ENERGY IS GEOTHERMAL
Geopower is a technology where hot spots in the earth are explored to generate power. This can be done by several methods/technologies. Closed circuit (so: warmth pump or warm transfer based) systems are likely to be the best option from environmental perspective seen. That warmth pump technology have good upside efficiency perspectives is very clear: to much companies are getting into this technology, something that certainly will lead to huge efficiency improvements. But new geopower technologies use of a closed circuit with a liquid with a low boiling point trough the earth, making even exploring semi hot spots possible with other than warmth pump based technologies. Due the warmth of the earth layers, the liquid gets hot/warm. When its above the ground de-pressurized it starts to boil. This can be used to power physical it's own pump. Or this massive volume increase can be used to drive turbines that generates power. There are several other ways to explore the geo hotspots into electrical power. Geo power can only be used in/nearby the hot zones of the world. For example is the whole east side of the US is a perfect geo power regio. One advantage of geothermal power plants, beyond the benefit of producing electricity from a low-carbon, indigenous energy source with no fuel costs, is that they provide base load power 24 hours a day. Storage or backup-power is less required due this severe base load. Geo survey research will become more and more important, from both energy as mineral perspective. Geothermal energy is not a limited/finite energy reserve (like oil/coal/uranium), but it has an unlimited (never ending) capacity, powered by the earth's core. The main benefit of geothermal is that it can provide a continue base load on power nets. In terms of base load geothermal is the winner in the field of renewable energy. In terms of kWh cost price is geothermal also the winner in the field of renewable energy. It's very important to understand that the geothermal capacity of the earth's core is unlimited. It's not a finite reserve, it's just an unlimited capacity, only limited by the exploration efforts. The earth's core feed has no limitations. Iceland is example of a global hotspot. Iceland's geographical position (on the edge of two tectonic plates) brings the earth core energy for free much more closer to the surface. On other geographical locations (like Continental Europe) 'tapping' into the heath of the earth's core requires miles deeper expensive drilling (the more deeper you drill, the more expensive the drilling becomes). By its geographical characteristics Iceland just has an unique geographical position. Iceland can become the Saudi Arabia of the North by exploring its unique geographical characteristics. Geothermal energy is not about exploring the limited presence natural geysers, this is a common misconception, that causes some resistance against exporting energy in Iceland. Geothermal energy exploration is about exploring the earth's core heath by artificial installations. Geothermal exploration has no other environmental impact than the factory buildings (which can be integrated in the landscape by natural roof design). The only possible environmental impact can be the ground water level (due to drilling), something that needs certainly ground water leaking prevention/research. For more information see for example http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geothermal_power and/or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-voltage_direct_current for some more technological background information. If you're rather more a viewer than a reader, you can watch short video based explainations http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=geothermal+energy+process. Geothermal is the in energy scenarios often forgotten renewable 'sun' (the magic word for the left wingers) or 'nuclear' (the magic word for the right wingers) feed inside the earth. Regarding to Iceland as a global example case: Geographical Situation. Iceland has a geographical unique location on the collision/edge of two huge tectonic plates: the European and the North American. Due to this the nuclear fusion driven endless heath of the earth core 'has a hot fold to the earth's surface' in Iceland. This creates possibilities to harvest geothermal on the low height parts of the fault. The tectonic fault is a line from north to south on Iceland. Iceland also is surrounded by the high seas, which can deliver abundant water need for the geothermal energy harvesting process. Harvesting Process. This harvesting is done by drilling 2 (redundancy is also here important for delivering operational stability) water injection pipes and multiple steam ejection pipes in (often) a circle around the injection pipes. The cold water input crushes the underground rocks due temperature change which automatically delivers small 'waterways' in a circle around the water injection pipe. If they reach the ejection pipes the circle is round and the hot water harvesting process can start. The only energy input in operation is the water injection pump, as the return path of the water is powered besides the earth internal pressure also is very much powered by the internal water pressure due to heat. The very hot (under pressure) water comes to the surface in pipes and due the lower pressure it vaporizes in hot steam which powers turbines, which delivers power. The process delivers both power and clean (condensed, thereby sweet) water. As water input salt seawater can be used. Concentrated rest water can be injected again into the wells (or if they have only NaCl: into the sea). This process of harvesting geothermal energy delivers the cleanest/cheapest power in the history of mankind. Another very beautiful facet of geothermal energy is the fact that it delivers a continuous base load, it depends not on daylight like solar energy or on wind like wind energy. It a 365*24 continuous process that delivers each second of the year the steady same amount of kWh as it designed for. Geothermal energy is harvesting an endless infinite fully renewable energy source, which is very clean and has no impact on the local environment and global climate. Transport Process. Power can basically be exported in 3 ways: 1) In products (moving energy intensive industries like aluminium, but also silica crystals to Iceland). Each product has an energy component and of some product this energy component is very high. These products can be used as in products captured energy export method. 2) As fuel (power > hydrogen). The power to hydrogen process with the current technology status delivers a severe energy lost. Still is a perfect method to benefit of not used energy in every energy model. As hydrogen becomes more common/voluminous the technology to realize it more cold (warmth is now the unwanted process by-product) and there by with better output ratios. There is no hydrogen transport and distribution infrastructure yet. Hydrogen is a not very compact gas, so it transport demands more transport capacity than of other fuel gasses like LNG. 3) By wire: New power transport technologies delivers only an approximately 3% lost per 1000 km (i.e. approximately only 5% per 1000 mile). HVDC, LTS and HTS are these new technologies, where HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current) have taken the leadership in new energy transport wires as they have the best ROI, successful and voluminous install base. Inside de cables there also optic fibre cables for data transport. Making it possible for the very energy intensive data centre industry to move 'north' where a) power is cheap and b) cooling (in the south responsible for +70% energy demand per data centre) can be done by nature. Wires needs to be multiple redundant, as accidents may not harm more than some per cent of the total transport volume. Redundancy makes wires also not attractive as war/terror targets. Wires needs also a hydrogen backup component on both sides of the wire for maximal power ROI on the sending side and maximal power security on the receiving sides. An other (local everywhere applicable) possible use of geothermal is geocold. The earth's core on the surface has a stable low temperature. Instead of the current cold delivery by aircondition in houses, offices and factories this could be done by 'cold nets'. The transported water circuit gets cold again by piping it in closed circuits in this cold layers of earth's crust. In coastal cities (and the biggest cities of the world are almost all coastal cities) the potential is huge and can even be driven by physics instead of by pumps (with the cost of more corrosion at the pipes and possible salination risk) by use of deep cold seawater. Geo cold cold unload a huge peak demand (warm weather = power peak demand) and therefore has the additional benefit of reducing the need for expensive peak demand only power facilities. Energy is Geothermal is a very valid statement.
Author: Gijs Graafland
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