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Thread: Hot rocks energy harness

  1. #1 Hot rocks energy harness 
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    One of the problems with Hot Rocks power is requirement to cycle huge
    amount of water which make it polluting and expensive.What if we use
    electronic cycle?For example undrground cavity could be filled on the
    bottom with some liquid which gets huge electic charge when it vaporizes.
    Then electric discharge occurs through the ground to electric generator
    located on Earth.So it works like a thunderstorm.


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    What liquid would that be? (Remember, this is the Physics forum, not the make stuff up forum)


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    Since the water can be continuosly recycled why do you claim it would be polluting.
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    I think Stanley might be mixing up hot rocks processes with fracking.

    They're nothing alike. Fracking creates large volumes of unusable water. Hot rocks circulation just requires a system adequate to contain and retain the water as it moves through the various sections underground and through the turbine/ condensation process.

    Though I understand the delays in producing power from our hot rocks projects in this state is directly related to design and engineering lack of foresight (if we're charitable) or downright incompetence if we're feeling negative. How anyone could not foresee that a metal casing might need careful selection of component materials to ensure that it wouldn't crack when exposed to a blast of liquid nitrogen is beyond me. This looks a bit like some of the less than sparkling competence of some fracking operators.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Since the water can be continuosly recycled why do you claim it would be polluting.
    What if there's no more fresh water & wastewater (eg: in some random end of the world scenario) then what water could we pump into the (hot) well? sadly we couldn't use sea water because the salt would corrode the pipe and turbines.

    EDIT: okay I agree it is not polluting. Don't understand why he says it is polluting anything...
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    Quote Originally Posted by msafwan View Post
    sadly we couldn't use sea water because the salt would corrode the pipe and turbines.
    ?? Yes salt corrodes iron, as it makes oxygen bind to iron easier. But many polymer layers will make sure nothing corrodes. Or simply use another material. The real problem with salt water, is salt residue.
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    Maybe it could also act as desalination plant... hehehe
    (I thought this salt issue is such a big problem)
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    Quote Originally Posted by msafwan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Since the water can be continuosly recycled why do you claim it would be polluting.
    What if there's no more fresh water & wastewater (eg: in some random end of the world scenario) then what water could we pump into the (hot) well?..
    What!!! If you are going to invoke random end of the world scenarios you will likely find that very little will work in any industry or business. your remark seems quite pointless. Zwolver has correctly pointed out that we can line the pipes with a suitable material (ceramic or polymer) not prone to salt corrosion.
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    Since the water can be continuosly recycled why do you claim it would be polluting.
    Some proposed attractive sites for Hot Rock energy are situated far from convenient water sources.
    For example in Australian desert.Water should be piped there for a thousands of kilometers.
    Also there is a claims that water cycled in a depth carries Mercury, Radon, and other heavy and
    poluting metals.If I understand it correct one of the biggest problems of Hot Rock power is a power
    density.It means you need to drill very deep wells but you have small power output from territory.
    Because there is a limited amount of water cycled and water has limited heat capacity.In one word
    it requires some energy concentration means to make it profitable.Earth crust could be regarded as
    a good conductor due to its giant size.In the same time it has relatively low thermal conductivity.
    An ideal thermoelectric?Therefore if we would be able to establish some themoelectric cycle it might
    be much more convenient than cycle water.Desirably it should produce high voltage current to increase
    through-Earth conductivity.I do not know exactly what could be that cycle.Then we woud have just some
    things flowing in ocean of magma,accumulating charge and discharge it to current collector on the Earth
    surface.Possibly it could be something thermionic,thermoelectric or something similar to thunderstorms.
    The lightning in the clouds are claimed to be produced as a result of water evaporation.There is also claims
    that charge accumulation is created underground due to natural processes such as friction of rocks and lightning
    even coming from underground to the Eath surface! But this is nature.Humans could enhance it.
    Last edited by Stanley514; May 28th, 2012 at 07:53 PM.
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    The Australian desert hot rocks region sits partly atop the Great Artesian Basin as well as other groundwater resources. The other major project area near Penola is in SA's south-east in a well-watered region which also has extensive groundwater. Some drilling, but not much piping required.

    The important thing is that once water is injected into the system, it only needs topping up to compensate for losses. I can't claim to know the engineering well enough to identify how much or how often topping up would be required. But it's nothing like the requirements for fracking, or even for mining coal or uranium which are also found in this (pretty large) outback region. And it's extremely simple conceptually as well as being gigantic in terms of the amount of energy extractable.

    Because there is a limited amount of water cycled and water has limited heat capacity
    I'm not sure what you're getting at here. The whole idea works because of water's capacity to absorb heat to the point of becoming steam and then to condense back to cooler liquid as that heat is used to drive a turbine (or two or three). The amount of water involved is determined by the engineering design to produce whatever power output is determined to be both practical and saleable.

    Geothermal power in Australia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The thermoelectric notion sounds OKish as an idea worth investigating. But I presume the geologists here might tell you that the variation in rock composition might pose some problems. Conceptually speaking, it's nothing like as obvious or straightforward as the hot rocks idea. As for the engineering ..... who knows?
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    I agree, I heard in some documentary that Australia use alot of (million tonnes of) underground freshwater to refine radioactive ore for export.
    eg: "Uranium: Is It a Country?" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=pnW0N_gJiTA)
    Last edited by msafwan; May 29th, 2012 at 05:42 AM.
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    And it's extremely simple conceptually as well as being gigantic in terms of the amount of energy extractable.
    Well, in any case to increase power output out of hot rock you need to increase number of wells drilled.

    Another alternative is to drill just one well to magma and insert in ocean of magma huge amount of ``objectcts``.Those
    objects would flow in magma under Earth crust throughout the World and accumulate charge.And after discharge to current
    collectors on Earth surface.In this case you would not need to drill the endless amount of superdeep wells in hardly accessable terrains and to transport electricity for thousands of kilometers.
    Last edited by Stanley514; June 1st, 2012 at 09:53 AM.
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    Huh? How would abjust accumulate charge? Basically all the materials the earth is made of bare electrically neutral. Besides, not many objects would survive immersion in magma...
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    Huh? How would abjust accumulate charge? Basically all the materials the earth is made of bare electrically neutral. Besides, not many objects would survive immersion in magma...
    If we have rain,thunderstorms and lighting on earth than why nothing like this could ever happen underground and though the ground?
    Many materials could survive immersion in magma such as tunsten,some ceramics etc.
    Barium oxide which is used in electron guns will survive typical magma temperatures.
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    How would those materials attract and store electrical charge?

    As far as lightning below the surface seriously? Do a little studying and see how lightning forms. It's not possible in a solid or liquid.
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    One of the possible cycles could be thermionic.Barium oxide nanoparticles could flow in magma and undergo
    electron emission.Then this space charge may leak through the ground to the surface to the collector.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514 View Post
    One of the possible cycles could be thermionic.Barium oxide nanoparticles could flow in magma and undergo
    electron emission.Then this space charge may leak through the ground to the surface to the collector.
    How fast do you imagine the magma is flowing underground?
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    How fast do you imagine the magma is flowing underground?
    1-2 miles per hour.Why do you think it is a problem?
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    HaHaHaHaHa....you're only off by a few orders of magnitude.
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  21. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514 View Post
    How fast do you imagine the magma is flowing underground?
    1-2 miles per hour.Why do you think it is a problem?
    If you are waiting for the magma to carry your ions from one place to another, you will have a mighty long wait.
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    Accumulated charge is very different from flowing current. If it were easy to convert the 2 we would have power companies collecting ligthening. Why don't we have con ed lighting collection plants?
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    If you are waiting for the magma to carry your ions from one place to another, you will have a mighty long wait.
    I do not know whether magma should move at all.And what is best speed for it.I think energy could be generated in different means and this is just question of adjusting some particular technology for it.

    Thermionic cycle principally do not require moving environment.It could work as a stationary.
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