Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Over 100 Gigawatts of New Electrical Generation Capacity Discovered!

100 Gigawatts of genuine, baseload, 24 hour a day, 7 day a week available power generation capacity has been sitting under our noses all along, waiting for someone crafty enough and ambitious enough to utilise it. Here is how it works out:

Scientists at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Guangzho have determined that abandoned oil wells offer an average of 54 kW of electrical power. And with over 2.5 million abandoned oil wells in the US alone, that works out to over 100 GW of electrical power capacity, standing by for anyone willing to install the necessary plumbing and small generators.
Old oil and gas wells often plunge several kilometres deep to reach reserves. Refitting their shafts to circulate water could provide an easy way to extract this energy, says Xianbiao Bu and colleagues from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Guangzho.

The team proposes a pipe-within-a-pipe design. Water would flow down one pipe to the bottom of the well, heat up and then be pumped up an inner pipe to the surface, where it would drive a turbine (Renewable Energy, DOI: 10.1016/j.renene.2011.10.009).

Xianbiao believes that a typical well could produce around 54 kilowatts of electricity - not much compared to a full-sized power plant running on coal, gas or nuclear energy. But with an estimated 2.5 million abandoned oil and gas wells in the US alone, huge stores of energy could be going untapped. _NewScientist

This resource is not a centralised GW scale power source, such as a nuclear or coal power plant. But the availability of a reliable source of power -- which might easily add to MW scales in many areas -- could easily provide a financial focus for meaningful economical activity.

And here is an idea that will make EROEI aficionados unhappy: Reliable, decentralised power in old oil fields might be put to use in the production of new oil wells. It is said that the best place to look for new oil, is where old oil has been found. What an irony if geothermal electricity using abandoned oil wells puts a new spin on those words.



Blogger Whirlwind22 said...

I wish all of this stuff would be put into action instead of ideas on paper. Lets hope its better than the Fukushima disaster. http://www.collapsenet.com/free-resources/collapsenet-public-access/news-alerts/item/5231-fukushima-dangers-attract-new-attention

Mike Ruppert wants to shut down all nuclear reactors while we still have the time cause industrial civilization is collapsing.

His ravings aside is this the "China Syndrome?"

6:07 PM  

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