Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Iceland: Reykjanes Geothermal Deep Drilling Project

Magma power: creating energy from water as hot as lava (World Economic Forum)

View from the MAR, by Robert Zierenberg. View from the Mid Atlantic Ridge spreading center where it come ashore on the Reykjanes Peninsula. The drill rig Thor in the distance is drilling the Iceland Deep Drilling Project - 2 drill hole, to a target depth of 5 km, in search of black smoker fluids formed under super critical T-P conditions.  
Iceland is about to tap into water as hot as lava. Several kilometres below ground, a drilling rig named Thor will soon penetrate the area around a magma chamber, where molten rock from the inner Earth heats up water that has seeped through the seafloor. This water – up to 1,000°C and saturated with corrosive chemicals – will eventually be piped up to the surface and its heat turned into usable energy.

It is a huge engineering challenge, and one which may usher in a new age of geothermal power production. Existing geothermal projects around the world need waters heated to less than 300°C, so why go to this extra effort and expense?

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