Iceland is using geothermal energy for decades and is known because of its strong lavas. Now, the northern European country embarked on a new journey, a project which entails drilling down into the molten magma to create a new sustainable energy source, one that is the most strongest.
This will include drilling a 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) deep hole in a volcano located at the southwest corner of Iceland, which is also matched to be world’s hottest hole, having temperatures between 400 and 1,000 degrees Celsius.
As this may be used to create supercritical steam that may run a turbine generating up to 50 megawatts of electricity, the temperature is very important. This will make it ten times better compared to conventional geothermal wells around the world.
In Iceland, geothermal energy wells power more than a quarter of the nation. This new technique will by large boost the capacity of this energy source.
And to cut down of the inefficiencies in the act, the Iceland Deep Drilling Project (IDDP) is trying to avoid the stone completely and drill into the magma oozing into volcanoes.
This technique was devised when the IDDP inadvertently drilled into a magma reservoir while attempting to build a conventional geothermal well. This hole was about 2 kilometres (1.25 miles) below the surface, and when they poured water down the hole, they found it to be a massively strong geothermal well creating over 30 megawatts of power.
Continuing that finding, the procedure was repeated for several holes in the active Reykjanes area of Iceland. Now, the researchers expect to find the Mid-Atlantic Ridge where the magma temperatures increase to 1,000 degrees Celsius! Also, this is the space where Earth’s tectonic plates border.
Albert Albertsson, assistant director of an Icelandic geothermal energy business called HS Orka have stated that they have already drilled into hard rock at this depth, but never before into a substance that is fluid like the magma.
Pressures and the temperatures in this type of well are not so low, hence it is anticipated to create ‘supercritical steam’, which will be a state of matter which is neither liquid nor gas. It’s not useless because it can carry a lot more heat energy than gas or liquid. This steam is not incapable, but on the contrary it holds capacity to generate up to 50 megawatts, which will be around ten times more when compared to a typical geothermal well. The benefits are wondrous – supply energy to 50, 000 houses!!
Arnar Gudmundsson from a local government agency that encourages energy development, have stated that if they are able to get supercritical steam in deep boreholes, that can make an order of magnitude difference to the quantity of geothermal energy that the wells can generate.
Although that is all theoretical, if it does materialise, the renewable energy equation can be changed big time by this
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