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Author Topic: The end of coal  (Read 12440 times)
TonyK
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« Reply #120 on: July 16, 2021, 08:18:40 am »

Here's a thought why not use the sites for geothermal,after all there's a fair amount of water already present ,and a good deal of the drilling has been done for you,I'm thinking something along the lines of what's happening at the Eden Project in Cornwall.

The heat in the "hot rocks" being exploited in Cornwall is found in granite. Coal is formed by peat being compressed by sediments, so the ground is much softer and a lot cooler. The temperature of the water in an abandoned coal mine is around 16°C. Although warm enough to be of benefit in a heating system, because warming water from 16°C to 50°C takes a lot less energy than starting at 4°C, you can't make electricity directly from it. In the hot granite in Cornwall, the temperature of the water is around 180°C. The steam can be used directly to power turbines, or through heat exchangers to heat water to above boiling point. The cooler waste water can be fed to zonal heating systems, as is proposed in Cornwall, or pumped back underground to heat up again.

The heat in the hot rocks comes mainly from radioactive decay. The Cornish hot water contains much higher concentrations of Thorium than are found elsewhere, although not sufficiently high as to be harmful in normal circumstances. I believe the drilling has found aquifers, but "dry" rocks can be exploited by pumping water into boreholes at sufficient pressure to form cracks.

Don't say it too loudly - this is nuclear energy, that could be exploited on a much wider scale by fracking.
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