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View Diary: Take Old Faithful and Exterminate Her (34 comments)

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  •  Why do I think that? (1+ / 0-)
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    Because geothermal hot water doesn't exist everywhere.  You can find it only where it exists.

    Hot rock, on the other hand, exists everywhere.  

    Deeper in some places, which might make harvesting too expensive.  Or lacking the proper type of rock which can be fractured to create a lot of surface area which is another problem.

    Hot rock means that you don't have to discover naturally occurring underground streams which encounter geothermal heat, but you can drill the holes and supply the water.

    15 to 6. Pulled ahead as soon as the gate opened and never looked back....

    by BobTrips on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 11:48:06 AM PST

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    •  You a dowser, Bob? :-) (0+ / 0-)

      Quite seriously, we can only estimate what the ground is like underneath us.  Some seemingly great geothermal resources have turned out to be duds because of low permeability of the aquifers.

      But the crust of the earth is soaked with water as near as anyone can tell.

      Go down far enough and you will find hot rock but that is also probably true of water.

      Knowing that, by itself, is not good enough.  You need to know much more.

      That is why research is crucial.

      Too bad we have had anti-science idiots running the country.

      Claims that only California, Nevada, Germany and any other named places have adequate aquifers is specious IMHO.

      Best,  Terry

      •  No, not a dowser,... (1+ / 0-)
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        But I do know why we don't have a lot of hot ground water geothermal feeding into the grid right now.

        Hot damp soil doesn't provide large diameter pipes full of steam to drive turbines.  One has to find places where large underground streams encounter hot rock.  

        It's not like drilling a well where you can pump out a few hours supply of water and wait for more to seep in from the surrounding area.  We're talking a lot of water delivered to the site in a hurry.

        With research we'll find more places where there are adequately flowing underground streams.

        More promising, however, seems to be dry hot rock generation....

        15 to 6. Pulled ahead as soon as the gate opened and never looked back....

        by BobTrips on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 12:38:20 PM PST

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        •  We disagree (0+ / 0-)

          Dry hot rock is a crock.  

          Habanero #1 initiated the development of the most advanced EGS project in the world in Australia's Outback.  If you read details of the project there never was any shortage of water but engineering a suitable aquifer is an entirely different matter.

          Decades ago, the U.S. initiated hot dry rock experimentation in New Mexico in a very large KGRA.  Current efforts build on that initial work, which went nowhere.

          It is ironic that one of the driest areas on earth is the scene of the most advanced "hot dry rock" project that uses prodigious amounts of water because, like the little kid sang about his boomerang, the water don't come back.

          Am I certain that HDR or EGS is very longterm?  Of course not but I have already been waiting a very long time for progress.

          Why isn't conventional geothermal progress more advanced?

          Misplaced priorities, adverse tax policies, ignorance, disinformation, etc.

          There are people making great progress with far poorer assets than this country.  Even the French have taken some time out from nuking the planet to do some advanced work while our DOE was not long ago trying to zero out even pitiful funding of research.

          Best,  Terry


          •  Well, we do disagree... (0+ / 0-)

            You and me/geologists.

            Having a lot of water underneath all our feet is magic thinking.  Conventional geothermal is not more advanced because places where lots of water and hot rock meet are relatively scarce.  We see conventional geothermic in places like Iceland because that's one place where it happens.

            And, yes, there was an attempt to develop hot rock geothermal in New Mexico some years back.  Problem was, the rock they found was not hot enough to create significant power with the turbines of the time.  People are now back at those holes with newer technology to see what they can pull out.

            Years ago we weren't worried about global warming and had zillions of cheap coal on hand to create very affordable electricity.  Times have changed.

            Perhaps you didn't read the page I linked above.

            The French have a hot rock geothermal plant on line at Soultz.  Only 1.5 mW, but proof of concept.  

            And most of the water comes back as in any closed loop thermal generation system.  

            15 to 6. Pulled ahead as soon as the gate opened and never looked back....

            by BobTrips on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 01:38:39 PM PST

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            •  Should we match experts? (0+ / 0-)

              You and me/geologists.

              For openers, my sister is a geologist and she thinks you're an idiot. :-)

              Years ago we weren't worried about global warming and had zillions of cheap coal on hand to create very affordable electricity

              And it was then B. C. McCabe brought in The Geysers.  How do you explain that, Bob?

              Take care, Bob.  I would love to discuss matters further but there is no point at all when you diss people who have spent their lives in the field.

              Best,  Terry

              •  You sure you're asking your sister the right ... (0+ / 0-)


                Ask her: "Can we just drill down anywhere and hit massive amounts of steam?".

                Because that's what you're arguing.

                The ask her "Is the hot rock geothermal plant at Soultz real, or is France lying?".

                Because if it's real then "dry hot rock is crap" is incorrect.

                BTW, you always run away from discussions when people disagree with you?

                15 to 6. Pulled ahead as soon as the gate opened and never looked back....

                by BobTrips on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:35:33 PM PST

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                •  I always ask people the right questions (0+ / 0-)

                  I haven't yet actually told my sister that BobTrips is an idiot but I am sure she will provide her professional opinion that BobTrips is an idiot if I tell her that BobTrips is an idiot.

                  You see, Bob, this world is full of of experts with all manner of opinions.  I have discussed matters with geologists, with engineers, with hydrologists, even with bankers and investment advisers.

                  In my youngest years we got water from a hot spring that is oddly called the Hallinan Hot Spring. That spring marks the southern boundary of a vast geothermal resource known as the Crump Geyser drilled in the 1950's by geothermal pioneer B. C. McCabe that will be developed any day now.  Any day for 50 years it will be developed but not today.

                  And you tell me that you and all the geologists know all about that geothermal stuff and that I know nothing.

                  Umm, yeah, OK.

                  What's to discuss?

                  I would rather discuss geothermal energy because it has been a large part of my life.  Not so anxious to discuss me and how I don't know what you and all the geologists know.  I don't think you know everything and I am inclined to think not all geologists, including my sister, think you do.  

                  Best,  Terry

                  •  Well, let's summarize: (0+ / 0-)
                    1. Terry's sister thinks Bob is an idiot.

                    However Terry has yet to discuss Bob with his sister so we are led to believe that Terry's sister has no opinion one way or another about Bob.  That does tend to bring Terry's credibility into question.

                    1. Terry thinks that hot rock geothermal is a "crock".

                    However there is at least one hot rock thermal plant in operation and supplying power to the grid.

                    1. Terry thinks that one can drill anywhere and produce usable geothermal steam because "the crust of the earth is soaked with water".

                    However we just don't see people sticking holes in the ground and pulling out usable steam.  They have to find those "special places" where adequate amounts of water flow rapidly enough to create volume.  We know that one of the problems with conventional geothermal is the cost of dry holes.

                    1. Finally Terry has shown himself to be an unpleasant person given to name calling when disagreed with.

                    I can't dispute that one.  Guess I'll have to settle for three out of four....

                    15 to 6. Pulled ahead as soon as the gate opened and never looked back....

                    by BobTrips on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 06:07:35 PM PST

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