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What would you do with a geothermal resource?  RSS feed

 
Claire Gardner
Posts: 48
Location: Idaho
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We have this amazing opportunity that sort of fell into our laps. We will be building an aquaponics dome where there is 160 degree F water available. We would like to convert some of that to electricity, and have this notion that a Stirling engine could probably do it... But there are a LOT of people who have spent a lot more time on off grid power systems than we have, and I'd love to know what they would do. We've been studying AP and permaculture, and we were building a rocket mass heater when this opportunity came along. We know it is too good to pass up, but want to make the most of it, too. (We are practically drooling over the microclimate possibilities!)
Anybody out there that can point us in the right direction?
Thank you!
 
R Scott
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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If it is a large source of 160 degree water, you can do ANYTHING that they do with a boiler system and it will only cost you the energy to run the pumps--

heat an AP system
heat a pool or pond to keep open water in the winter for livestock
hydronic heat for your house
hydronic heat for planting beds (in a greenhouse or outside)
domestic hot water

I would capture all the heat I needed before even thinking about creating electricity--you can't get close to the efficiency or cost of solar (yet). Doing ALL that heat listed above can be done from a very basic PV system--a couple panels and batteries.
 
Claire Gardner
Posts: 48
Location: Idaho
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Yeah.... Thanks for the input, I do appreciate it. Did I mention this is an amazing opportunity? All those things are done. It is an RV park / trailer court with a public hot pool, geothermal heat and water to the entire community, all the hot water we need for the AP greenhouse - and pretty much anything else we can dream up. There is STILL plenty of hot water to use. The people here have been doing good work for years, the "next step" is generating power.
 
Robert Ray
gardener
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Location: Cascades of Oregon
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When my wife was going to Boise State she lived in a house that had radiators and a hot tub that used the geothermal water there. It was great.
 
Miles Flansburg
master steward
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Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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bee books forest garden fungi greening the desert hugelkultur
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When I was in high school we lived at a campground that had 160 degree hotsprings. Pool, and shower houses all fed from the springs. Even the toilets were warm !
 
Morgan Morrigan
Posts: 1400
Location: Verde Valley, AZ.
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there is a group down the road, using the warmed water to grow and reproduce corals. They would likely be happy to help you set up a remote duplicate, so that they have a second, with no chance of bacterial contamination.


You can also use graphene to convert heat directly to electricity.



http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2011/JM/c1jm12938d?_escaped_fragment_=#divCompound
Use the methanol, flowing over copper. copper aligns the seperate crystals into linear structures, to conduct electrical flow best.

then run the heat exchanger past one of these.
physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2012/mar/08/graphene-in-new-battery-breakthrough

much simpler that the sterliing, and much better conversion rate.
 
Claire Gardner
Posts: 48
Location: Idaho
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Graphene - that is an intriguing lead! Thank you! I'll get digging!
 
Marcos Buenijo
pollinator
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Location: Southwest U.S.
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Claire Gardner wrote:We have this amazing opportunity that sort of fell into our laps. We will be building an aquaponics dome where there is 160 degree F water available. We would like to convert some of that to electricity, and have this notion that a Stirling engine could probably do it... But there are a LOT of people who have spent a lot more time on off grid power systems than we have, and I'd love to know what they would do. We've been studying AP and permaculture, and we were building a rocket mass heater when this opportunity came along. We know it is too good to pass up, but want to make the most of it, too. (We are practically drooling over the microclimate possibilities!)
Anybody out there that can point us in the right direction?
Thank you!


Please reply with the continuous rate at which you are certain you can be supplied with this hot water. Also, is the temperature a consistent 160F? What is the minimum amount of electricity (per day) from such a system that you consider to be sufficient to justify its development?


 
Marcos Buenijo
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Morgan Morrigan wrote:You can also use graphene to convert heat directly to electricity....

much simpler that the sterliing, and much better conversion rate.


Where can such devices be purchased? If they are not available for purchase, then what are the requirements and the cost to build one? What is the power density? What's the conversion efficiency? Please provide references for the answers to these questions (if they are available).
 
Claire Gardner
Posts: 48
Location: Idaho
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Marcos Buenijo wrote:

Please reply with the continuous rate at which you are certain you can be supplied with this hot water. Also, is the temperature a consistent 160F? What is the minimum amount of electricity (per day) from such a system that you consider to be sufficient to justify its development?




I'll share what I know, and try to get you more details tomorrow. It is a simply enormous artesian hot spring. They currently use the water to heat 14 homes (mostly trailers) and a large and small pool. They ran the lines next to the cold water lines to keep them from freezing, and the "problem" with it is that my cold water is hot - lol! They had greenhouses here in the past, but they blew away - we get serious wind here. We are building a dome greenhouse, and will put an aquaponics system in it. We will use the water to heat the dome and the fish and they do not anticipate needing to add anything to increase capacity for that. The people who own it say they are using 15% of their capacity. I don't know if that is limited by spring outflow, pump limits, or state regulation. I hope that is enough to give you some idea, and I will try to get you an answer in gallons per minute tomorrow.
The temperature is pretty steady, it may vary a few degrees but not much.
At a minimum, we would like to have the aquaponics system self contained: A few pumps, some extra light in winter. The people who own the property have amazing hearts - if they could get the spring to provide power to everyone who rents from them, they would, so the more, the merrier.
How is this for a happy problem? She is a gifted gardener - old school. Sort of wrinkles her nose at "permaculture" but "aquaponics" slide under the radar - lol! There is a lovely little unused patch where we plan (eventually) do a little "permaculture experiment" and let her see what she thinks when she sees a food forest growing. They are really very cool people, open to trying the Salatin method. She'll be a permie before it is through!
 
Claire Gardner
Posts: 48
Location: Idaho
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Marcos Buenijo wrote:
Claire Gardner wrote:
Please reply with the continuous rate at which you are certain you can be supplied with this hot water. Also, is the temperature a consistent 160F? What is the minimum amount of electricity (per day) from such a system that you consider to be sufficient to justify its development?




OK, the best guesstimate I can get is 100 gallons per minute.
 
Marcos Buenijo
pollinator
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Location: Southwest U.S.
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Claire Gardner wrote:OK, the best guesstimate I can get is 100 gallons per minute.


I sent you a private message.
 
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana. Steve flies like a tiny ad:
Permaculture Playing Cards by Paul Wheaton and Alexander Ojeda
https://permies.com/wiki/57503/digital-market/digital-market/Permaculture-Playing-Cards-Paul-Wheaton
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