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Author Topic: The earth as a source of energy ?  (Read 24959 times)

Offline tanian

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Re: The earth as a source of energy ?
« Reply #25 on: 13/05/2006 12:46:59 »
I know this is a bit of a tngent, but I find the idea very interesting.

I was recently reading an article that compared the rotation of the earth and the earths orbit around the sun to a centrifuge.

If you fill a jar with nuts of different sizes, what you eventually get is the nuts seperating according to size- finer particles at the bottom and larger ones at the top. If you spin the jar on a centrifuge the process reverses- large at the bottome, small at the top. The argument goes that the Earth has formed the same way, that sand etc. wouild be the smaller particles and that therefore the denser particles are locked down underneath the earths surface. The argument goes thus- if we have discovered all the elements at this level, then there is no reason to say there arent other elements locked deep within the earth theat we have yet to discover.

Thr Rusians in the good old evil empire days have acchieved the deepest penetration into the earths crust. They used a 2 inch drill bit and spend millions of $ for several years to acchieve this before the project was finally scrapped. I have the figure 13 km in my head but find this ridiculously high. I'm assuming I am wrong but cannot locate the article at present, either way the earth is something far far higher than this in depth.

Anyway, what do you think are the chances of finding unique elemental materials at lower depths?
 

another_someone

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Re: The earth as a source of energy ?
« Reply #26 on: 13/05/2006 14:32:49 »
quote:
Originally posted by tanian
Anyway, what do you think are the chances of finding unique elemental materials at lower depths?



We may well find new minerals at great depth, but unlikely to be new elements.

Bear in mind that we have already synthesised elements up to atomic number 111 under laboratory conditions.  None of the transuranic elements have long term (stability plutonium has a half-life of 80 million years, and neptunium-237 of 2 million years, but other elements can have half-lives measured in milliseconds), and so unless they are being continually renewed (as might be the case in the nuclear furnace at the core or the Earth), then all that would remain (if it ever existed) is a very, very, small proportion of what was there at the time when the Earth was first formed.



George
 

Offline tanian

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Re: The earth as a source of energy ?
« Reply #27 on: 13/05/2006 17:47:32 »
Essentially ultra-rare items and/or absurdly high proportions of lead then?
 

Offline pignut

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Re: The earth as a source of energy ?
« Reply #28 on: 09/06/2006 16:16:57 »
On a slightly different tack, the earth is very big, very heavy, spinning and orbiting the sun at an extremely high speed....maybe we just need to attach the earth to a very big dynamo :-)
 

another_someone

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Re: The earth as a source of energy ?
« Reply #29 on: 09/06/2006 17:59:06 »
quote:
Originally posted by pignut

On a slightly different tack, the earth is very big, very heavy, spinning and orbiting the sun at an extremely high speed....maybe we just need to attach the earth to a very big dynamo :-)



It already is that is what is generating the Earth's magnetic field.



George
 

Offline Matthewsb

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Re: The earth as a source of energy ?
« Reply #30 on: 14/06/2006 17:40:52 »
quote:
Originally posted by neilep

Hello all,

What a wonderful day !!..

I know our ability to drill deep into the Earth is very very limited...but do you think as our progress continues to dig deeper, that the heat of the planet could be a source of energy ?

whajafink ?

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Offline Matthewsb

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Re: The earth as a source of energy ?
« Reply #31 on: 14/06/2006 17:44:16 »
That is a good topic. We need more scientists to do R and D on the Energy inside the earth and how to tap into it.
Matthews Bantsijang
« Last Edit: 20/06/2006 07:18:04 by Matthewsb »
 

Offline JimBob

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Re: The earth as a source of energy ?
« Reply #32 on: 15/06/2006 17:56:26 »
See current discussion under "Geology/Paleontology" http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4559



The mind is like a parachute. It works best when open.  -- A. Einstein
 

Offline Atomic-S

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Re: The earth as a source of energy ?
« Reply #33 on: 17/06/2006 08:14:27 »
quote:
I was thinking either of some very aggressive cooling
If the well requires very aggressive cooling, then it may be ready to produce power already!  Which can be commenced while drilling continues for even more power.

quote:
With non contact drilling the shaft will need be reinforced somehow unless the nature of the drilling will create a clean & secure surface, effectively creating a solid pipe from the very material you're drilling through.
Chilled lava might do the job.

quote:
Maybe pump coolant down a channel, and into the space between the drill mechanism and the bore hole wall, and then use acoustics or magnetic fields to push the coolant away from the drill mechanism, thus simultaneously ensuring that hot coolant it kept away from the drill mechanism, and that the drill mechanism stays away from the bore hold walls.
If the coolant is being pumped in and out, (In through the pipe, and out around it) does this not take care of all difficulties?

quote:
Another option would be to have two or three large wheels, or cylinders, around the drill mechanism. The wheels will be constantly rolling around the perimeter of the bore hole.
Like roller bearings.
quote:
They would both smooth out, and compact the side of the bore hole, as well as ensuring the the drill mechanism itself is kept away from the sides of the bore hole.
Is this for thermal purposes or to reduce frictional wear?
quote:
Because they are large diameter wheels, only a very small proportion of the rim is in contact with the wall at any one time, and since it is constantly rolling, that small part is never in contact for very long, and so will not absorb a great deal of heat. It will still be necessary to aggressively cool the wheels, but they need to actually have any part that will get that hot, so long as the heat can effectively be dissipated from those parts of the wheel that are not in contact with the wall, so they are cool enough once they come back in contact with the wall.
. I am not quite sure I understand this; in particular, just what coolant will be present, and how it will be circulated. It would seem to me that if coolant is pumped in through the drill pipe and out around it, this basically eliminates all questions of overheating; and that if the heat is so great that it does not, then these rolling cylinders will not be of much use in any case, because the temperature at any one depth will be nearly uniform at all radii from the axis of the pipe to the wall of the hole.


 

Offline realmswalker

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Re: The earth as a source of energy ?
« Reply #34 on: 20/06/2006 22:50:52 »
what about a laser based drill?
It could reduce the rock to gaseous particles that could then be sucked out the top.
it would also melt the walls so they would be stable.
 

Offline JimBob

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Re: The earth as a source of energy ?
« Reply #35 on: 21/06/2006 16:36:14 »
Laser drilling is in development. The drilling mud (fluid) is already the first or second most expensive cost of drilling, after total rig costs - crew and machine rental, a package deal. The drilling mud does four things, cool the bit and the drill string, lubricates the bit and, because of the high viscosity of the mud, brings the rock chips up. It also exerts a hydrostatic pressure on the porous rocks to keep the fluid in the rocks from coming to the surface

The typical drill bit is a 3-cone bit that turns and chips away rock as it turns. Drilling mud is pumped down the inside of the drill pipe, jetted out of the nozzels on the upper part of the bit and back up the outside of the drilling pipe (pictures on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drill_bit)

Drill pipe is made of steel and a substitue has yet to be found. The problem is that with all current technology, a huge amount of weight is needed to cause the bit to chip the rocks. Another material will not put the weight on the bit that steel does.




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Offline Atomic-S

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Re: The earth as a source of energy ?
« Reply #36 on: 04/07/2006 02:01:44 »
So according to this, when drilling into hot material, the drill mud should cool it, rendering it solid and therefore drillable using conventional means?
 

Offline JimBob

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Re: The earth as a source of energy ?
« Reply #37 on: 05/07/2006 16:23:08 »
I very much doubt drilling mud would be capable of cooling much above 350 degrees F. The drilling fluid (even if oil-based) would vaporize very quickly, causing a gas bubble down-hole. This is a very bad thing. The rapidly expanding gas from the phase change causes the mud above it to be blown back up the hole and the well becomes unstable. People get killed on the surface when something like this happens. Not many peoole in their right mind would even consider continued drilling to be possible, much less safe.



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Offline heikki

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Re: The earth as a source of energy ?
« Reply #38 on: 10/07/2006 06:53:34 »
:)

Hi.

We cannot make deep hole to center of earth by usin todays drilling-systems so that drilling-machine is surface and we use long drilling-rod and diamond or etc. drilling-head.

What we need?

Drilling machine which can go down the hole like canal-hole (england-france) drilling maker but directly vertical direction.
Also it need vertical lift to carried up  that drilled stuff and drilling equipments to maintenance for while( if machine is full automatic version).

Scientifical it is quite interesting and important project, but technical, is it possible? Also what happend if under drilling tunnel-hole is big pressure which comes out through tunnelhole?

Lift-tunnelhole-drilling-machine, vertical direction, full automatic.

How long it take to make deep hole (squaremeter 25m2 or something size to center of earth, hole distance 6500km=6500000meter?

Hmm. If machine can make 1m/24h then one year it goes 365m and ten year it goes 3650m = 3,65km. Diameter of earth ball is ab.13000km.
 
13000km/3,65km=3561year/2=1780year.

So, it speed is 1m/24h then year 3786 drilling head is center the earth.

Lift high is 6500km = 6 500 000m? Technics is problem because todays higher lift is probably few hundred meter.

Hmm. Unpossible work to do, i think.

 :)
 

Offline Atomic-S

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Re: The earth as a source of energy ?
« Reply #39 on: 19/07/2006 08:23:53 »
quote:
I very much doubt drilling mud would be capable of cooling much above 350 degrees F. The drilling fluid (even if oil-based) would vaporize very quickly, causing a gas bubble down-hole. This is a very bad thing. The rapidly expanding gas from the phase change causes the mud above it to be blown back up the hole and the well becomes unstable. People get killed on the surface when something like this happens. Not many peoole in their right mind would even consider continued drilling to be possible, much less safe.
Well, now let's see: if we have that kind of steam pressure available, it suggests the possibility of capturing it to drive a turbine. Now of course drilling mud may not be the ideal fluid for driving a turbine, but is there some way we could get around that problem? Would there be some way of circulating drilling mud in the lower portions of the hole, where resistance to pressure is most needed, but then, at a depth somewhat lower than that at which the water could vaporize, put it through some kind of a heat exchanger so as to transfer the heat to plain water for the rest of the trip up the hole. That circuit would be handled as a pressurized steam system, and connect into a turbine, so that geothermal energy would be harnessed even while drilling was in progress.
 

Offline Atomic-S

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Re: The earth as a source of energy ?
« Reply #40 on: 19/07/2006 08:29:41 »
Heikki: The major problems in attempting to drill to the center of the earth are pressure and temperature. The Earth's mantle is fluid, extremely pressurized, and the temperature when you really get down to serious depths is terriffic. The pressure problem might be handlable by counterbalancing it with a fluid of some kind, as is already practiced; however the temperature problem when you get well down toward the core is much more formidable: I believe the temp at the core is believed to be some 13,000 F, hotter than the surface of the sun. (If this figure is in error, somebody please tell me). Realistically, I believe that drilling to the core is not an option, but for geothermal purposes we do not have to go that deep.
 

another_someone

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Re: The earth as a source of energy ?
« Reply #41 on: 19/07/2006 18:03:14 »
Would there not also be problems of radiation as one got very close to the core, and also electric fields?




George
 

Offline diegostation

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Re: The earth as a source of energy ?
« Reply #42 on: 09/08/2006 07:04:16 »
If we use energy from earth's core until it runs out and the core freezes the impact would be the death of all live forms on earth cause the planet would lose its magnetic field
 

another_someone

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Re: The earth as a source of energy ?
« Reply #43 on: 09/08/2006 08:12:07 »
quote:
Originally posted by diegostation
If we use energy from earth's core until it runs out and the core freezes the impact would be the death of all live forms on earth cause the planet would lose its magnetic field



It is true of all energy sources that when we use it we deny others from using it, and it will ultimately run out.

At present usage, there is an enormous amount of energy in the Earth's core, and it will take us a very long time to use it up by which time, lots of other things will have been able to kill us anyway.  Ofcourse, once we start tapping in to such large energy sources, we will probably quickly devise more energy hungry applications to utilise all of that extra energy that is available, and so speed up the cooling of the planet further.

On the other hand, I cannot see the technology required for extracting energy from the Earth's  core as being any easier than many other sources of energy, possibly from other planets.



George
 

Offline syhprum

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Re: The earth as a source of energy ?
« Reply #44 on: 26/08/2006 10:36:14 »
I think the problem is mostly economic, gold miners are prepared to go down 3000 meters where the geothemal energy is only a nuisence not a useful source of power.
Close to the UK there is an abundent soucre of Geothermal power (Iceland) and I hope to see the day when it is exported to us via a superconduting cable but I do not know if the the cost will ever bejustified.

syhprum
 

Offline neilep

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Re: The earth as a source of energy ?
« Reply #45 on: 05/09/2006 17:55:04 »
Has anyone seen the film The Core..( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Core)..they used the novel idea of sound/light waves to blast the rocks.....just like they use when getting rid of kidney stones !!...obviously it's far fetched but do you think teher could be any serious science in it ?

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Offline Karen W.

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Re: The earth as a source of energy ?
« Reply #46 on: 05/09/2006 19:31:48 »
Interesting movie, but I do not know how much could be based on scientific technology! Maybe to some extent though, maybe basic concepts!

Karen
 

Offline lotusbunny

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Re: The earth as a source of energy ?
« Reply #47 on: 05/09/2006 19:54:47 »
Excellent film, good taste! Especially with the gorgeous Mr Eckhart, lol

I think you are talking about Extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy (ESWL). Which shock waves that are created outside the body travel through the skin and tissues until they hit the denser stones. The stones break down into small particles.

A very good question, I would think, personally as a laymay, that it does sound feasible for the future as the basic principles are already in use. For example the DOE is using shockwaves to break up waste material, using a machine called an HP3T, and for possible land mine detection. So the use of shockwaves seem to be in amongst the latest science and technolgy realm.
But don't listen to me, i know very little about physics :)

I hope someone with more knowledge posts something on this, I would be interest too.

Debs
 

Offline neilep

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Re: The earth as a source of energy ?
« Reply #48 on: 06/09/2006 01:12:02 »
Extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy (ESWL) !!!..oh That !!!..of course....just rolls off the tongue :D...thank you so much Debs.

I really appreciate your insight into this technology and like you... I hope that someone with more knowledge (in MY case...a cabbage will do !:))...will come here and add to this interesting subject.

THANKS DEBS


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Re: The earth as a source of energy ?
« Reply #48 on: 06/09/2006 01:12:02 »

 

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