Live volcanoes might be an obvious source of geothermal energy if it wasn’t for the fact they were dangerous. But dormant volcanoes aren’t, yet they still host vast reservoirs of natural heat near the Earth’s surface. So Canada is looking to generate power from Mount Meager and Mount Cayley, two dormant volcanoes north of Vancouver, explains Lizzy Rosenberg writing for the World Economic Forum. Although Canada isn't known for its volcanoes, its … [Read more...]
New research into making water boil using less energy
Can the boiling of water be done more efficiently? If so, a wide range of processes can save energy, not least the standard use of steam turbines in electricity generators. David Chandler at MIT describes research there that modifies the surface of the heating element. A combination of microscale dents and nanoscale bumps and ridges on the surface, and pillars that allow the “wicking” of water by capillary action, improves the efficiency of … [Read more...]
Deep Geothermal: accessing 500°C for steam turbines. Can it make coal, gas, nuclear redundant?
The concept of “deep geothermal” is very simple. Dig deep enough, like 20km, to access a permanent reservoir of 500°C of heat. There, you generate the steam to power your turbines. The digging of a stable hole and getting the steam to the turbine is the big engineering challenge. But if you find a way that allows you to do it anywhere in the world (i.e. not limiting yourself to existing geological formations), nobody will ever need other … [Read more...]