Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

World's First Magma-Based Geothermal Energy System

Soulskill posted about 7 months ago | from the just-pour-it-into-your-gas-tank dept.

Power 161

Lucas123 writes: "The Iceland Deep Drilling Project (IDDP) announced it broke through to the Mantle and created a superheated steam pipe capable of producing power at the nearby Krafla Power Plant in Northern Iceland. The system was operational for several months until a malfunctioning valve forced its closure. The IDDP, however, plans to either reopen its first magma-based geothermal bore hole (PDF) — IDDP-1 — or drill another one at Reykjanes. While the IDDP-1 is not the first bore hole to reach the planet's magma, it is the first time an operation has been able to harness the mantle's heat to produce a steam pipe that could power a plant."

cancel ×

161 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Is no one else concerned? (5, Funny)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 7 months ago | (#46123855)

Have we learned nothing from science fiction?

Re:Is no one else concerned? (4, Funny)

bondsbw (888959) | about 7 months ago | (#46123877)

There's nothing a well-placed nuke won't fix?

Re:Is no one else concerned? (4, Funny)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about 7 months ago | (#46123881)

Obligatory. [dresdencodak.com]

Re:Is no one else concerned? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46125153)

Come on now, its not obligatory if no one has heard of it before.

Re:Is no one else concerned? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46123949)

Not concerned at all. If anyone understands eruptions it's the people living on top of that one in middle of the Atlantic.

Re:Is no one else concerned? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46124117)

Eruptions? What about the Lava-Men? [wikia.com]

Re:Is no one else concerned? (4, Funny)

rossdee (243626) | about 7 months ago | (#46123983)

That if you go down far enough from Iceland, you will reach the Centre of the Earth?

Re:Is no one else concerned? (1)

Rei (128717) | about 7 months ago | (#46124829)

Snæfellsjökull's melting should make it easier to find the entrance!

Re:Is no one else concerned? (1)

dpilot (134227) | about 7 months ago | (#46125155)

I don't think you can really know where to start start before the Kalens of July.

Re:Is no one else concerned? (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about 7 months ago | (#46124017)

They'll bring up the Balrog! Noozzz!

Re:Is no one else concerned? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46124077)

And you'll bring a faggot into your ass. Go suck another dick.
 
btw: your homepage sucks nearly as much dick as you do.

Re:Is no one else concerned? (1)

webmistressrachel (903577) | about 7 months ago | (#46124845)

I was going to mod you into oblivion for being a troll, but I did due diligence first and looked at the homepage!

Re:Is no one else concerned? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46124033)

Re:Is no one else concerned? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46124139)

Too late, crack is everywhere. Meth, too.

Re:Is no one else concerned? (4, Informative)

Last_Available_Usern (756093) | about 7 months ago | (#46124073)

If gigantic seams that span the entire planet across the tectonic plates isn't enough to cause the planet to implode I doubt a few small holes will either.

Re:Is no one else concerned? (1)

Delarth799 (1839672) | about 7 months ago | (#46124105)

Shush with you and your damn logic, we will have none of that around here!

Re:Is no one else concerned? (1)

Mashdar (876825) | about 7 months ago | (#46124081)

I for one greet our new Lavos/Ragnaros/Dolomite Robot overlord.

Re:Is no one else concerned? (2)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 7 months ago | (#46124141)

Actually, the first thing I thought of was this. [wikia.com]

Re:Is no one else concerned? (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 7 months ago | (#46124737)

"Inferno" is what I always think of when reading a geothermal story, too. One of the best serials featuring my favorite Doctor...

Re:Is no one else concerned? (1)

Gravis Zero (934156) | about 7 months ago | (#46124333)

Have we learned nothing from science fiction?

Of course we've learned. How do you think we keep coming up with these ideas?

Re:Is no one else concerned? (1)

MrBigInThePants (624986) | about 7 months ago | (#46124511)

It sounds like a joke till this works really well and then everybody starts doing it.... ...and then they get bigger and bigger with more and more exponentially.... ...and then we discover what the unforeseen negative side effects caused by the unbelievably massive scale we are implementing this are... ...but we are too balls deep to stop now because all our economies depend on it so heavily.... ...so we angst about it and the pollys flap their mouth parts but corporations just keep on truckin on with business as usual until.... ...disaster....

I seem to vaguely remember something similar happening recently with old dead trees or something but it can't have been important. Just as well we sorted that all out eh?!

PS: No I am not predicting doom I would just like those in charge to at least think briefly about where such things might go before we get there....for once.

Re:Is no one else concerned? (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 7 months ago | (#46124633)

We know a whole lot more about geology now than we knew about ecology when we started burning coal, and then oil, for fuel. Not to say it's not risk-free--no method of power generation is--but you can be reasonably sure that the people running the project have carefully estimated both the costs and benefits.

Re:Is no one else concerned? (5, Informative)

Rei (128717) | about 7 months ago | (#46124715)

Haha, actually it was accidental. When they broke through into a magma chamber, that wasn't the goal - they didn't realize they were that close, they were just trying to tap the hot rock near it. But after magma filled up the borehole a couple dozen meters, they decided to try to turn lemons into lemonade and produce steam... and it actually worked.

But yeah, I think a lot of people have a gross misunderstanding how drilling works. You're not creating some big open hole that magma can just shoot up. If you tried that, the hole would collapse before you got very deep at all. Your hole is full of "mud" that is at least as high pressure as the surrounding rock. The gas isn't going to suddenly come out of solution and trigger an eruption when you drill into magma, you're not reducing the pressure on it.

And I'm sure it's mentioned somewhere below, but whoever wrote this article is an idiot. The mantle isn't full of magma, it's solid. The crust is where magma is found They did not drill to the mantle, they drilled into a magma chamber.

The only thing I learned from the article was that they plan to try the same thing in Reykjanes. I fully expect people to freak out, given that's where three quarters of our population lives ;) Also, I didn't know the stats on the sort of power they were getting out of that well... 36MWe of 450C steam from a single geothermal well is bloody insane. Hopefully this will prove to be economical and thus an incentive to stop destroying all of our rivers one after the next for hydroelectric power. : Oh, and I'm not surprised to learn that Alcoa was helping. There's three aluminum smelters here, and even the smallest of them uses more power than all of the homes and businesses combined. They built the largest hydroelectric plant in Europe (in the middle of the formerly-largest-undeveloped-wilderness in Europe) just to power a single smelter.

Re:Is no one else concerned? (1)

Idarubicin (579475) | about 7 months ago | (#46125027)

...same thing in Reykjanes. I fully expect people to freak out, given that's where three quarters of our population lives ;)

Is Reykjavik on the Reykjanes peninsula proper, or just next to it? (Sure, I'll give you Keflavik and Hafnarfjörður, but they ain't three quarters of the population. :D)

Besides, the bits where they would be drilling would presumably be near the existing geothermal power plants, in the middle of hundreds of square kilometers of lava fields. The worst that could happen to this terrain already happened, and relatively recently (mostly in the last ten thousand years, and sometimes within the last millennium) and it already looks it.

I suppose the Blue Lagoon could be destroyed, but...meh, tourists.

More like, more Lagoon (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 7 months ago | (#46125121)

Since the Blue Lagoon is runoff from the existing steam power facility, more drilling means MORE Blue Lagoon, or something else like it...

And for the people freaking out from the Science Fiction angle of drilling to where man has not been before, you will probably not be happy that people at the Blue Lagoon are every day smearing mud on their faces imbued with minerals and micro-organisms from the magmic deep.

Besides, destruction of the Blue Lagoon would not deter tourists - we would still come for the tasty lamb and excellent hot dogs (oh, and the majestic scenery I guess).

Re:Is no one else concerned? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46124981)

Have we learned nothing from science fiction?

Have we learned nothing from dwarf fortress?

sounds like poor engineering? (1)

ThorGod (456163) | about 7 months ago | (#46123867)

Am I the only one thinking an entire plant should be more redundant and resilient than the failure of a single valve?

Re:sounds like poor engineering? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 7 months ago | (#46123893)

Your opinion is probably shared by many who didn't read TFA.

Re:sounds like poor engineering? (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 7 months ago | (#46123977)

I read the TFA (both of them) myself, and didn't find any more details about the closing over the "failure of a single valve" than was in the summary. I will point out to the OP, that there may have very well been adequate redundancy and that the single valve failure mandated the shut down of the project not because it disabled it but because it removed the redundancy and they wouldn't operate without it.

Re:sounds like poor engineering? (4, Informative)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 7 months ago | (#46124239)

The plant didn't shut down. The plant is still operating with 30 or something other wells drilled. The new pipe itself was shut down, because of a failure in one of the valves in the pipe. The pipe was never connected to the plant. It seems entirely possible that a linear structure like a pipe can be shut down by a failure of a single valve. It's not like they can route around the failed valve. They're investigating ways to re-open the sealed pipe in addition to drilling others.

Re:sounds like poor engineering? (5, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 7 months ago | (#46124005)

Am I the only one thinking an entire plant should be more redundant and resilient than the failure of a single valve?

FYI: The Death Star design team has a vacancy.

Re:sounds like poor engineering? (5, Funny)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 7 months ago | (#46124083)

The Death Star design team has a vacancy.

Look, the target area is only *two meters* wide. It's a small thermal exhaust port, right below the main port. The shaft leads directly to the reactor system. Only a *precise* hit will start a chain reaction which would destroy the station. Plus, the shaft is ray-shielded, so they'll have to use proton torpedoes.

That's impossible, even for a computer.

Re:sounds like poor engineering? (4, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 7 months ago | (#46124221)

The Death Star design team has a vacancy.

Look, the target area is only *two meters* wide. It's a small thermal exhaust port, right below the main port. The shaft leads directly to the reactor system. Only a *precise* hit will start a chain reaction which would destroy the station. Plus, the shaft is ray-shielded, so they'll have to use proton torpedoes.

That's impossible, even for a computer.

Re-reading that dialog... Most of it sounds a little dirty.

Re:sounds like poor engineering? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46124325)

That's impossible, even for a computer.

It's not impossible. I used to bullseye womp rats in my T-16 back home, they're not much bigger than two meters.

Re:sounds like poor engineering? (4, Funny)

hamburger lady (218108) | about 7 months ago | (#46124431)

C-3PO: My God, you shoot small animals for fun? That's the first indicator of a serial killer, you freak!
Luke: There's two suns and no women! What the hell am I supposed to do?!

Re:sounds like poor engineering? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 7 months ago | (#46124427)

The Death Star design team has a vacancy.

Look, the target area is only *two meters* wide. It's a small thermal exhaust port, right below the main port. The shaft leads directly to the reactor system. Only a *precise* hit will start a chain reaction which would destroy the station. Plus, the shaft is ray-shielded, so they'll have to use proton torpedoes.

That's impossible, even for a computer.

Something something wamprats, something something dark side...

Re:sounds like poor engineering? (1)

ksandom (718283) | about 7 months ago | (#46125373)

Thumbwars reference [youtube.com]

Re:sounds like poor engineering? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 7 months ago | (#46124169)

I can only imagine. The intense heat, highly corrosive environment will fail many valves that aren't stainless steel. Perhaps this one was? I don't know.

Re:sounds like poor engineering? (2)

Hadlock (143607) | about 7 months ago | (#46124359)

Probably using the same Halliburton designed-and-tested valve technology as "too big to fail" deep water horizon.

Re:sounds like poor engineering? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46124425)

Am I the only one thinking an entire plant should be more redundant and resilient than the failure of a single valve?

Maybe you are the only one who is thinking that this is supposed to be an operational power plant?

This is an experiment. It is only the second time anyone has drilled into magma for power, and it is the first time anyone has successfully generated power from the setup.

So yeah, before they call it an operational power plant, they need to have more redundancy and yadda yadda yadda. Which takes nothing away from the fact that this is a nifty breakthrough experiment.

I don't get it (5, Funny)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 7 months ago | (#46123913)

Can someone with a thermodynamics background please explain to me how we can extract energy from Japanese cartoons?

Re:I don't get it (2)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 7 months ago | (#46123993)

With a match.

Re:I don't get it (2)

Iniamyen (2440798) | about 7 months ago | (#46124013)

The title of your post is spot on here.

Re:I don't get it (2)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 7 months ago | (#46124249)

I see that you're "aquisitionally challenged" yourself.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46124093)

I output a good deal of heat shucking my corn to Japanese cartoons.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46124121)

When manga is trapped in a pipe, the larger-than-life characters are placed under pressure. This creates heat, which then heats water and drives a steam turbine.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46124353)

Well, you can achieve over-unity power generation by harnessing the phase change between hope and despair. It works best with adolescent girls.

Re:I don't get it (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 7 months ago | (#46124601)

Its energy is over 9000!

Project Vulcan (1)

Dachannien (617929) | about 7 months ago | (#46123917)

I bet I can get them to pay me.... one million dollars... not to go through with this plan.

Re: Project Vulcan (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46123975)

This article is written poorly. They are confusing mantle with magma from an active volcanic field. The real mantle, which they even state is at least 8km thick, is not liquid either.

Should be titled something like they drill into a magma chamber.

Poor science writing.

Re: Project Vulcan (2)

bob_super (3391281) | about 7 months ago | (#46124503)

The crust under Iceland is really thin, it's a divergent continental plate boundary.

How to make your very own Mars. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46123957)

1. Pump massive amounts of CO2 into atmosphere.

2. Pump massive amounts of heat from inside planet into atmosphere.

3. Wait for core to cool and solar winds to blow away atmosphere.

4. Strip-mine minerals, now that pesky endemic life has been removed.

Re:How to make your very own Mars. (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | about 7 months ago | (#46124215)

Steps 1 and 2 got me thinking of a possible solution (as they outline a potential problem as well!) to our CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere.

If one combines the idea of a "Space-elevator" with a thin-walled tube reaching from a base-station/pumping station all the way out of the atmosphere, degassing would take place. The base of the tube would extend into the earth, surrounded by a sleeve that is keep full of atmospheric CO2 and open to the atmosphere at ground level. As CO2 is heavier than other atmospheric gasses, this sleeve would prevent a mixture of gasses from being drawn into the "elevator".

Before you dismiss the idea offhand, let me point out that we already do this on a smaller scale, only it is used to prevent a catastrophic spontaneous degassing (is this a possible outcome of us enriching the atmosphere with CO2?!?). See linked article on degassing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L... [wikipedia.org]

The diagram provided in the article is a suitable representation of what I just described, the low pressure area being space, and the high pressure area being the sleeve located at the base station/anchor.

Food for thought.

Re:How to make your very own Mars. (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | about 7 months ago | (#46124279)

The oxygen in the CO2 is atmospheric oxygen, not fossil oxygen. I'd just as soon not get rid of it.

Re:How to make your very own Mars. (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | about 7 months ago | (#46124375)

"The oxygen in the CO2 is atmospheric oxygen, not fossil oxygen. I'd just as soon not get rid of it."

Excellent point. I concur. Some way to crack the elements apart would be required, but even then the loss of carbon might not be a good idea, nor would it be retrievable.

But, there still remains the question of this happening spontaneously, without benefit of a space-elevator. Is it possible this process of limnic eruption could occur on a global scale (rather than a lake)? Perhaps a closer look at the evidence from Ceres would help answer that question.

Re:How to make your very own Mars. (2)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | about 7 months ago | (#46124635)

If you can crack it apart, then you can just bury the graphite in the empty coal mines and oil wells, if there's no better use for it.

But this is so energy intensive that's it's not likely to happen anytime soon.

As for a limnic eruption, that just gets CO2 out of solution from water. It doesn't get it off the planet. Earth's gravity is too strong for that.

Re:How to make your very own Mars. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46124919)

The atmosphere is 21% oxygen and 0.03% CO2, so that loss would be hardly noticeable.

Re:How to make your very own Mars. (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | about 7 months ago | (#46124299)

"... we already do this on a smaller scale, only it is used to prevent a catastrophic spontaneous degassing (is this a possible outcome of us enriching the atmosphere with CO2?!?"

Perhaps the recent eruptions of water on Ceres are a result of the same limnic eruption phenomenon seen at Lake Nyos. To be honest, this is somewhat worrying--could this same process occur, here on Earth, if we push the CO2 saturation level too high? A sudden degassing of the atmosphere, into space? Has this happened before, in the Earth's history?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L... [wikipedia.org]

Fracking bad herp derp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46123959)

This is a form of hydro-fracking; they're pumping deadly chemicals into the ground to break up the rock just like Big Oil does to recover natural gas. They're going to ruin their ground water when the sulfur and other dangerous contaminate it.

Re:Fracking bad herp derp (1)

Rei (128717) | about 7 months ago | (#46124759)

RTFA. The "deadly chemicals" used were precisely one chemical: that deadly dihydrogen monoxide stuff.

Fracking is not all a single process. At its most basic level, it's simply water injection. You *can* inject all sorts of other stuff in for various reasons (most of them oil-specific and totally unrelated to geothermal power prouction), but they're not fundamentally required for all fracking.

Re:Fracking bad herp derp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46125371)

Dihydrogen monoxide is a very deadly fracking chemical. Do your research before downplaying the dangers [dhmo.org] of Dihydrogen Monoxide.

Also, how do you know that's the only deadly chemical they're injecting into the Earth?? Big energy companies lie all the time!

!!FUN!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46123967)

I was just reading up on this subject. Keep an eye open for spires of bright blue metal.

woohoo! (1)

SolitaryMan (538416) | about 7 months ago | (#46123969)

If only we can build enough of these, so they would cool the earth down and thus solve the global warming problem!

It's amazing what those cartoons can do! (1)

sandbagger (654585) | about 7 months ago | (#46123973)

Who'd have guessed, eh?

In other news... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46123987)

...capitalism is still sustainable, NOT!

This to be BAD, real BAD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46124019)

They hydraulically fractured "fraced" the well... Two things the internet has taught me, kittens are cute and fracing is bad.

Re:This to be BAD, real BAD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46124065)

Yep. They're pumping dangerous fracking chemicals [armory.com] into a 1.3 mile deep bore hole, just like Big Oil does.

Careful! Don't let the gravity out (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46124023)

Careful! Don't let the gravity out. It might deflate and flbrrbrrrt away.

1.3 miles? (5, Interesting)

tomhath (637240) | about 7 months ago | (#46124027)

Iceland's National Energy Authority has created the world's first magma-based geothermal energy system after drilling 1.3 miles (2,100 meters) through the Earth's crust.

Could they have actually reached the mantle that close to the surface? I would believe they tapped into a volcano, but mantle doesn't sound right. Crust there is something like 15 km [norvol.hi.is] ??

Re:1.3 miles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46124291)

You'll have to ask a geologist if "magma" means "through the crust", it wouldn't surprise me if that's the case.

I can confirm, however, that it's the site of a volcano that had an active eruption in the 70s or 80s. (Wikipedia says 1975-84.) It's a cool place to visit (both the power station and the surrounding geological features.)

Joe

Re:1.3 miles? (4, Informative)

chmod a+x mojo (965286) | about 7 months ago | (#46124569)

Iceland is currently rifting, so it is technically possible. From reading the article this isn't what has happened though.
From what the article states they simply drilled to near the magma chamber of a volcano. I say "near" because in all likelihood that is what they did; If they had actually pierced the magma chamber there is an extremely high probability that it would trigger an eruption, especially after adding volatiles ( water for steam in this case ).

Except for the said rifting, where the island is literally being torn apart from plates diverging, Iceland typically has eruptions somewhere in the middle of the scale from effusive ( think Hawaii, lava just kind of oozes or sprays out without producing huge plumes of ash) and the more violent explosive ( think yellowstone / mount st Helens / the classic huge cloud of ash and lightening volcanos ). Volatiles such as dissolved CO2 and H2O play an enormous part in controlling how violent an eruption is, basically more volatiles = more boom, and adding water to a magma chamber is not going to turn out pretty... do a quick search for Krakatoa to find out what happens ( supposedly anyways, it's what data suggest anyways) when you breach a magma chamber and add volatiles.

Source: I'm starting my 3rd year undergrad as a Geologist, and plan to go to grad school focusing on Vulcanology....

Re:1.3 miles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46124669)

Sounds like this is not a particularly advisable activity at any scale.

Re:1.3 miles? (2)

Rei (128717) | about 7 months ago | (#46124787)

So you think cooling down the magma (boiling water) increases the likelihood of an eruption? Do you think water will go through the pipe with enough pressure to break the pipe and rupture the surrounding rock, when they're controlling how much water they send down the pipe in the first place? You think dissolved gasses will come out faster somehow when they're doing nothing to reduce the pressure on the magma?

There's no logical reason why such a borehole should trigger an eruption. It should overall decrease the risk by taking heat out of it, making the magma more viscous if not outright solidifying it.

Re:1.3 miles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46125019)

Temperature gives you an indication of how much energy might exist in a system, but it doesn't tell you how that energy is distributed. It's uneven distributions of energy that cause effects like explosions.

In the case of the water pipe, you've got a hot pipe weakened by thermal expansion, high pressure steam being driven through it, and huge pressure from the rock formations around it resisting its expansion. If (when) it fails, that steam is going to leak into the rock and form bubbles of pressure within the rock. It's not taking heat out of the system unless it can escape - it's just adding pressure to it. If the additional pressure exceeds the 'spare' capacity of the rock formations penning in the magma, the rock gives way and you get an earth shattering kaboom,

Re:1.3 miles? (1)

khallow (566160) | about 7 months ago | (#46124815)

Well when you drill, it's generally through something. I doubt the journalist intended to imply that the drill actually made it all the way through. And there should be a bunch of near surface magma bodies in Iceland.

Re:1.3 miles? (1)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 7 months ago | (#46124993)

The pressures present where the crust and mantle meet are intense. When drilling wells you need a lubricant to assist the drill and prevent the hole form collapsing. Heaving drilling mud is typically used.

At the pressures that exist the mantle the drilling mud would be squeezed out (that is if it wasn't immediately baked solid) and you would need a much heavier denser liquid. It's been proposed that the only lubricant that would be heavy enough would be molten iron. So no, they didn't drill into the mantle.

Little Iceland = Big Power Supplier! (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 7 months ago | (#46124063)

This could potentially be a boon for Iceland's economy for heavy electrical use industry.

Mantle or Magma Chamber? (5, Informative)

Capt.Albatross (1301561) | about 7 months ago | (#46124085)

The IDDP's own reports on this project do not describe it as having reached the mantle. Other reports described it as having reached a magma chamber within the upper crust.

Re:Mantle or Magma Chamber? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46124171)

The IDDP's own reports on this project do not describe it as having reached the mantle. Other reports described it as having reached a magma chamber within the upper crust.

Yup. They reached a pocket of molten rock. They probably did not drill all the way through the crust to touch that big layer of mantle rock. Other stories are much better written.

Re:Mantle or Magma Chamber? (1)

rk (6314) | about 7 months ago | (#46124369)

The CW article kind of confuses the two. But they didn't bore down to the mantle. The original news announcement doesn't even contain the world "mantle".

Magma deep (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 7 months ago | (#46124095)

"the first bore hole to reach the planet's magma"

Jedediah Leland: *hic* It's Friday quittin' time *hic* and I'm drunk *hic*. The only bore hole that deep I know *hic* is the mouth of a [insert political party you hate here].

how does this work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46124153)

They extract steam from the pipe. Where does the water get pumped in? I'm a PhD student in materials engineering, and I read the article, but I don't get it. Anyone?

Re:how does this work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46124225)

Do you know how a 4-stroke engine works? Something like that I imagine, with liquid water instead of petrol and magma instead of spark plugs.

Re:how does this work? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46124259)

Drill a deep hole, close to some magma. Put two pipes down the hole. Pump cool surface water into one pipe, get superheated steam from the other (because the water got heated by the magma). Use the steam in a power plant. Profit!

About time (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 7 months ago | (#46124175)

This is one of those long-term sources of energy, like the sun, that will last forever, in practical terms, as when that power drys up, we are moving off planet anyway as we are in bigger trouble.

It's not the mantle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46124183)

Magma != mantle. It's a magma chamber beneath Iceland at a pretty good depth, yes, but it isn't the mantle, which is several kilometres deeper.

typically (1)

Mr_Nitro (1174707) | about 7 months ago | (#46124223)

this tech will remain unexplored and unfinished for the next 100 years, when lifespan will have reverted back to mid 30' due to total pollution... nice...between magmatech and solar we could solve all probs, right here right now.... but no...head in the ass and keep marching...

But will it work elsewhere? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46124379)

Here's the billion dollar question: Does this technique work anywhere, or just geothermally active areas like Iceland and Yellowstone? Iceland has all the clean energy it needs already (and tons to spare - see the huge Bitcoin mine someone built there to take advantage of the cheap electicity)

Re:But will it work elsewhere? (1)

Rei (128717) | about 7 months ago | (#46124819)

Energy from magma chambers only works... wait for it... in places with magma chambers.

Any more easy questions?

If you want a "works everywhere" tech to watch, watch EGS. My favorite variety is a no-fracking variety where they branch off the well in the hot zone and use a conductive grout, turning the well into a giant heat exchanger. Totally closed, so it's non-corrosive and strata-indifferent - needs only heat. But of course, in the end it's going to be whatever's most economic that will take off.

Now that's dorfy! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46124541)

I don't suppose these people were inspired by Dwarf Fortress, were they?

Thermal Mine Yellowstone! (1)

Camel Pilot (78781) | about 7 months ago | (#46124545)

We need a few hundred of these around the North American Hot Spot before the next time it blows its top.

Re:Thermal Mine Yellowstone! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46124643)

It'd work great but it would shut off the geysers...

Re:Thermal Mine Yellowstone! (1)

Camel Pilot (78781) | about 7 months ago | (#46125033)

Geysers vs Extinction Event.... Hmmmm tough decision.

Actually the geyser represent a tiny amount of energy... we could always create fake geysers though :)
 

Re:Thermal Mine Yellowstone! (1)

neghvar1 (1705616) | about 7 months ago | (#46124763)

It probably has been proposed, but I bet the EPA has prohibited it.

Re:Thermal Mine Yellowstone! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46125397)

Just imagine how much damn energy you could get out of that thing!

It'd need to be handled delicately, but it could be done.
And it is probably the safest way to dismantle a supervolcano.

Of course, then you have to think, "is it a GOOD thing to disable a supervolcano in the long run?"
Mind you, Yellowstone is pretty weak anyway. It has been getting considerably weaker every time it has popped.
It wouldn't even obliterate all of America. I'd be surprised if the effects even reached Europe or Russia.
There is more chance of the crust melting because neutrinos. God that film was stupid.

No need to read tech news, just read Judge Dredd (4, Funny)

cptnapalm (120276) | about 7 months ago | (#46124765)

Between magma powered energy, government spy drones, the obesity problem with the corresponding fat acceptance demands and the militarization of the police, everything I learned about the future, I learned from reading Judge Dredd comics.

Tungsten (1)

neghvar1 (1705616) | about 7 months ago | (#46124781)

I assume if direct contact with lava/magma is expected, the pipes or tubes would be made of tungsten. Possibly with a carbon fiber lining.

It's just a matter of digging a hole (1)

Sla$hPot (1189603) | about 7 months ago | (#46124891)

How hard can it really be?

Now take a huge strong tungsten cylinder, with thick walls and fill it with uranium 238.
Put a hook in one end and let it melt it's way down to reptilian depts.
Then add water.
Voila!

Saw that movie... (1)

Tim OBrien (3507173) | about 7 months ago | (#46125297)

"Crack in the World" (1965). Might be on YouTube. Not bad for its time.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>