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Science Thursday Ep15 (Geothermal Power)

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hello youtube viewers welcome to my show
science Thursday in today’s episode we’re gonna take a look at another
source of power geothermal energy so let’s dive right into it
so what it is basically that heat inherent to earth itself basically it’s
heat from down under so where does that heat in the first
place comes from Energy cannot be created nor destroyed
so first source of energy that is that many of you know that star creates
what’s called accretion disks like there is a disc around the star that you know
combines and becomes planets now that when that happens lot of energy is
conserved in form of heat like you know that’s why all the planets generally end
up with you know orbit that is more or less I you don’t have orbit that is
going like there is one another plant will a little bit up and down is
possible but you would more or less you will end up with a disc like system so
when that happens lot of energy is being conserved and lot of impact damage that
is happening because of gravity like you know many of you have heard of something
known as late bombardment period that happens because like you know once
Earth’s become big enough every small rocks gets attracted towards it so
that’s like dumping a lot of heat energy into it now what happens to that heat
because Earth is in space space which is a vacuum it’s insulated from everything
there is nothing to conduct that heat away so that heat gets trapped inside
now it starts to cool from the outside obviously that’s why we have crushed
crushed is the first thing that cooled now
crust itself is cooled atmosphere itself cannot radiate too much heat away so
this takes millions and millions and millions and millions of years to
actually cool down to the core point so till then we have infinite source of
energy or basically as long as Earth is there we have this source second the
energy is coming from it’s what’s called radioactive decay basically when you
have uranium it gives off a little bit of radiation now imagine hundreds and
thousands and thousands of megatons of uranium and heavy elements being here
that is you know dumping very it’s not that much if you take one kilogram of it
it’s not giving that much heat but when you have Earth’s size kind of object
where you have Giga tons of it it produces enough heat so these are the two
source of heat that’s giving heat to it it’s not solar do not mistake it with
solar , solar does you know affect how quickly it cools down or how
slowly it cools on but it is not the source of it. This is independent from solar
now many of you inherently know this geothermal energy by hot springs so why
we have so much interest in it first it has very little to small environmental
impact now you might be like okay why there is a environmental impact if we
are using this and I don’t mean you know the energy you need to make this
infrastructure I mean it inherently releases carbon dioxide everybody like
where this that carbon dioxide coming from that carbon dioxide is trapped in
earth there is many other impact also the methane would be released many
things get trapped underground and if you drill down there there is a risk
that you can release them and over time you do release them like of course it’s
nowhere near like for 1 megawatt you have to release let’s say 1 ton of
co2 here it’s invert of that it’s like for 1 megawatt you are barely releasing
10 kilograms of CO2 so inherently in comparison on balance it’s a
very very small fraction but it is there it’s not zero it’s not solar it’s not
zero it has some footprint and it’s an ancient technology the oldest that we
know of like there may be older than that is from Chinese dynasty that is
from 300 BC so suffice to say from very old time we know that and this has one
unique ability that very few green power can provide it’s what is called 24 X 7 power base load capacity basically it can give that much power and be done
with it it’s like it’s gonna give you 800 megawatt no matter what depending on
your plant size so how does it work well it’s very crucial as the stage of
humanity we are very location dependent basically you have to have nature
helping you out here now where these hot springs are it’s kind of random
sometimes they appear near our tectonic fault plates sometimes happens because
of volcanoes so there is a lot of natural element to it it’s not just like
you can just go anywhere & drill if you can drill very deep then it’s not an
issue but we don’t have the technology yet to do so, so at this point
we are very location dependent that’s why you will hear Iceland Philippines
and all those places coming because they’re somehow naturally ended up in a
place where they have lot of geological activity which is
giving them hot springs then once you find the location you did
now this drill is not your normal water inlet this was very deep upwards of two
to three kilometers sometimes even deeper than that and the bore diameter
is also carefully calculated to maximize the energy output and then you set up a
power plant the power plant setup is kind of big different here because many
of this power plant what they do is like they pump water directly into that well
and that well starts to heat that water and then they have what’s
called drain well basically they are injecting water from one point it’s
heating it up steam is coming up from two other wells so it’s kind of open
cycle system and that also creates a another risk that it can
create earthquakes not very powerful earthquake but minor earthquakes as I’m
a Richter scale three most buildings can be standard without any issue but it
does make it geologically active because of that water creating pressure
at that place where there is no water so it’s kind of very unstable
but if you have natural formation as in like it already is a magma chamber there
then you can draw electricity out of it without causing major ecological damage
so we if we have all these things what kind of power can we expect USA
Philippines and Iceland they’re kind of leading to charge the u.s. is not
leading the charge because the even though it it has the biggest power plant
there is the glacier in USA problem is that it provides a very small fraction
of energy of USA’s power consumption and in case of Philippines it
Philippines gets upwards of 17 percent of its total energy from geothermal
that’s why you will hear people say Philippines and Iceland because they’re
getting larger proportion of their overall electricity from geothermal but
if you talk about a raw power like raw megawatts USA still in ahead and second
power plant is like 225 megawatts and suffice to say this power plant you may
find this number to be quite small and it is true because modern solarcell farm
that I have made a video about it’s already reaching a point where we are
making 800 megawatt 2000 megawatt 20,000 megawatts so suffice to say it’s not as
powerful as we think so but it still provides a unique
source of energy now what we can expect in the future is very simple we want to
reduce emission by any & all means possible so older designs were not
taking into consideration the emission that used to happen because of this it
was so little that they didn’t care now they do care now they’re like okay let’s
reduce that co2 emission let’s try to make sure if methane starts to
come out they burn it because carbon dioxide is a lesser of two evils
basically so we will burn the methane and there is arsenic other things
mercury things starts to come up so we have to filter it out we you don’t want
to directly release into the atmosphere so we are making sure even the old power
plants that have been working for 20 30 to 50 years they are getting a new smoke stack to clean those things out and we have to create in such a way
Iceland recently was making a very big plant and problem they cancelled it
because it started creating earthquakes now not big powerful earthquake you may
not even notice it if you are in a car or things like that but it did started
to create a unbalanced scenario that happens because we started using
fracking the fracking technology that we use for oil extraction and it has the
ability to destabilize a localized area it’s not going to cause a cataclysmic
level earthquake but it’s it can destabilized local regions so for that
reason we have to do better studies in this and the final nail in the coffin
while geothermal is not becoming as popular as it would be is because of its
low efficiency basically to extract the power out of it and at the end of the
day I always specify money talks so because of the slow efficient that means
if you spend whatever money you spend let’s say 1 billion dollar to build a
plant it will take very long time to get that 1 billion dollar back and not to
mention things brake you need maintenance money you need a replacement
money as in like any component brakes down you also need to pay for staff you
also need to pay for taxes you also need to compensate for inflation so this
efficiency is very serious bottom neck we can have lot more power from
geothermal but we cannot because you know it does not have enough efficiency
but it is profitable any company or country that does that
most places it is profitable it’s just not as lucrative as solar as I already
mentioned in I solar video that Solar is reaching
price parity this is far from it however it does provide base load capacity so
this was my small presentation on geothermal energy I hope you liked it or
learn from it in that is please leave a like if you didn’t yeah dislike it and
leave a comment what you want to see in the next episode of science Thursday and
I would suggest you subscribe and press the bell icon as I make video everyday
and as always thanks for watching

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