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Welsh National Peltier

Grind Wales and give it purpose
  [vote for,

Next time you're dismantling a defunct Peltier (thermoelectric) module, examine it closely.

Sandwiched between the two ceramic faces are a series of short pillars with spaces in between them; these are semiconductive material (alternate pillars being N- and P-type). The tops and bottoms of adjacent pillars are connected electrically, so that there is a sort of long, continuous zig-zag path all the way across the module, running up one P- pillar and down the adjacent N-pillar. This arrangement is sufficient to pump heat when a current is passed through the device or, conversely, to generate electricity when one face of the device is warmer than the other (or vice versa, natch).

But you already know that. You probably also know that the temperature of the Earth's rocks increases gradually as you go down. (I mean that the lower rock strata are generally warmer. Obviously, they don't actually become warmer simply because you, personally, are going down.)

Now, come with me, if you will, to Wales, and look around. If you can look at Wales and not think "Peltier!", then you have no soul.

Doubtless you've figured it out already, but here is the plan.

Most of Wales, of course, is riddled with mine shafts. In fact, they only stopped mining because they realized that, if they continued, the entire country would simply flump down a couple of hundred metres and they'd have to start all over again, except this time under water.

If you know your Welsh geology as well as I think you do, you'll be aware that many of these shafts run vertically through dense slate and other imperveable rocks. However, the rocks at the bases of these shafts tend to be porous (which is why they stopped digging downward at that point) - typically sandstones, chalks and the like. Similarly, there are porous sedimentary rocks near the surface.

So, it's all blindingly obvious. The first job is to ensure that the bottom-most layer of porous rock is water-saturated (which it probably is already), and that the water it holds is quite conductive. This can easily be accomplished by using it as a repository for soluble heavy-metal waste, which can be pumped in under pressure.

Once the lower porous layer is rendered adequately conductive, we need to re- open all of those capped-off mine shafts, and start semi-conducting. Based on a large-scale Ordnance Survey map and some careful computations, each mine shaft will be designated either "P" or "N", and will then be filled with molten silicon doped with the appropriate additive.

Fortunately, Wales has a good many sandy beaches which can provide just enough silicon for the project. Naturally, nobody is likely to want to sunbathe on the Welsh coast, so this is an otherwise wasted resource. Local refineries, processing the sand into P- or N-type semiconductor, will provide much-needed employment for the native people.

With the mine-shafts all filled in this way, all that remains is to establish the final conducting layer that links them all together at the top. Once again, a programme of intensive heavy-metal doping (this time of the upper porous rock layers) will be undertaken to accomplish this.

As the conduction-path in the upper rocks is completed, there will be a loud humming noise and a smell of ozone, as a several teraAmps of current start to weave their way up and down, back and forth, beneath what remains of the Welsh countryside. Two enormous terminals (one in Llandudno, one in Cardiff) will then be connected to the National Grid, and Wales will finally have reason to be proud.

[NOTE: If anyone from Wales is having this read to them, no offense was intended.]

MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 17 2008

Flump? http://www.google.c...as_nhi=&safe=images
[normzone, Sep 19 2008]


       Excellent. Especially the bit about the heavy metal waste. [+]
8th of 7, Sep 17 2008

       Somewhat off topic - Didn't the Welsh invent melted cheese?
xenzag, Sep 17 2008

       No, that would be an invention of the great French chef, Fondieu.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 17 2008

       dissing Wales?
po, Sep 17 2008

       I'd love to, thanks - maybe later?
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 17 2008

       // dissing Wales? //   

       Any nation with a language consisting entirely of paired consonants is undeserving of mercy .....
8th of 7, Sep 17 2008

       and your language is?
po, Sep 17 2008

8th of 7, Sep 17 2008

       There should be a category: Things to do with Wales.
zeno, Sep 17 2008

       Syniad da iawn - ond well i chi profio o cyntaf dwy'n meddwl - mae Lerpwl a Bristol yn neuad llinell mwy syth na'r llinell trwy Llandudno a Caerdydd a mae gan Loegr mwy tir a gregyn na Cymru: mwy tir, mwy trydan - sicr?   

       Bun ("Bara bach?") - for being cheeky enough to suggest this :)
monojohnny, Sep 17 2008

       //Syniad da iawn - ond well i chi profio o cyntaf dwy'n meddwl - mae Lerpwl a Bristol yn neuad llinell mwy syth na'r llinell trwy Llandudno a Caerdydd a mae gan Loegr mwy tir a gregyn na Cymru: mwy tir, mwy trydan - sicr?// Well, it's easy for you to say that. And no, since you ask, not since the operation.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 17 2008

       Just to make this clear, that I"m not specifically (necessarily) picking on England here:   

       s/Lerpwl/<Northern Town of whatever piece of rock you're from>/g   

       s/Bristol/<Southern Town of whatever piece of rock you're from, broadly in-line with the above>/g
monojohnny, Sep 17 2008

       //imperveable rocks//
Rocks that can never be classed alongside Gary Glitter?
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Sep 17 2008

       No, rocks that are both impervious and impermeable.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 17 2008

       So, when do the tickets for the Cardiff heavy metal festival go on sale? All this talk of pumping hot n'pervyable doped up slurrys going down my shaft is generating a fair bit of electricity in my National Grid, I can tell ye.
BunsenHoneydew, Sep 18 2008

       Excellent. And if it does't work, all those p- and n-semiconductor-filled mines can be turned into transistors to create the world's biggest computer - or maybe even the world's biggest amplifer.
hippo, Sep 19 2008

       You want to make Wales louder??
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 19 2008

       //Transistors//: Tunnel diodes?
Ling, Sep 19 2008

       Sinner diodes.
neelandan, Sep 19 2008

       [+] This also provides some much needed employment for all the miners who've been out of work since the 80s.
Wrongfellow, Sep 19 2008

       [+] You had me at "flump".
jutta, Sep 19 2008

       Flump? (link)
normzone, Sep 19 2008

       Yes, flump. It's a verb, anglicised from the Welsh "chgfllympwgyll", meaning "of a Welsh land mass or country, to collapse unexpectedely due to the final supporting column of rock giving way following excessive mining."   

       Wales, in fact, used to be several hundred feet above its present height, but has experienced three periods of major flumpage.   

       The Flumps, to whom Normzone refers, were in fact accurately modelled on early Welsh miners.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 19 2008

       // three periods of major flumpage //   

       Many English people in the Marches are looking forward to the long-awaited "Fourth Flump", which they assume will co-incide with the ending of the final cycle of the Aztec sun-stone calendar. On that day, when Wales finally sinks beneath the grey waters of the Atlantic, Offa's Dike will be lined with throngs of cheering English, waving the Flag of St. George, and carrying pointed sticks and mallets to prod any attempted escapeees back to their doom; the mallets will be useful for the removal of those clinging to the "edge".   

       And why is there such hatred and resentment of the Welsh by the English ?   

       Two words: "Max Boyce".   

       (It is not unreasonable to assume that total submersion beneath an ocean will go almost entirely unnoticed by the natives, inured as they are to low cloud and endless, stinging, drizzling rain; perhaps a comment like "Oh, the rain's a bit salty this morning", or "It's a bit wet out today, better take a second tank for your aqualung, dear.")
8th of 7, Sep 20 2008

       8/7, I think you got the accent wrong.
Ling, Sep 21 2008

       No, it's Wenglish for "makes a piercing, sorrowful, non-ignorable sound."
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 21 2008

       //But you already know that.//   

       Uh ... yeah.
Yeah, that's right.
<eyes shifting>
...knew all that stuff...


       If Wales were to flump, I could never photograph it and then there would be no more prints of Wales. That would be sad.   

       But it might be excuse to get rid of Camilla.
elhigh, Sep 22 2008

       // the final conducting layer that links them all together / heavy-metal doping (this time of the upper porous rock layers) //   

       Something wrong with stringing plain old cable between them?
BunsenHoneydew, Oct 23 2010


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