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Recycling Old Oil Wells for Geothermal Power

Renewable power is frequently criticized for its unreliability, which some feel makes it difficult to use for base-load power generation. Of course, renewable systems usually face huge up-front costs, which makes their implementation difficult and which makes some argue against their use. Geothermal power may be able to jump start its presence in the renewable power field by overcoming one of its biggest expenses: the boring of holes into the earth.

Wind power and tidal power systems can be variable depending on the weather. Lull periods can limit the amount of power wind farms can generate, although regular shifting of coastal winds makes near shore and off-shore Solar energy is quite reliable, since the canada cheap propecia rising and setting of the sun is predictable and well understod, and solar power generation is increasingly less dependent on cloudless skies. Geothermal energy is the renewable energy option that is probably least susceptible to unpredictability.

One of the largest expenses in geothermal power systems is cheap cialis order online boring wells thousands of feet into the earth's crust. Now, several companies are looking at reusing existing and abandoned oil wells to serve as geothermal wells. Particularly in Texas, where there are more than half a million existing oil and gas wells, and underground temperatures and beta blockers and viagra pressures are high enough to make geothermal energy extraction feasible, geothermal is getting a fresh look by a number of companies.

Deep oil wells are often far enough into the earth that they reach to areas with temperatures as high as 300 degrees F (about 150 degrees C), or even higher, which can be useful for geothermal uses. And we are proponents of recycling, even if it is finding a new use for the old fossil infrastructure for renewable power. "While each well only produces enough energy for a few hundred homes at best, connect several wells on a single acre and it can add up." A field of several wells also makes it cost effective to generic viagra 100mg build the generating infrastructure that a geothermal power system would need.

image via Wikimedia Commons

via: Marketplace Morning Report


Largest Geothermal Project in US

Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana is in the process of installing the largest ground-source heat pump system in the country. It is not supplying just a single building, however. Rather, this is a campus-wide system that will provide heating and cooling for the entire University campus.

The system uses 3,600 vertical bores located in several fileds throughout the campus with more than 1,000 miles of piping for the heat transfer. The first phase of this project is nearing completion, with the system now providing heating and cooling to nearly half the campus.

The University expects to realize $2 million in annual energy costs through the use of the campus-wide geothermal system. Additionally, by removing its old boilers, the University says it will also reduce about 85,000 tons of buy generic cialis online CO2 emissions annually. Total cost for the project is around $70 million.


Project Investigating "Hot Rocks" Geothermal Energy Options

Geothermal energy is often overlooked as the "other" renewable energy. Capping geysers to harness their energy is difficult, and the sites where these resources exist are not widespread. But companies are exploring new methods of obtaining energy from geothermal sources by stimulating accessible geologic formations to generate hot water and steam for energy production.

A demonstration project being run by AltaRock Energy is underway in the Deschutes National Forest near Bend, Oregon to explore the viability of this technique. AltaRock is using "hot rocks" and an approach called Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) for energy production. This process uses accessible geological formations which are hot enough to generate steam for power generation, but which are not naturally geysers. The system is meant to be closed-loop, with the water re-cooled and returned through the system, so that there is less impact on local water supply. However, the demonstration will use somewhere between 73 and 142 million gallons of water, so the company is also purchasing Deschutes River Conservancy mitigation credits to tramadol offset its water consumption during the project.

The process also calls for developing fracture zones in the rock, which may be too reminiscent of natural gas "fracking" for widespread acceptance of the technique. But, instead of an extraction process, the geothermal approach will be injecting water into the rocks. The proposed system is laid out in more detail on buy real levitra online a poster presentation of the core concepts for the test project. According to the company, "EGS has the potential to provide as much as 10 percent of the nation's energy needs within the course of a generation."

via: Science Friday


U.S. Geothermal Resources Could Replace Coal 10 Times Over

A new map of geothermal energy potential released by Southern Methodist University is the result of years of research funded by  The map (click here to download and view in Google Earth) shows that there are enough viable geothermal resources in the U.S. to replace the current coal power capacity ten times over.

Last year, SMU gave us a sneak peak of the research they've been doing by releasing a geothermal energy potential map for West Virginia.  Surprisingly, the state is a hot spot for geothermal energy recovery, a wonderful development in an area where coal power has dominated for a long time.

The study limited its analysis to the top 6.5 km of the earth's crust to accurately portray what was actually drillable, recoverable energy.  When the researchers applied limits to depth and excluded areas that were inaccessible due to canada cialis generic being in large urban areas or national parks, the technical potential versus theoretical potential for geothermal energy production was revealed.  The technical potential was about 14 percent of the theoretical potential, yet still enough to crush our current coal power capacity ten times over.

via Climate Progress


Canada's Geothermal Resources Could Power the Country One Million Times Over

Canada's federal Geological Survey Commission has released a report stating that the buy viagra in canada no prescription country's geothermal resources are so vast that they could power the country one million times over.

Heavy concentrations of geothermal stores near the surface in the Northern and free samples cialis Western parts of Canada (including British Columbia, Alberta, the Yukon and Northwest Territories) are the stars of the new report, though resources exist across the country.  A team of scientists from the agency said that as little as 100 projects could completely power the country while generating very few greenhouse gas emissions.

Geothermal has its downsides, like high upfront costs and long construction times because of the tricky nature of drilling miles into the earth, but once a geothermal plant is operational, the energy is practically unlimited and -- unlike wind and solar -- constant.

Countries like Iceland, Indonesia and St. Lucia have started relying on and even exporting energy from their large geothermal resources.  Canada could easily be next.

via Montreal Gazette

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