Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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The phrase 'crumpled heap' comes to mind.

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Earth Battery

Rival Nuclear Power using a hole full of water.
(+1, -1)
  [vote for,

It's Simple, It will last longer than democracy, it will cost as much as "Desert Storm" It will take a life-time to Complete, but I really think It is worth it. Somewhere on in Canada near Lake Superior dig a hole that is 100m wide and 20Km deep. Widen the base of the hole to 1Km with a 45º slope. (I know it is huge and expencive) The floor of the hole will be solid rock and about 600ºC. Now devert some water via concrete tubes from Lake Superior into the depths of the hole. At the bottom lay concrete tubes in coils for the water to rush through. With one Km2 of boiling space @ 600ºC the amount of steam produced could rival more than that of 15 nuclear powerplants. The only maintenance necessary would be on the turbines and tubes (which would need some kind of vavle system). The heat unleashed from the core of the earth would be unending. Power could be supplied cheap to all of North America! I figure the primary porblems are cost and time, Is there any other hole?
LED Prism, Jun 18 2003

Image of the Great Lakes http://www.great-lakes.net/lakes/
Including Lake Superior. [phoenix, Oct 06 2004]

https://en.m.wikipe.../wiki/Earth_battery [Ian Tindale, May 12 2018]


       Baked: geothermal power is well known and best done in areas where the heat is close to the surface (and without a huge hole in the ground). Examples of extensive use of geothermal power are New Zealand and Iceland which have significant active geothermal activity.
PiledHigherandDeeper, Jun 18 2003

       That's a mighty deep well.   

       For non-Americans, Lake Superior is the largest of the so-called Great Lakes - a group of 5 lakes in the northeastern US. (link)
phoenix, Jun 18 2003

       Where would you like this Km2 of tailings stacked?
lurch, Jun 18 2003

       Why would you want to cool down the earth? That would really give us some environmental headaches.
greglock, Sep 12 2003

       Be careful where you dig. Hot water is very agressive and tends to wash out nasty stuff from rock (Arsenic, Thorium, etc.) and you end up with sluge that is nearly as bad as nuclear waste. Single wall concrete tubes will not be enough, and keep the upper end of the hole real skinny for better protection.   

       I'm all for geothermal, but not in one single big hole.
kbecker, Sep 12 2003

       True that it would mean massive conduction systems form the center, but lots of industry that relies on extreme amounts of energy coud be placed very close to the facility creating great resources like liquid hydrogen, aluminum and titanium. The truth is that in retrospect it would not cool the earth at all as the hole is realitivly minute compared to the core of the earth and therefor removes only realitivly minute amounts of heat. Thats a good point about the sludge and the tube thickness, but remember we have many potential uses for chemical compounds that involve simple high heat reactions, it's carbon chains that are the problems in polluting, that and radio active material, which there probably wont be much. this creates annother resource, the tube thickness just creates another initial expence that will pay off.
LED Prism, Nov 23 2003

       There are 3.28 feet in one meter and 1000 meters in a kilometer. A 20km hole is 65,600 feet deep, more than twice the height of mount everest.   

       Where do you plan on putting the 157000000m^3 of dirt and rock?
Condiment, Nov 23 2003

       /Where do you plan on putting the 157000000m^3 of dirt and rock?/   

       SPACE! Moon II - the Quickening!
bungston, Nov 23 2003

       don't forget, twice the height but a small fraction of the diameter of mt. everest, I'b be supprised if it rivaled Lake superior in volume (not that I plan to do the math.) I love the space Idea, I'v been saying that about garbage for years! Toss it at the sun, when it burns: we get some of the energy back!
LED Prism, Nov 24 2003

       Apart from the fact that geothermal energy has been known and used for decades, there is also a problem with the thermal conductivity of rock. Once the plant has been in operation for a while, the rock surrounding the chamber will be significantly cooler than it was. At that point, your available power is limited by the rate of heat conduction through rock, which is not very high.   

       My understanding is that geothermal plants designed to produce high power rely on water circulating through rock fissures, to effectively increase the available area for heat collection.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 12 2018

       I think that vavle systems are widely under-utilised for all kind of hydraulic and thermal applications. I am heartened to see their usefulness appreciated in this idea.
pocmloc, May 12 2018

       I think the vavle is there so that, if you accidentally drill too deep, you don't flood the place with red-hot alva.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 12 2018

       There's no such thing as accidentally drilling too deep.
pocmloc, May 12 2018

       Apparently you’ve never visited a dentist.
RayfordSteele, May 13 2018

       I want some hot alva, it sounds delicious.
Voice, May 14 2018


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