Dan Clemmensen

Gepthermal fracking: how to confuse a greenie

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A new article on oilprice:

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Is-This-The-Cleanest-Energy-On-Earth.html

discusses Geothermal energy. After first confusing ground-loop heat pumps with true geothermal, the article recovers and discusses geothermal rationally. One big problem with geothermal: there are not enough suitable geothermal fields in the world. a good field needs hot wet subterranean rock. Good news: lots of hot rock deep down in many places. Bad news: most of it is dry. the answer is (duh!) wet the rock, and there is a technology to do this: hydrofracking and horizontal drilling.   But now we will have deeply-conflicted knee-jerk greenies arguing with themselves about using evil fracking to produce wonderful, clean, renewable energy.

Disclaimer: I am a greenie. I am not a knee-jerk greenie. If you can hydro-frack a geothermal field under my city, then please do so.  If you want to frack for LTO in the Permian instead of importing oil, then please do so if you can do it cleanly.

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6 hours ago, Dan Clemmensen said:

A new article on oilprice:

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Is-This-The-Cleanest-Energy-On-Earth.html

discusses Geothermal energy. After first confusing ground-loop heat pumps with true geothermal, the article recovers and discusses geothermal rationally. One big problem with geothermal: there are not enough suitable geothermal fields in the world. a good field needs hot wet subterranean rock. Good news: lots of hot rock deep down in many places. Bad news: most of it is dry. the answer is (duh!) wet the rock, and there is a technology to do this: hydrofracking and horizontal drilling.   But now we will have deeply-conflicted knee-jerk greenies arguing with themselves about using evil fracking to produce wonderful, clean, renewable energy.

Disclaimer: I am a greenie. I am not a knee-jerk greenie. If you can hydro-frack a geothermal field under my city, then please do so.  If you want to frack for LTO in the Permian instead of importing oil, then please do so if you can do it cleanly.

Theres a conventional one of these I'm involved with, construction is scheduled to start next year.

Screen Shot 2020-09-16 at 12.16.02 PM.png

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7 hours ago, Dan Clemmensen said:

A new article on oilprice:

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Is-This-The-Cleanest-Energy-On-Earth.html

discusses Geothermal energy. After first confusing ground-loop heat pumps with true geothermal, the article recovers and discusses geothermal rationally. One big problem with geothermal: there are not enough suitable geothermal fields in the world. a good field needs hot wet subterranean rock. Good news: lots of hot rock deep down in many places. Bad news: most of it is dry. the answer is (duh!) wet the rock, and there is a technology to do this: hydrofracking and horizontal drilling.   But now we will have deeply-conflicted knee-jerk greenies arguing with themselves about using evil fracking to produce wonderful, clean, renewable energy.

Disclaimer: I am a greenie. I am not a knee-jerk greenie. If you can hydro-frack a geothermal field under my city, then please do so.  If you want to frack for LTO in the Permian instead of importing oil, then please do so if you can do it cleanly.

Actually, still WRONG.  Fracking only opens up cracks to increase surface area which increases heat flow.  As for wet/dry, why Iceland is king.  Supersaturated with fresh water few impurities and unlimited supply of fresh water to pour down borewells and then blow out the other end as steam  Why California sucks.  They had great geothermal(the geysers) until the water dried up. Solution?  Dump more water down.  Have no water and no, you cannot use salt water for same reason one does not use tap water for boilers, but rather purified water in boilers.  Of course the ground itself is usually lousy with minerals soluble in water and your "geothermal" plant, if you do not have a giant waste dump for these minerals(arsenic, lead, mercury, calcium, lithium, radium, etc) then you turn into a toxic waste dump mining facility fairly quickly.  True, I just described open systems, but if you go with closed, then the only contact area is the wall diameter of the pipe...  I'll let you drill 100X more distance than necessary compared to Fracking. 

Salton sea: Problems may become a lithium solution: https://www.latimes.com/environment/story/2019-10-14/california-lithium-geothermal-salton-sea

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8 hours ago, Dan Clemmensen said:

After first confusing ground-loop heat pumps with true geothermal, the article recovers and discusses geothermal rationally. One big problem with geothermal: there are not enough suitable geothermal fields in the world. a good field needs hot wet subterranean rock.

I think you will find that where geothermal energy can be used it probably already is being used.. as for changes in technology there have been various attempts in Australia to tap the energy from hot rocks but basically they have been a waste of money. Its a nice idea and its a shame there aren't more hydrothermal resources - its renewable power without the downsides - but there it is. 

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2 hours ago, Strangelovesurfing said:

Theres a conventional one of these I'm involved with, construction is scheduled to start next year.

Screen Shot 2020-09-16 at 12.16.02 PM.png

I've been wondering if Puna was going to get rebuilt. I'm sure the local volcano worshipers aren't happy.  

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4 hours ago, markslawson said:

I think you will find that where geothermal energy can be used it probably already is being used.. as for changes in technology there have been various attempts in Australia to tap the energy from hot rocks but basically they have been a waste of money. Its a nice idea and its a shame there aren't more hydrothermal resources - its renewable power without the downsides - but there it is. 

Auckland, New Zealand has plenty and make good use of it. I have used one of their spas. 

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23 minutes ago, ronwagn said:

Auckland, New Zealand has plenty and make good use of it. I have used one of their spas. 

A question if i may, is there a known thermoplastic that is being used in drilling/ piping.

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6 hours ago, Jay McKinsey said:

I've been wondering if Puna was going to get rebuilt. I'm sure the local volcano worshipers aren't happy.  

Never

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11 hours ago, markslawson said:

I think you will find that where geothermal energy can be used it probably already is being used.. as for changes in technology there have been various attempts in Australia to tap the energy from hot rocks but basically they have been a waste of money. Its a nice idea and its a shame there aren't more hydrothermal resources - its renewable power without the downsides - but there it is. 

In Australia, hot rocks were being pursued by the Howard Govt who gave Beach Petroleum $50m to prove the tech. However, the Labour Party swiftly came to power and the money was not disbursed. The last thing they wanted was to upset the CFMEU (ie: coal union), so they gave us a carbon tax that was ineffective because the utilities were allowed to simply pass the cost on to consumers. Given advances in drilling and fracking technology, hot rocks would probably be viable by now if the govt was smart enough to give it another go. Same with wave energy.

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Coincidentally, I just read This geothermal article last Friday. A bit dated but better on the history than the more recent articles. 

Meant to post something about it earlier, thanks @Dan Clemmensen for starting the thread. Didn't notice it at first because "Gepthermal" didn't click. 😉

Quote

In the late 1980s, it was found that the flow of steam across the geothermal field had reduced and the reservoir was not recharging quickly enough to meet the required steam supply. As a result, inefficient power plants were shut down.

The geothermal reservoir is now recharged by injecting recycled wastewater from the city of Santa Rosa and the Lake County sewage treatment plants. Now, 18 million gallons of treated wastewater is supplied each day.

 

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10 hours ago, Eyes Wide Open said:

A question if i may, is there a known thermoplastic that is being used in drilling/ piping.

All I know is 140 degree plumbing pipe. It is not good to use above that. Not good for boiling water. 

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10 hours ago, Eyes Wide Open said:

A question if i may, is there a known thermoplastic that is being used in drilling/ piping.

There are several, usually PTFE or PEEK for maximum heat resistance. Used more offshore to save weight. Why do you ask? OCTG generally works fine. 

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19 hours ago, ronwagn said:

Auckland, New Zealand has plenty and make good use of it.

In fact, as I understand it, about 18 per cent of NZ's power comes from geothermal. they also have a lot of hydropower which fits well with wind.. 

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12 hours ago, Wombat said:

Given advances in drilling and fracking technology, hot rocks would probably be viable by now if the govt was smart enough to give it another go. Same with wave energy.

The efforts I was thinking off actually came from listed companies. I recall looking at the prospectus. Their efforts continued for several years but I seem to recall there was some technical issue. Whether those problems have been overcome by recent advances I cannot say. However, the problems with wave energy remain - these aren't technical but economic. It requires a huge investment to get not much power. If this is fixed by advances in engineering well and good but I don't believe they have.   

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On 9/16/2020 at 2:58 PM, Jay McKinsey said:

I've been wondering if Puna was going to get rebuilt. I'm sure the local volcano worshipers aren't happy.  

Do you think it’s possible to create a tanker sized flow-battery? I keep wondering if it’s possible to charge up a liquid at one source then unload/discharge the liquid at another destination. It’d be battery to battery storage.

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1 hour ago, Strangelovesurfing said:

Do you think it’s possible to create a tanker sized flow-battery? I keep wondering if it’s possible to charge up a liquid at one source then unload/discharge the liquid at another destination. It’d be battery to battery storage.

Absolutely! Precharged liquids are a very exciting facet of storage tech. 

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On 9/16/2020 at 7:22 PM, markslawson said:

I think you will find that where geothermal energy can be used it probably already is being used.. as for changes in technology there have been various attempts in Australia to tap the energy from hot rocks but basically they have been a waste of money. Its a nice idea and its a shame there aren't more hydrothermal resources - its renewable power without the downsides - but there it is. 

Natural gas vents close to land might be worth tapping too. 

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14 hours ago, Strangelovesurfing said:

Do you think it’s possible to create a tanker sized flow-battery? I keep wondering if it’s possible to charge up a liquid at one source then unload/discharge the liquid at another destination. It’d be battery to battery storage.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanadium_redox_battery

Works great for stationary applications.

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