Iceland taps the ultimate renewable energy source: Earth's magma
Iceland plans a second drilling operation in coming years
Computerworld - 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.
It is only the second time that a drilling operation has broken through to magma, which would typically found in the Earth's Mantle, the group said. It is the world's first magma-based enhanced geothermal system (EGS).
The drilling operation was the work of the Iceland Deep Drilling Project (IDDP), a consortium of the National Energy Authority of Iceland and the nation's leading energy companies.
The borehole is located in Krafla, in northeast Iceland, near a volcanic crater. The hole created a shaft with high-pressure, super-heated steam that could power a nearby electrical plant, the project leaders said.
"According to the measured output, the available power was sufficient to generate up to 36 megawatts electricity, compared to the installed electrical capacity of 60 megawatts in the Krafla power plant," IDDP stated in a document.
The team was able to bore the deep hole by pumping in cold water to break up the rock next to the magma in a process known as hydrofracking.
Once the IDDP reached molten magma, it lined the bottom of the bore hole with a steel casing, creating a shaft of high-pressure steam that exceeded 842 degrees Fahrenheit (450 Celsius). The project broke a world record for geothermal heat and power.
The team said the steam from the IDDP-1 well, as it's called, could be fed directly into the power plant at Krafla.
Iceland's National Power Company was preparing to connect to the magma-powered steam pipe just before the hole had to be closed due to a valve failure.
IDDP, however, is planning to attempt a reopening of IDDP-1, as well as to drill a second borehole (IDDD-2) in Reykjanes, Iceland, in the coming years.
"In various parts of the world so-called EGS geothermal systems ... are being created by pumping cold water into hot dry rocks at 4 to 5 km depths. Then the heated water is taken up again as hot water or steam from nearby production wells. In recent decades, there has been considerable effort invested in Europe, Australia, USA, and Japan, with uneven results and typically poor results," the IDDP stated.
The Earth's layers
Scientists theorize that the Earth is made up of four layers: a crust, a mantle, a core and an inner core. The sub-ocean crust is three to five miles thick, and the continental crust is 20 to 30 miles thick. That crust only makes up about 1% of the Earth's mass.
- Why Projects Fail CIOs are expected to deliver more projects that transform business, and do so on time, on budget and with limited resources.
- The New Business Case for Video Conferencing: 7 Real-World Benefits Beyond Cost-Savings This whitepaper provides insight into the value of video conferencing in today's business environment, and how organizations are using visual collaboration to find...
- Gartner Magic Quadrant for Client Management Tools The client management tool market is maturing and evolving to adapt to consumerization, desktop virtualization, and an ongoing need to improve efficiency.
- Audit Ready and Asset Optimized: The Solid Promise of an Intelligent Software Asset Management Solution In this paper Frost & Sullivan examines the benefits of enterprise-grade Software Asset Management solutions, and how these solutions serve as the convergence...
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy... All Sustainable IT White Papers | Webcasts