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Old 04-28-2008, 10:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Geothermal energy?

this quote reminded me of my master plan.

(originally from FX2.3)
Quote:
Alot of great information!

Guess that means electricity is the true alternative, no point in ethanol or hydrogen, but then the electric companies could become the new OPEC even with solar, wind, and hydroelectric powering our vehicles. Those who control the grids, control the future. Oil is a dying, ethanol is not practical as food and fuel, and hydrogen is eh..
Has anyone ever thought about geothermal energy? it's more reliable and highly more potent than solar, and more reliable than wind, and it's virtually free, and it's there all day, everyday, 24/7. Iceland runs their whole country basically on geothermal energy, and to a lesser extent hydroelectric energy.

From businessgreen.com
Quote:
The reason for this optimism lies below Iceland's famous landscape in the form of the molten rock that bubbles conveniently close the surface.
It was back in the late 1970s at the peak of the oil crisis that the Icelandic government decided to exploit the geothermal energy that gives the country its distinctive volcanic landscape and famous hot pools. The country invested heavily in geothermal and to a lesser extent hydroelectric power, building as it went the foundations that would quickly turn it into one of the most productive countries in the world per capita.
The net result claims Einar Karl Haraldsson, chief political adviser to the Icelandic foreign ministry, is that around 80 per cent of Iceland's energy now comes from renewable sources and the country is arguably further along the road to becoming a low-carbon economy than any other.
I've always thought about how they're trying to find a way to make hydrogen cheaply, because right now it costs more to make hydrogen than hydrogen is worth, but use a little geothermal energy and we can make cheap hydrogen. it may not be as simple as that, but it's a start.

Quote:
The process of harnessing geothermal energy is remarkably simple, according to Sol Squire, managing director for offshore operations at Data Islandia, a data storage specialist offering to store and archive firms' electronic data at facilities powered entirely by geothermal energy. "Basically you drill a hole in the ground and then add some water to juice it up a little," he explains. "The water turns to steam and that drives a turbine."
hmm, back to steam? it seems that technology is making complex things do simple tasks.

More over, listen to this piece about how much potential energy geothermal energy might have.

Quote:
This readily available source of power means that geothermal and hydroelectric energy provides 99.95 per cent of the country's electricity and 98 per cent of its heating requirements. Moreover, geologists are convinced that Iceland has barely begun to tap the geothermal potential that arises from its position above the meeting point of the European and North American tectonic plates. Some reckon that all the energy needs of the Northern hemisphere could be met from Iceland, but the truth is that no one is that sure how much energy could be eventually harnessed.
That's probably overestimated, but still, if one country can power half the earth, imagine what 5, or even 10 countries could do!

Quote:
The government is now engaged in a major project to tap more of this huge potential energy source. Conventional power plants are based on bores drilled to a depth of between 2km and 3km, but work is now underway at the Resource Park on bores of up to 5km in depth. "The water pumped into those bores will reach an unbelievable pressure and deliver four to five times the power yield of conventional bores," explained Haraldsson.
Of course, until such time as long distance power cables become a reality, Iceland's remote location means it has no means to export this geothermal energy. As such, the government has now embarked on a major charm offensive to attract those industries it feels will stand to benefit from its abundance of green and cheap energy.
Your thoughts?

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Old 04-28-2008, 10:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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More info from there I forgot to mention
Quote:
Green automotive firms are a particular area of interest as Iceland seeks to remove the last major source of emissions from its economy through the development of zero-emission vehicles. Again, it is the country's unique geothermal resources that are likely to hold the key. Not only could electricity generated by the geothermal plants drive a fleet of electric vehicles, but research projects currently underway at the Resource Park are also seeking to capture the carbon dioxide naturally emitted by geothermal activity and use it to develop synthetic fuels.
Albertsson explained that the gases could be used to create methanol, which could drive fuel cell powered vehicles, while CO2 could also be captured and fed to algae, potentially increasing the yield of lipids that go to make second generation biofuels.
However, it is the IT sector that has the most to gain from Iceland's green energy surplus and the government is doing all it can to lay out the welcome mat.
getting any better?

Quote:
"When the oil crisis receded in the 1980s all the interest other countries had shown in renewables disappeared and they fell back on their oil-reliant ways," observed Haraldsson. "But we continued to make progress in renewable energy development and now Icelanders are going to reap the benefits."
Sounds like something the US should have done a long while ago, and some turbines on Hawaii could at least help their costs and help the US research on how these things work. perhaps one near Mount St. Helens could be beneficial?
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Old 04-28-2008, 10:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm planning a house that uses geothermal energy. As soon as we're sure that the kids are out on their own, we'll break ground.
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Old 04-28-2008, 10:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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In the past year I have dug a 20 foot deep pond that is only 75 feet from my house. It holds just under 1 million gallons. This spring I put in under ground conduits from the house to the bottom of the pond. Now i can just slip my heat exchanger lines thur the conduits and sink them in the pond. A heat pump will pump 4 times the energy that it uses in to the hot water and the house. Not perfect but 90% renewable.

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Old 04-28-2008, 11:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by diesel_john View Post
In the past year I have dug a 20 foot deep pond that is only 75 feet from my house. It holds just under 1 million gallons. This spring I put in under ground conduits from the house to the bottom of the pond. Now i can just slip my heat exchanger lines thur the conduits and sink them in the pond. A heat pump will pump 10 times the energy that it uses in to the hot water and the house. Not perfect but 90% renewable.
Sweet!
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Old 04-29-2008, 09:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Most of the geothermal home-heating systems that I personally know about have had problems regularly with the compressors, and the systems are new enough that there aren't a lot of servicemen around to fix them. Also, they make the most sense where you need heat in the winter and airconditioning in the summer--not so good for just heating. As in other cases, insulation and weathersealing the house have the best payback. Passive solar and small wood fired back up works well even in Wisconsin and a new house can be easily designed for minimal heating load--with a house that is designed and sited well, you don't need an expensive central heating system.
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Old 04-29-2008, 12:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My family ran a mechanical company and we did Geo Installs. It is a great system that can be modified depending on your situation.

I always sold it as pay more now or pay more later. Most reputable dealers should be able to give you payback chart showing your savings to pay for the system. Say good bye to the natural gas bill as most systems can run your heating/cooling and domestic hot water. They can also run in floor (radiant heating). All you pay is the electricity to run the circulating pump and fan if going forced air.

I included some links to suppliers we used:

http://www.icekubesystems.com/htmlfi...heat-pumps.asp

http://www.waterfurnace.ca/

Also a good source of info for us Canucks:

http://www.geothermal.ca/
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Old 04-29-2008, 01:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Arminius View Post
I'm planning a house that uses geothermal energy. As soon as we're sure that the kids are out on their own, we'll break ground.
This may be semantics but I'll waste some keystrokes anyway. Technically speaking, a house that is well suited to geothermal is one that has been designed so that it can be heated with a very small heat differential. If using hydronics for the geothermal for example you are designing so that you can heat the house with lower water temps. That is exactly inline with what you need for an active solar system, and in essence, geothermal is solar heating, it's just that it is a stored form of solar energy. With the lower temperature requirements, the ability to harvest BTUs from wherever are much better because you don't have to rely so much on all of the energy spent on making harvested energy sources to have high enough temperatures to be useful.
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Old 04-29-2008, 03:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Who View Post
This may be semantics but I'll waste some keystrokes anyway. Technically speaking, a house that is well suited to geothermal is one that has been designed so that it can be heated with a very small heat differential. If using hydronics for the geothermal for example you are designing so that you can heat the house with lower water temps. That is exactly inline with what you need for an active solar system, and in essence, geothermal is solar heating, it's just that it is a stored form of solar energy. With the lower temperature requirements, the ability to harvest BTUs from wherever are much better because you don't have to rely so much on all of the energy spent on making harvested energy sources to have high enough temperatures to be useful.
It's not the house that is designed that way so much as the system. Any building, regardless of size and construction, can be heated with geothermal if the coil and recovery/exchange system is large enough.

Also, although people sometimes say that geothermal is a form of solar heating, that is not totally true. Although it is certainly true that the ground is heated by the sun, the penetration isn't that deep. The fact is that once you get a few feet under the ground, the temperature is constant all year long, and the deeper you go in the earth the warmer it becomes. I believe that the typical ratio is about .5 to 1 degree for every 500 feet down you go. So it's probably more accurate to say that heat comes from above and below.

Compared to solar, geothermal is cheap -very cheap. Payback is usually much less than 10 years, depending upon where you live.
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Old 04-29-2008, 07:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Could anyone point me to info regarding the transfer in to the ground?

Is there a well, a pit with pipes, something else?

Considering options here.

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