It is important to remember that the sun is the source of all geothermal energy. NASA has some spectacular videos that give you a feel for the power of our sun! Try this video on for size (careful, it can be mesmerising). According to the leader on the video, this 15 minute video required about 150 hours of special technicians’ time to prepare. It is made from ten different wavelength exposures, each shown in different colours here, taken every 10 seconds.
P.S. If you get a white box with or without advertising in the middle of the screen, you can cancel it, Mouse-over the upper right corner area – when you see a small black circle with an “x” in it, click on it. That should close all the garbage and give you an unrestricted view. It is even more spectacular full screen!
“Analemma” – No, I didn’t know what it meant either until I saw this article online. I found the text and the image from “Starwalk” on facebook and I tracked that back to “Mandaladana” via “E-A-R-T-H-Q-U-A-K-E” and “st0rmer” on Tumbler. The text and the image are from Mandaladana on Tumbler:
Analemma. The sun’s position in the sky, photographed from the same location at the same time of day throughout a year, forms an analemma. This shows the sun’s apparent swinging from its northernmost position, at the analemma’s uppermost point, at summer solstice, to its southernmost position/lowest point, at winter solstice. http://bit.ly/1booLAp
Just a quick welcome to those of you who arrived here via www.hotdry.rocks or www.dryhot.rocks. One or the other of those two will eventually become the mother site for this blog, if I ever get a round tu-it.
Switzerland Tries Again for a successful geothermal project in the mountains of Canton Jura.
The idea of using geothermal energy in Switzerland was abandoned after projects led to earthquakes. Now canton Jura is planning a new geothermal project, one that should avoid past mistakes. http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/renewable-energy_geothermal-project-with-smaller-seismic-risk/41494690?moreComments=true#comment_559cfd89e4b0be33f6a53d97
As I commented on the SwissInfo article, one of the primary mistakes that the geothermal industry in general has made in Switzerland was to try to install the underground facilities – essentially hot water collector(s) and cooler water return to the same formation downstream – close to urban areas, where population and building densities are both relatively high.
My understanding of the project in Canton Jura is that (a) it will be very cautious in the drilling and fracturing procedures, and (b) the project will be out in the countryside where the damage – if any – should be negligable. Few buildings to crack, fewer people to frighten. These are advantages that many geothermal installations in other countries have made use of, some perhaps unknowingly.
We will see how far the project proceeds, both politically and technically. It is the first new Swiss project announced since the report from the Centre for Technology Assessment TA-SWISS, recommending that Switzerland proceed with geothermal technology in November last year.
There should be large sources of geothermal energy in the Swiss mountains, and these in areas where nothing will be damaged, even should there be artificial earthquakes of the mangitude seen to date in Basel and St. Gallen. I am sure that – if we are clever enough to tap it – there is more than enough thermal energy underneath Switzerland than is produced by today’s Swiss nuclear facilities. And the price and the hazard levels should be much more attractive.
Comments? We can’t see them if you don’t write them!
As reported elsewhere here on Geothermal Energy Disadvantages (Plug Pulled on St Gallen Geothermal Power Project, Geothermal Energy Disadvantages), it has been difficult to achieve geothermal energy success in Switzerland in modern usages (forgetting warm springs and such that are decades old or even older). A new study, however writes that Switzerland should not give up its efforts to achieve some success.
The website www.swissinfo.ch has this to say about the recent report:
Despite recent seismic events related to drilling for geothermal power sources, a new study has concluded that Switzerland should continue to pursue geothermal energy as part of its future strategy.
The study from the Centre for Technology Assessment TA-SWISS argues that energy production from geothermal sources is … (read more)
One of the most obvious solutions is to try to build a more substantial geothermal energy facility in a lightly populated area and let the earthquakes come. If the geothermal energy source is strong enough, production of electricity only should yield a profitable project, given the advances in low-level thermal conversion units today. These would not be competitive with units on the order of what Iceland can produce, but the objective for Switzerland is to provide power to a country that has more demand than its natural resources can produce (Switzerland does produce about 55% of the total power production as hydropower (the rest is primarily nuclear in three old power plants which will be shut down at some point and not replaced with nuclear energy). In addition, there are hardly any ecologically and economically acceptable sources of hydropower left untapped.
The need is there, the industry only has to figure out how to tap it.
This time, through no fault of its namesake, the Icelandic Berlusconi-cano (named after the infamous Bunga-Bunga parties?) Barðarbunga made the news again today. Why? Because in addition to Barðabunga starting to kick up its heels again, a quadcopter drone with a video camera managed to get close enough to capture some typical volcano-type activity (at the expense of a molten lense). Here’s the video:
And here’s the video of how the people from DJI did it:
And this is the video of how the ground movement takes place as the ash and lava ridge grows (thanks to Kristinn Ingi Petursson at www.kip.is [sorry for those who tried to type in the link – I misspelled the domain, name but the link was okay – both are ok now.).
Thanks to everybody for the fascinating videos!
Imagine how much potential geothermal heat energy is going up in smoke, ash, steam and lost heat here!
The second video below is not new and it is not exactly on subject, but it attracted my attention again as Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano starts to flex it’s muscles.
Published by the BBC two years ago, on 2 September 2012, reporter Kate Humble heads to Iceland and meets the scientists monitoring the country’s most dangerous volcanoes. She also investigates the biggest eruptions in Iceland’s past.
The video – as a friend of mine noted, is both fascinating and frightening. It is difficult to stop watching, so you need to be aware in advance that the show is almost an hour long. Plan accordingly!
Will Katla explode again? Will the Yellowstone Park magma accumulation explode? The answer is – “undoubtedly, yes!” The more critical question is “When?” and no one has the tools (at least to public knowledge today) to be able to accurately predict the answers to that question.
To reflect a little on our main subject, the energy displayed in this video generally is the forefather of the energy we recover from volcanic areas in producing geothermal energy. Iceland does this successfully today. I expect that we will never be able to recover more than a tiny fraction of one percent of the energy that is released when just one of these volcanoes erupts. But that potential is a source that outweighs all the other sustainable and renewable energies combined.