind and solar energy for some time till technology improves to save cost of transportation of power.



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 10:55 PM
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Iceland has a major advantage in geothermal energy production , in that the Earths crust is at its thinnest there.

I read an article in the British paper - The Sunday Times where they intend laying an inter connector from Iceland to Scotland , supplying mainland Britain with steam turbine produced electricity.

The deepest hole drilled to date is over 7.5 miles , the earths crust is estimated to be around 20 miles thick.
Crustal thickness in Iceland varies between 9 and 12.5 miles, that's a lot of digging saved .



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 11:22 PM
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reply to post by Cyberbian
 


Hi Cyberbian,
I have a close friend who has geothermal underfloor heating in his new house , but it requires electricity to "compress" and pump the heat throughout the house. On the upside , it supplies 100 % of his home heating and hot water. ( though it rarely drops below freezing here in Eire).

It cost 16, 000 Euros approx 22,800 US Dollars, has he been ripped off ?
With the rising cost of electricity , i always regarded the need for electricity as a major draw back to domestic geothermal.
What depth are the G.T pipes layed at ? How many feet of G.T piping ?



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 11:33 PM
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Originally posted by peacejet
The drawback is that geothermal energy is available only in the regions where there are natural springs of hot water coming out of the ground and this would be somewhere in the desert or the forest and the cost of setting up the plant and the cost of equipment needed to transport the power to the cities would be enormous so most corporates are considering setting geothermal energy plants risky, so I think most people would stick to wind and solar energy for some time till technology improves to save cost of transportation of power.


That is not entirely true, you can use geothermal as a heat sink to cool your house in the summer and heat it in the winter. Go down about 200 feet or so and the ambient temp is around 50 degrees, you pump water down there and when it comes up, that 50 degree heat warms in the winter or cools in the summer. Granted it doesn't' get you all the way to 68 degrees in the winter nor summer, but it can have a substantial impact on your energy bills.

One of my friends uses it at his cottage in Northern Michigan, it keeps the pipes from busting in the wintertime and with a wood burning stove, keeps it comfortable enough.

No one new energy solution is going to take care of all our needs, save fusion. But if geothermal can knock off 10% and Solar can do 10% and wind can do 7% and tidal 2%....... you get my drift.



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 11:46 PM
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Geothermal heat pumps are another slightly more passive way of using the Earth's natural heat (or coolness) to enhance exsisting environmental systems. There are companies that sell the equipment and try to make it more complicated than it needs to be, but it's basically a length of tube or pipe sunk in the ground six feet or so that brings hot or cold air or water in, and takes out essentially "lukewarm" air or water, which then requires a lot less heating or cooling to be used.

All you really need is some good pipe, a reliable pump and/or fan, and somebody to do the digging. Hook it to your existing water or air conditioning system and away you go.





posted on Sep, 7 2008 @ 12:05 AM
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reply to post by Nohup
 


Thanks for the reply, I might be off on the depth necessary, but I seem to remember him saying over a hundred feet in depth. It's been over 10 years since that conversation.



posted on Sep, 7 2008 @ 11:41 AM
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I saw some days ago a news piece on Euronews about a town (I think it was on Norway or Sweden, but I am not sure) that is self-sufficient in terms of energy, and one of the things they use is geothermal energy.

I must see if I can find that news piece.



posted on Sep, 7 2008 @ 11:44 AM
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reply to post by ArMaP
 


yes you are correct ArMaP,

it was on Euro news.

snoopyuk



posted on Sep, 7 2008 @ 12:00 PM
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I honestly do not see how this can be of any help.

What I mean by that, is that the Earth we live on is nearly depleted to the extent that it is in shabby disrepair through the raping of the rainforests, the blood-sucking oil-barrons, and the soon to be over-brimming oceans which have been pushing more and more up on the beaches on a daily, if not hourly basis. All in the name of faster cars, cheaper (yeah right) gasoline or petrol, and more toilet paper. I'm sorry, I'm ticked off at our World Government to point of it being beyond our ability towards turning back the hand of time on their leeching and vampirism ways of shoving various utensils and plungers up planet Earth's proverbial butthole.

What's next, strip down the damn Redwood Sequoia's in the National Forests?

Start vacuuming up all the salt-water and de-salinating the entire worlds seas, all in the name of Evian water? You know Evian, spelled backwards, is naivE, right?

What about hunting down every single whale, school of fish, and cementing in the Marianas Trench?

I'm mad as Hell at our Government with this, let alone some company with the Vulcan Mind Meld on digging into the planet.




See, I can see the necessity and usefulness of something like the Tunnel Boring Machine's in digging sideway underneath the city streets, which would be structurally strengthening the road system as well as the foundations of the building those roads are around, but are they going to use T.B.M.'s to dig straight into the Earth's Core? If they do, how deep is too deep? And who's going to determine that exactly? I trust any Government of any country about as far as I can trust that I can beat Mike Tyson's butt, without him going Jeffrey Dahmer on my ears.



posted on Sep, 7 2008 @ 12:55 PM
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One other thing that can be used is "fake" geothermal energy, by using salinity wells.

Water with different levels of salinity is poured inside a well, and as the more salt the water was the heavier, the water with the higher salinity stays on the bottom of the well. That water is also a better conductor of heat, so the heat from the Sun shining on the well accumulates on the bottom of the well, and temperatures above 100º C are possible, the higher salinity prevents the water from boiling.

I wrote this from my memory, so it may not be correct, but I could not find any reference to this on the Internet.



posted on Sep, 9 2008 @ 06:07 PM
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Geothermal energy is one of the best hopes for the future.
The state of nevada generates something like 25% of its electricity from geothermal plants.
The best thing about GT is that it is always there, some of the well known hot spots do move but not in a time scale humans can recognize, millions of years.
But its not a magic bullet, in order to secure the energy needs of our civilization we need to make use of all of the abundant energy around us.

Another poster mentioned iceland, Iceland will be the persian gulf of the 21st century.
There are already plans in the works for geothermal powered H2 plants.
They'll use the geothermal power to generate electricity to make the H2 from sea water and liquify it or store it as a metal hydrate.



posted on Sep, 9 2008 @ 06:29 PM
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Originally posted by SpartanKingLeonidas
I'm mad as Hell at our Government with this, let alone some company with the Vulcan Mind Meld on digging into the planet.


Yeah, but really, the Government (or the Market) is only giving people more of what they want. More power to build bigger cities, communicate and travel faster, have more kids and safely raise them. People always want more, more, MORE!

Now, if you can somehow convince all the average, ordinary slobs on the planet that they can be happy with less -- fewer or no children, less travel, slower communication, less healthy food, etc. -- that will pretty much solve the problem.

Good luck with that!



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