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Geothermal Power Technology

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: Geothermal Empire

Unread postby shortonoil » Wed 03 Feb 2016, 14:09:59

"By our calculations the ERoEI of geothermal power is now at least as good as petroleum; which is now 8.7 :1." Unfortunately there is no EROEI of "geothermal" just as there is no EROEI of "oil wells".

Fortunately, a hundred and fifty years of Thermodynamic investigation says you are dead wrong. If you haven't heard about it yet, you are running a little late. Ignorance is no excuse for avoiding the law; in this case, the Laws of Physics.

We have even plotted the correlated between the ERoEI of petroleum (API 37.5° in this case) to its price over the last half century.

http://www.thehillsgroup.org/depletion2_009.htm

Your comment reminds me of the aborigine who believes that airplanes fly because the gods wish it to be so. Bernoulli was a wizard that used powerful incantations.
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Re: Geothermal Empire

Unread postby hvacman » Wed 03 Feb 2016, 19:13:20

Together, these projects provide approximately 20 million gallons of reclaimed water per day for injection into The Geysers reservoir.


RM - Actually re-injection of the water from Santa Rosa and the city of Clear Lake helped resolve a giant problem they both had - what to do with their treated sewage waste water. Santa Rosa only had the Russian River to dump it into, which was a problem in the summer when the River becomes more of a mud puddle. The state had placed all sorts of restrictions on them. The City of Clear Lake had the lake to dump it in, which already is suffering from eutrophication from too much "stuff" flowing in. Again, state water quality board was clamping down.The water wasn't clean enough for most other uses, so when this re-injection idea came up, it looked pretty good.

You have schooled us well on the oil patch and one thing you always remind us of is the PITA and expense that produced water and frack-waste water is to get rid of. Wouldn't you like to have a geothermal reinjection well nearby that would take your produced or frac water for free? That's how Santa Rosa and Clear Lake felt when the opportunity arose. And the Geyers could get their power output back up and stay in business. Win-win from all the players' perspective.
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Re: Geothermal Empire

Unread postby hvacman » Wed 03 Feb 2016, 19:31:22

IMO part of the problem is people insist on using plain distilled water as their working fluid on these systems. Way back in 1982 I remember reading about a off the grid system running in south Texas. The owner had built a circulating system of pipes suspended about a foot above the bottom of his largest cattle watering pond. The water was a pretty constant temperature around 70 degrees even in the spring and fall because of the local climate. However he didn't use water as his exchange medium, he used Butane. The pressurized liquid would flow out through underground pipes to the pond, pick up heat, be allowed to vaporize in a fluid separator and spin a turbine to generate electricity. The vapor was then cooled by a cold water bath and compressed back into a cold liquid state for reuse. From time to time I have wondered if this guy was the inventor of the ground source heat pumps that seem to have sprung up all over Texas, but I was never able to confirm it.


If only the steam driving the geothermal turbines were from distilled water. The steam coming out of the Geyers is anything but distilled. it has so much mineral, etc. in it that they have to use all kinds of special turbine materials to keep them from being destroyed. The other option is to use a "binary" system that doesn't use the geothermal steam directly, but generates clean steam (with distilled water) through a heat exchanger/boiler. At high temperatures/pressures, water is still the fluid of choice for Rankine cycle power plants.

The butane type generation system you are describing is called an "Organic Rankine Cycle" (ORC) system. Usually uses either a hydrocarbon, CFC, or other organic fluid as the working fluid. Very popular for systems that have relatively low temperature differentials between the heat source and sink, as the organics have boiling and condensing pressure-temperature relationship more conducive for lower temperature operation than water. One big application is for power from low-temperature geothermal sources that aren't hot enough to make high pressure steam naturally.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_Rankine_cycle
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Re: Geothermal Empire

Unread postby Shaved Monkey » Wed 03 Feb 2016, 23:54:43

The Birdsville geo thermal plant that runs of hot water from the aquifer runs a third of the towns supply it used to run more but demand outstripped supply.
It started as a pure hydro plant in the 60s the demand out grew the supply
then got converted into a geo thermal plant in the 90s. and demand outgrew supply
They want to upgrade the capacity of the motor to cover demand.
Until Jevons paradox kicks in again.
The hot water gets cooled down,filtered and used for domestic supply.
Its the only geothermal plant using the artesian water in Australia.

https://www.ergon.com.au/__data/assets/ ... ochure.pdf
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Re: Geothermal Empire

Unread postby efarmer » Thu 04 Feb 2016, 12:23:02

Of course the energy in petroleum and natural gas is sunlight produced plant matter.
My point is that the fraction that ends up protected from merely oxidizing needs heat
and pressure to morph into something worth drilling for. This heat is geothermal and
not solar in origin. I also agree that the special geologic sites that are prime for geothermal
are also prime for volcanic cataclysm.

We all seem to converge on the point that there isn't an easy way out that scales
to replace the big hydrocarbon burn that powered the last couple of centuries.
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Re: Geothermal Technology

Unread postby Tanada » Thu 08 Feb 2018, 09:49:18

Scientists in China report the first successful well drilled into hot dry rock in the northwestern part of China. With temperatures at a 236°C, this could provide sufficient for an EGS geothermal project development.

As reported locally, scientists from China are reporting a temperature of 236 degrees Celsius from a well drilled in the Gonghe basin in the northwestern province of Qinghai in China. Drilled to the depth of of 3,705 meters the well is the first drilled in efforts to explore the geothermal hot dry rock potential in China. The recovery of energy from these rock formations can be done through engineered or enhanced geothermal systems (EGS).

Considered as a key potential energy source for the future, this hot dry rock project and its drilling results present a breakthrough in exploration efforts.

It is estimated that China holds 856 trillion tons of hot dry rock, similar to the same resources reported from the United States, according to a spokesperson for the Geological Survey of China’s Ministry of Land and Resources. Scientists estimate that about two percent, or 17 trillion tons are recoverable as energy source.

The nation’s southeast coastal areas, Songliao Plain in the northeast, North China Plain and the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau region are key potential areas for exploration and development. The southern plateau, in particular, is said to hold resources of the largest in volume and highest in temperature.

Hot dry rock at a depth of 3,000 to 10,000 meters, is a dense, impermeable, high temperature rock without water or steam.

With technology available today, engineered geothermal systems in those hot dry rocks, could recover energy a temperatures above 150 degrees Celsius, which could be utilised both for power generation and heating.

Energy contained in hot dry rock is considered recoverable, and equivalent to tens of times the energy of the world’s oil, natural gas and coal combined, preliminary calculations suggest.


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Re: Geothermal Technology

Unread postby diemos » Thu 08 Feb 2018, 10:11:30

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Re: Geothermal Technology

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Thu 08 Feb 2018, 13:44:20

d - Excellent reference explaining why dry rock geothermal has very little chance of working. OTOH I've seen examples of very shallow (several 100') low temp (less then 100F) with significant economic potential to provide small scale commercial applications.
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Re: Geothermal Power Technology

Unread postby kiwichick » Tue 27 Feb 2018, 03:49:35

236 degrees C would seem quite useful to me.....as mentioned in the comments the deeper you drill the hotter it gets......the planets core is molten afterall
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby REAL Green » Sun 20 Sep 2020, 07:36:24

“First DEEP Geothermal Well In Saskatchewan Exceeds Expectations”
https://cleantechnica.com/2020/09/19/fi ... ectations/

“DEEP says it has completed a preliminary subsurface design that optimizes the well spacing and configuration to produce 20 MW of geothermal power using ten horizontal wells — 6 producers and 4 injectors. Each will be drilled to a vertical depth of approximately 3.5 kilometers and a horizontal length of approximately 2 kilometers. The subsurface development area for each 20 MW installation measures approximately 5 kilometers by 8 kilometers while the surface facilities cover an area of 300 square meters. It can generate enough electricity to meet the needs of 20,000 households and will eliminate 114,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide — equal to the exhaust emissions of 32,000 conventional automobiles. According to the company, its first flow testing has been completed and exceeded all expectations. The reservoir and the wells are performing at or above expectations with no operational issues. The spring/summer flow testing program indicates the temperature and flow rates from the geothermal reservoir in the are sufficient to support multiple geothermal power facilities. Later this month the company will begin drilling the deepest horizontal well in the history of Saskatchewan which will allow for the installation of a large diameter submersible pump 2,800 meters below ground. DEEP’s intends to build 100 MW of geothermal power in Saskatchewan. The company is generating all the electricity it needs to operate its cooling towers, lighting, and pumps from methane gas from fossil fuel drilling that would otherwise be flared off into the atmosphere plus solar power. But there’s more to the story. DEEP intends to use the waste heat from its operations to warm local greenhouse and fish farms to increase their productivity. “It could be a new $1 billion industry for southeast Saskatchewan,”
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sun 20 Sep 2020, 09:02:18

That all sounds good but what is the projected cost per KWH produced from the fully developed project? Also why develop geothermal generation in a country that every day exports excess renewable hydro-power?
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby yellowcanoe » Sun 20 Sep 2020, 19:53:47

vtsnowedin wrote:That all sounds good but what is the projected cost per KWH produced from the fully developed project? Also why develop geothermal generation in a country that every day exports excess renewable hydro-power?


Power generation is a provincial responsibility. Quebec exports hydroelectric power to several US states but it isn't the norm for Canadian provinces to have a surplus of hydroelectric power. In Ontario where I live, roughly 60% of our generated power is nuclear.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sun 20 Sep 2020, 21:10:08

yellowcanoe wrote:
vtsnowedin wrote:That all sounds good but what is the projected cost per KWH produced from the fully developed project? Also why develop geothermal generation in a country that every day exports excess renewable hydro-power?


Power generation is a provincial responsibility. Quebec exports hydroelectric power to several US states but it isn't the norm for Canadian provinces to have a surplus of hydroelectric power. In Ontario where I live, roughly 60% of our generated power is nuclear.
Still the James Bay La grande four hydro projects on James bay are close enough for Ontario to use that power at a very cheap price and Saskatchewan cities (what few there are) are well within range so it comes down to price for delivered KWH. Without knowing that we can not have an intelligent discussion about the proposal.
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Re: Geothermal Power Technology

Unread postby Subjectivist » Sun 20 Sep 2020, 21:11:37

Strangely enough the first time I ever heard of Geothermal Power was from reading the fantasy series Riverworld where aliens with super advanced technology use geothermal power to operate machinery that resurrects every human ever born from 100,000 BC who died before 2008. 2008 was selected by the author as he didn't think he could accuratly guess about society further in the future than that from when he wrote the first novel in 1971.

Since reading these novels which were still being written or added to up until the authors death in real 2009. Basically the world described in a fantasy utopia except the humans keep messing it up. Everyone has all the food and necessities of life met, but rather than enjoying their newly reconstituted existences the lie, cheat, steal, rape and murder just as humans have so frequently done throughout history.

A world without want and with all needs met by super abundant geothermal energy.

These books convinced me that history doesn't repeat itself, but human nature drives us to repeat our mistakes generation after generation, civilization after civilization.

Abundant cheap power, would we still be as petty as we seem today? I fear we will/would be those same petty people even in paradise.
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Re: Geothermal Power Technology

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sun 20 Sep 2020, 21:22:12

Subjectivist wrote:These books convinced me that history doesn't repeat itself, but human nature drives us to repeat our mistakes generation after generation, civilization after civilization.

Abundant cheap power, would we still be as petty as we seem today? I fear we will/would be those same petty people even in paradise.

You are talking about a fiction but we must consider the real world. Geothermal energy might be abundant but it has yet to be done cheap except for volcanic hot spots like Iceland.
As to the petty people in paradise that is pretty much a given that every generation has and will have to deal with. When paradise goes down the tube much like our current year the proportion that becomes petty or self serving rises to meet the demands of individual survival.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby jawagord » Sun 20 Sep 2020, 22:34:53

vtsnowedin wrote:That all sounds good but what is the projected cost per KWH produced from the fully developed project? Also why develop geothermal generation in a country that every day exports excess renewable hydro-power?
If you have to ask you’ll never know because the government is involved, however from the financing it’s just another sucker job for taxpayers. Saskatchewan would be better off importing power from next door Manitoba who are building a large dam project with hopes of exporting power into the US.

However, that project is still in its pilot phase and has not yet built a pilot plant to produce any electricity, let alone a full-scale facility.

The DEEP geothermal project has seen a $26 million funding commitment from the federal government, and has received support from the Saskatchewan government at various stages, including SaskPower signing a power purchase agreement with DEEP.


https://www.manitobahydropower.com/news ... s-in-2020/
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Re: Geothermal Power Technology

Unread postby Tanada » Tue 22 Sep 2020, 11:55:25

Abundant geothermal sounds great, but where does it fit on the renewable scale? If as VT says the only really viable locations are volcanic locations then a geothermal plant should be built in an already exploited area of Yellowstone to provide power to the local ranger facilities. A "micro geothermal plant" just big enough to power the area where the ranger offices and other buildings are located would make a great demo project. Also if they proved it could work drilling down into the hot spot under the Yellowstone Caldera could harness the energy of the volcano and use it to make electricity instead of building up to a future eruption.

Just a thought.
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Re: Geothermal Power Technology

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Tue 22 Sep 2020, 12:01:19

Tanada wrote:Abundant geothermal sounds great, but where does it fit on the renewable scale? If as VT says the only really viable locations are volcanic locations then a geothermal plant should be built in an already exploited area of Yellowstone to provide power to the local ranger facilities. A "micro geothermal plant" just big enough to power the area where the ranger offices and other buildings are located would make a great demo project. Also if they proved it could work drilling down into the hot spot under the Yellowstone Caldera could harness the energy of the volcano and use it to make electricity instead of building up to a future eruption.

Just a thought.

Drawing off enough heat from the Caldera's magma pool to change the date of it's next eruption by more then a few minutes would be quite a large undertaking. :)
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Re: Geothermal Power Technology

Unread postby Tanada » Tue 22 Sep 2020, 12:25:20

vtsnowedin wrote:
Tanada wrote:Abundant geothermal sounds great, but where does it fit on the renewable scale? If as VT says the only really viable locations are volcanic locations then a geothermal plant should be built in an already exploited area of Yellowstone to provide power to the local ranger facilities. A "micro geothermal plant" just big enough to power the area where the ranger offices and other buildings are located would make a great demo project. Also if they proved it could work drilling down into the hot spot under the Yellowstone Caldera could harness the energy of the volcano and use it to make electricity instead of building up to a future eruption.

Just a thought.

Drawing off enough heat from the Caldera's magma pool to change the date of it's next eruption by more then a few minutes would be quite a large undertaking. :)


Yes, at least hundreds of gigawatts of energy, maybe even enough to shut down a couple dozen of the remaining coal burners we are still using.
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