Australian Rare Earths

Australian Alternative Energy Forum


Not Really a Forum, more of my memory aid.


Comments on this forum should never be taken as investment advice.


Go Back   Alternative Energy Forums > Alternative Energy Discussion > Geothermal

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-26-2024, 02:31 AM
Sparty Sparty is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,880
Default "Au Geothermal-H2 Frontier" -Claude AI Q&A

The following is the result of a Q&A with Claude AI

Title: "Australia's Geothermal Hydrogen Frontier"

Subjects explored

1. Australia's Hot Rock Potential
2. Drilling Innovation: Quaise Energy's Approach
3. Geothermal-Hydrogen Synergy: On-Site Production
4. Water Challenges in Arid Geothermal Regions
5. Novel Water Sourcing Methods
6. Australia's Geothermal-Hydrogen Hotspots
7. Comprehensive Analysis: Resources, Infrastructure, and Economics

The above subheadings cover the main topics of our discussion.
They highlight the key aspects of geothermal energy and hydrogen production in Australia, from the basic potential to specific technologies and challenges.

Given Australia's unique geology with large radio-nucleotide rich fractured granite lens at shallow depths will geothermal energy be developed?

Australia does have significant geothermal potential due to its unique geology, including areas with high heat-producing granites. However, the development of geothermal energy in Australia faces some challenges and uncertainties. Here's a concise overview:

Potential: Australia has several areas with promising geothermal resources, particularly in the Cooper Basin in South Australia and parts of Queensland.

Challenges:

High upfront costs for exploration and drilling
Technological challenges in extracting heat from hot dry rocks
Distance from major population centers and electricity grids
Competition from other renewable energy sources like solar and wind


Current status: Despite initial enthusiasm in the 2000s, large-scale geothermal development has not yet materialized in Australia. Several projects have been abandoned or put on hold due to technical and financial difficulties.

Future prospects: While geothermal energy development in Australia is currently limited, it may still play a role in the country's future energy mix, especially as technology improves and if government policies provide more support.

The development of geothermal energy in Australia remains uncertain and will depend on technological advancements, economic factors, and policy decisions.

 

Disclaimer: The author of this post, may or may not be a shareholder of any of the companies mentioned in this column. No company mentioned has sponsored or paid for this content.
The information on this site is for information purposes only. Alternative-Energy.com.au is neither responsible nor liable for the accuracy of this data.

Comments on this forum should never be taken as investment advice.

Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-26-2024, 02:37 AM
Sparty Sparty is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,880
Default

Would you like me to elaborate on any specific aspect of this topic? "large radionucleotide rich fractured granite lens" could they be thought of as "Natures nuclear reactors"?

The comparison of "large radionucleotide rich fractured granite lens" to "Nature's nuclear reactors" is an interesting analogy, but it's not entirely accurate. Let me explain:

Heat source: These granite formations do contain higher concentrations of radioactive elements (mainly uranium, thorium, and potassium) than average crustal rocks. The decay of these elements produces heat, which is the basis for their geothermal potential.
Not fission reactors: Unlike human-made nuclear reactors, there's no sustained chain reaction or fission occurring in these granite formations. The heat is produced through natural radioactive decay, which is a much slower and less intense process.
No criticality: Nuclear reactors achieve criticality, where neutrons from fission reactions sustain further fissions. This doesn't occur in natural granite formations.
Oklo natural reactors: Interestingly, there is a known case of natural nuclear fission reactors that operated about 1.7 billion years ago in Oklo, Gabon. These were unique circumstances where uranium-rich deposits achieved criticality, but this is extremely rare and not what's happening in Australia's granite formations.
Heat accumulation: The granite formations act more like heat reservoirs, slowly accumulating heat over millions of years rather than actively "running" like a reactor.

So while the analogy captures the idea of radioactive elements producing heat, calling them "Nature's nuclear reactors" might overstate the similarity to human-made nuclear reactors. They're better described as naturally occurring radiogenic heat sources.
Would you like me to elaborate on any aspect of this comparison or the heat generation process in these granite formations? CopyRetrySGiven Australia's unique geology with large radio-nucleotide rich fractured granite lens at shallow depths will geothermal energy be developed?
While Australia does have promising geothermal resources due to its unique geology, including radionuclide-rich granite formations at relatively shallow depths, the development of geothermal energy in the country faces several challenges:

Technical challenges: Extracting heat from hot dry rocks (Enhanced Geothermal Systems) has proven more difficult than initially anticipated.

Economic factors: High upfront costs for exploration, drilling, and infrastructure development have deterred investment.
Competing energy sources: The rapid development and decreasing costs of solar and wind power have made geothermal less competitive in the renewable energy market.
Location: Many of the best geothermal resources are located far from major population centers and existing power grids.
Past setbacks: Several high-profile geothermal projects in Australia have been abandoned or put on hold, which has dampened enthusiasm for the sector.

Despite these challenges, geothermal energy development in Australia is not completely off the table. Future development may depend on:

Technological advancements that make extraction more efficient and cost-effective
Changes in energy policies that provide more support for geothermal development
Potential integration with other renewable energy sources in a diversified energy mix

The unique geology you mentioned does provide potential, but whether this potential will be realized depends on overcoming the current technical and economic hurdles.
Would you like me to expand on any particular aspect of geothermal energy development in Australia?

Please expand: Technical challenges: Extracting heat from hot dry rocks (Enhanced Geothermal Systems) has proven more difficult than initially anticipated.

The technical challenges in extracting heat from hot dry rocks, also known as Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS), are complex and multifaceted. Here's an expanded explanation:

Reservoir creation:

One of the biggest challenges is creating an artificial reservoir in the hot, dry rock.
This involves fracturing the rock to create pathways for water to circulate and heat up.
Controlling the fracturing process to create an efficient heat exchanger without causing unwanted seismic activity is difficult.

Maintaining circulation:

Once the reservoir is created, maintaining efficient circulation of water through the hot rock is crucial. Issues like short-circuiting (where water takes the path of least resistance, bypassing much of the hot rock) can reduce efficiency.
Mineral deposition in fractures can gradually clog the system, reducing flow rates over time.


Pumping challenges:

High-pressure pumps are needed to circulate water through the reservoir.
These pumps must operate in harsh conditions (high temperatures and pressures) for long periods, which can lead to frequent breakdowns and high maintenance costs.


Water loss:

In some EGS projects, significant amounts of water are lost into the surrounding rock formations.
This can make the system unsustainable, especially in water-scarce regions.


Induced seismicity:

The process of fracturing rock and injecting water at high pressures can induce small earthquakes.
While usually too small to be felt at the surface, these can be a concern for local communities and may lead to project delays or cancellations.


Heat extraction efficiency:

Efficiently extracting heat from the rock and maintaining high temperatures over the long term has proven challenging.
As heat is extracted, the rock cools, potentially reducing the system's efficiency over time.


Drilling technology:

Drilling to the required depths (often 3-5 km) in hard, crystalline rocks is technically challenging and expensive.
Developing drill bits and techniques that can withstand high temperatures and hard rock conditions is ongoing.


Corrosion and scaling:

The high-temperature, mineral-rich water circulated through the system can cause corrosion of pipes and equipment.
Mineral scaling can also occur, reducing heat transfer efficiency and potentially clogging the system.



These technical challenges have made EGS development more time-consuming and expensive than initially hoped, contributing to the slower-than-expected progress in geothermal energy development in Australia and elsewhere.

Would you like me to elaborate on any specific aspect of these technical challenges?
Re reservoir creation, Australia's hot rocks are already fractured by the movement of the Australia continent crashing into asia? You raise an interesting point about Australia's geological context. You're correct that Australia's tectonic history has influenced its geology, but there are some important considerations:

Tectonic setting:

Australia is not currently "crashing into Asia". It's part of the Indo-Australian Plate, which is indeed moving northward, but the collision zone is primarily in the Himalayas and Indonesia.
Australia itself is relatively tectonically stable, being in the middle of its plate.


Natural fracturing:

While some areas of Australia do have naturally fractured rocks, these are not necessarily the same as the fractures needed for an efficient Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS).
Natural fractures can be beneficial, but they may not provide the ideal network for fluid circulation and heat extraction.


EGS requirements:

EGS typically requires a specific fracture network that allows for controlled water circulation through the hot rock.
Natural fractures may be sealed by mineral deposition over time, or may not be interconnected in the way needed for EGS.


Variability:

The degree and nature of fracturing can vary significantly across different regions and at different depths.

Some areas may have more suitable natural fracture networks than others.


Enhanced fracturing:

Even in naturally fractured rocks, additional fracturing (hydraulic stimulation) is often needed to create an efficient reservoir for EGS.


Site-specific assessment:

Each potential geothermal site would need to be assessed individually to determine the extent and suitability of natural fractures.

While natural fractures can potentially reduce the amount of artificial fracturing needed, they don't eliminate the technical challenges of creating a suitable reservoir for EGS. The process still requires careful engineering to create a network that allows for efficient heat extraction while managing issues like water loss and induced seismicity.

 

Disclaimer: The author of this post, may or may not be a shareholder of any of the companies mentioned in this column. No company mentioned has sponsored or paid for this content.
The information on this site is for information purposes only. Alternative-Energy.com.au is neither responsible nor liable for the accuracy of this data.

Comments on this forum should never be taken as investment advice.

Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-26-2024, 02:41 AM
Sparty Sparty is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,880
Default

Would you like me to expand on any aspect of how natural fractures might impact geothermal development in Australia?

Yes I agree that Australia currently is not crashing into Asia however back millions years ago it did?

You're correct, and I appreciate you pointing that out. Let me clarify and expand on Australia's geological history:

Ancient collisions:

Millions of years ago, parts of what is now Australia were indeed involved in major tectonic collisions.

The most significant of these occurred during the formation of the supercontinent Gondwana, roughly 550-500 million years ago.


Breakup of Gondwana:

Australia began separating from Antarctica and India about 180 million years ago.
It finally broke free and began its northward journey around 80 million years ago.


Effects on geology:

These ancient collisions and subsequent rifting events have significantly influenced Australia's geology. They contributed to the formation of mountain ranges, sedimentary basins, and areas of igneous and metamorphic rocks.


Fracturing:

These tectonic events did cause fracturing in many rock formations across the continent.
However, over millions of years, many of these fractures have been altered by processes like mineral deposition, erosion, and burial.


Current geothermal relevance:

While these ancient events shaped Australia's geology, the fractures directly resulting from them may not always be ideal for modern geothermal systems.

The heat-producing granites of interest for geothermal energy are often younger than these collision events, formed by later igneous activity.


Site-specific considerations:

The relevance of ancient tectonic fractures to geothermal potential varies greatly depending on the specific site and its geological history.

In some areas, these old fracture systems might be beneficial for geothermal development, while in others they may be less relevant.

So while you're absolutely correct that Australia's ancient geological history involved major collisions that affected its geology, the direct impact of these events on modern geothermal potential is complex and varies by location. The fractures created by these ancient events have been modified by millions of years of subsequent geological processes.

Would you like me to elaborate on how geologists assess the suitability of these ancient rock formations for modern geothermal projects?

Would you like me to elaborate on how geologists assess the suitability of these ancient rock formations for modern geothermal projects? yes please but could you also explore the Paralana areas hot dry rocks.

Certainly. I'll explain how geologists assess the suitability of ancient rock formations for geothermal projects and then focus on the Paralana area's hot dry rocks.

Geological assessment for geothermal potential:

Heat flow measurements:

Geologists measure heat flow at the surface and in boreholes to estimate temperatures at depth.


Geophysical surveys:

Seismic, gravity, and magnetic surveys help map subsurface structures and rock types.


Rock sampling and analysis:

Samples are analyzed for heat-producing elements (uranium, thorium, potassium) and thermal conductivity.


Stress field analysis:

Understanding the local stress field helps predict how rocks might fracture during stimulation.


Fracture characterization:

Existing fractures are mapped using techniques like borehole imaging and core analysis.


Fluid geochemistry:

Analysis of any natural hot springs or groundwater can provide insights into deep thermal conditions.


3D geological modeling:

Integrating all data to create a comprehensive model of the subsurface.



Now, let's explore the Paralana area's hot dry rocks:
Paralana Geothermal Project:

Location:

Located in South Australia, about 600 km north of Adelaide in the northern Flinders Ranges.


Geological setting:

The target is a granite body at depths of 3.5-4.0 km, overlain by sedimentary rocks.
The granite is enriched in heat-producing elements, particularly uranium.


Heat source:

The granite's high radiogenic heat production results in temperatures estimated to exceed 200C at the target depth.


Natural fracturing:

The area benefits from some natural fracturing due to its proximity to the Paralana Fault.
This pre-existing fracturing was seen as potentially beneficial for creating the geothermal reservoir.


Project development:

Exploration began in the early 2000s, with initial drilling and stimulation occurring around 2009-2011.

The project aimed to create an Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS) by hydraulically stimulating the granite to improve permeability.


Challenges faced:

Like many EGS projects, Paralana encountered technical and economic challenges.
Creating a sufficiently large and permeable reservoir proved difficult.
The project also faced funding issues common to many early-stage geothermal developments.


Current status:

As of my last update, the Paralana project had not progressed to commercial production.
It served as an important case study for EGS development in Australia, providing valuable data and experience.

The Paralana project illustrates both the potential and the challenges of developing hot dry rock geothermal systems in Australia. While the geological conditions were promising, the technical and economic hurdles of EGS development proved significant.

 

Disclaimer: The author of this post, may or may not be a shareholder of any of the companies mentioned in this column. No company mentioned has sponsored or paid for this content.
The information on this site is for information purposes only. Alternative-Energy.com.au is neither responsible nor liable for the accuracy of this data.

Comments on this forum should never be taken as investment advice.

Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-26-2024, 02:44 AM
Sparty Sparty is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,880
Default

Would you like more information on any specific aspect of the Paralana project or geothermal assessment techniques?

Please expand on "economic hurdles of EGS development proved significant." I'd also like you to explore the idea of creating on/near site Hydrogen via electrolysis etc from the geothermal energy and transporting the Hydrogen in a compressed form (Provaris' technology might play a part) to markets to create a more financially viable solution than building powerlines?

Let's explore the economic hurdles of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) development and then consider the idea of on-site hydrogen production as a potential solution.

Economic hurdles of EGS development:

High upfront costs:

Drilling deep wells (3-5 km) is extremely expensive, often costing tens of millions of dollars per well. Multiple wells are typically required for a commercial-scale project.


Exploration risks:

There's significant uncertainty in the early stages, with no guarantee of finding suitable conditions.
This risk makes it difficult to attract initial investment.


Long development timelines:

EGS projects can take 5-7 years or more from exploration to power production.
This extended timeline increases financial risks and delays returns on investment.


Technology costs:

Specialized equipment for high-temperature, high-pressure environments is expensive.
Frequent maintenance and replacement of components add to operational costs.


Competition from other energy sources:

Rapidly declining costs of solar and wind power have made EGS less competitive.


Limited economies of scale:

Unlike solar or wind, each geothermal project requires its own extensive subsurface development.



Now, let's explore the idea of on-site hydrogen production:
On-site hydrogen production and transport:

Concept:

Use geothermal energy to power electrolysis for hydrogen production.
Transport compressed hydrogen to markets instead of building long-distance power lines.


Potential advantages:

Overcomes the challenge of remote locations far from existing grids.
Creates a transportable, storable form of energy.
Aligns with growing interest in hydrogen as a clean energy carrier.


Electrolysis efficiency:

Modern electrolyzers can achieve 70-80% efficiency.
Continuous geothermal power could allow for steady hydrogen production.


Compression and storage:

Hydrogen can be compressed for more efficient transport.
Provaris' technology (assuming you're referring to their compressed hydrogen shipping solution) could potentially be adapted for land transport.


Market considerations:

Growing demand for green hydrogen in industrial processes and potentially in transportation.
Could tap into both domestic and international markets.


Economic factors:

Might improve project economics by accessing higher-value hydrogen markets.
Could reduce or eliminate the need for expensive long-distance transmission infrastructure.


Challenges:

Additional capital costs for electrolysis and hydrogen handling equipment.
Safety considerations for hydrogen production and transport.
Potential energy losses in the conversion and compression processes.


Synergies with other renewables:

Could potentially combine geothermal with solar or wind for round-the-clock hydrogen production.



This approach of coupling geothermal energy with hydrogen production could indeed create a more financially viable solution for some projects. It would allow geothermal resources in remote areas to access markets without the need for extensive electrical infrastructure. The steady, baseload nature of geothermal power is well-suited to hydrogen production, which benefits from constant operation.

However, the economic viability would depend on factors such as the scale of hydrogen demand, transport costs, and competition from other hydrogen production methods. A detailed techno-economic analysis would be needed for specific projects to determine if this approach improves their financial prospects.

 

Disclaimer: The author of this post, may or may not be a shareholder of any of the companies mentioned in this column. No company mentioned has sponsored or paid for this content.
The information on this site is for information purposes only. Alternative-Energy.com.au is neither responsible nor liable for the accuracy of this data.

Comments on this forum should never be taken as investment advice.

Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-26-2024, 02:46 AM
Sparty Sparty is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,880
Default

Would you like me to elaborate on any particular aspect of this hydrogen production and transport concept?

Drilling deep wells (3-5 km) is extremely expensive, often costing tens of millions of dollars per well.

Is this "Quaise's ultra-deep geothermal power plan is one of the most exciting and fascinating green energy projects we've seen. In a nutshell, this Boston-based MIT spin-off says it has repurposed powerful millimeter-wave beam technology originally developed to superheat plasma in fusion experiments to blast through previously undrillable rock far below the Earth's surface. a game changer?

The technology you're referring to, developed by Quaise Energy, is indeed a potentially game-changing approach to deep geothermal drilling. Let's explore this concept and its potential impact:

Technology overview:

Quaise uses high-power millimeter waves (similar to microwaves, but more focused) to vaporize rock. This allows for drilling much deeper than conventional rotary drilling methods.

Potential advantages:

Could reach depths of 10-20 km, accessing much higher temperatures.
Might significantly reduce drilling time and costs for deep wells.
Could access geothermal resources in areas previously considered unsuitable.


How it addresses current challenges:

Conventional drill bits struggle with extreme depths due to heat and pressure.
Quaise's method doesn't rely on physical contact with the rock, potentially overcoming these limitations.


Potential game-changing aspects:

If successful, it could dramatically expand accessible geothermal resources.
Higher temperatures at greater depths could improve power plant efficiency.
Might make geothermal energy viable in many more locations globally.


Current status:

As of my last update, Quaise was still in the development and testing phase.
They had plans for field demonstrations but had not yet proven the technology at full scale.


Challenges and uncertainties:

Scaling the technology from lab tests to field operations.
Managing the removed rock material (vaporized rock needs to be managed).
Ensuring borehole stability at extreme depths.
Developing complementary technologies for well completion and reservoir stimulation at these depths.


Potential impact on economics:

If successful, could significantly reduce the cost per well.
Might shorten project timelines, improving financial viability.
Could potentially make EGS competitive with other energy sources.



While Quaise's technology is extremely promising, it's important to note that it's still in development. If it proves successful at scale, it could indeed be a game-changer for geothermal energy, potentially overcoming many of the economic hurdles currently facing EGS projects. However, as with any new technology, there are still uncertainties and challenges to be addressed before its full impact can be realized.

The potential of this technology highlights the ongoing innovation in the geothermal sector and the possibility of significant breakthroughs that could reshape the industry's economics.
Would you like me to elaborate on any specific aspect of Quaise's technology or its potential impact on geothermal development?

I'd like you to summarise this discussion to include Australia's hot rocks heat potential, depth, the potential impact of Quaise Energy's techniques and the ideation of onsite coupling geothermal energy with hydrogen production could indeed create a more financially viable solution for some projects. It would allow geothermal resources in remote areas to access markets without the need for extensive electrical infrastructure. The steady, baseload nature of geothermal power is well-suited to hydrogen production, which benefits from constant operation.

 

Disclaimer: The author of this post, may or may not be a shareholder of any of the companies mentioned in this column. No company mentioned has sponsored or paid for this content.
The information on this site is for information purposes only. Alternative-Energy.com.au is neither responsible nor liable for the accuracy of this data.

Comments on this forum should never be taken as investment advice.

Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-26-2024, 02:48 AM
Sparty Sparty is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,880
Default

Here's a summary of our discussion:
Australia's Geothermal Potential and Innovative Solutions:

Australia's Hot Rock Potential:

Australia possesses significant geothermal resources, particularly in areas with high heat-producing granites.

These resources are often found at depths of 3-5 km, with temperatures exceeding 200C in some locations.

Areas like the Cooper Basin in South Australia and parts of Queensland show promising geothermal potential.


Quaise Energy's Drilling Technology:

Quaise Energy is developing a novel drilling technique using high-power millimeter waves.
This technology could potentially drill to depths of 10-20 km, far beyond current capabilities.
If successful, it could dramatically reduce drilling costs and time, making previously inaccessible geothermal resources viable.

The ability to reach greater depths could access higher temperatures, improving power plant efficiency.


On-site Hydrogen Production:

Coupling geothermal energy with on-site hydrogen production via electrolysis presents an innovative solution.

This approach could overcome the challenge of remote locations far from existing power grids.
Geothermal energy's steady, baseload nature is well-suited for constant hydrogen production.
Compressed hydrogen could be transported to markets, eliminating the need for expensive long-distance power transmission infrastructure.


Potential Benefits:

Improved project economics by accessing higher-value hydrogen markets.
Utilization of geothermal resources in remote areas that were previously uneconomical.
Alignment with growing interest in hydrogen as a clean energy carrier.
Potential to tap into both domestic and international markets for clean hydrogen.


Synergistic Potential:

Quaise's drilling technology, if successful, could significantly expand accessible geothermal resources in Australia.
This expanded access, combined with on-site hydrogen production, could create a new paradigm for geothermal energy utilization.
The steady power output from deep geothermal resources could provide reliable, continuous hydrogen production.


Challenges and Considerations:

Quaise's technology is still in development and needs to prove effective at scale.
On-site hydrogen production would require additional capital investment and safety considerations.
Economic viability depends on factors such as hydrogen demand, transport costs, and competition from other production methods.



This combination of innovative drilling technology and creative energy utilization strategies presents a promising pathway for unlocking Australia's geothermal potential. It could transform remote, high-heat granite formations from challenging resources into valuable clean energy assets, contributing significantly to Australia's energy transition and hydrogen economy aspirations.

Would Hydrolysis be a choke point given that the substrate is water and places like Paralana are quite dry?

You've raised an excellent and insightful point. Water availability is indeed a critical factor for hydrolysis, and it could potentially be a significant challenge or choke point in dry areas like Paralana. Let's explore this issue:

Water requirements:

Electrolysis typically requires about 9 kg of water to produce 1 kg of hydrogen.
A large-scale hydrogen production facility would need a substantial and consistent water supply.


Paralana's arid environment:

The Paralana area, located in South Australia's northern Flinders Ranges, is in an arid region.
Water resources are scarce and often already allocated for other uses (agriculture, mining, etc.).


Potential solutions and challenges:
a) Water recycling:

Implementing efficient water recycling systems could reduce overall water needs.
However, some water loss is inevitable due to the electrolysis process.

b) Desalination:

Using geothermal energy to power desalination of brackish groundwater could provide a water source.
This adds complexity and cost to the project.

c) Long-distance water transport:

Piping water from distant sources is possible but expensive and potentially controversial.

d) Atmospheric water generation:

Technologies exist to extract water from air, but they're energy-intensive and less effective in very dry areas.


Competing water uses:

Any large-scale water use in arid regions can face opposition due to environmental concerns and competing needs.


Regulatory considerations:

Water rights and usage in arid regions are often strictly regulated.
Obtaining permissions for large-scale water use could be challenging.


Impact on project viability:

The need to secure a reliable water supply could significantly impact project economics.
It might necessitate additional infrastructure, increasing capital costs.


Alternative hydrogen production methods:

In very water-scarce areas, other hydrogen production methods that don't require water (like methane pyrolysis) might be considered, though these have their own challenges.


Integrated planning:

Water management would need to be a key consideration from the earliest stages of project planning.

It could influence site selection, potentially favoring locations with better water access over those with the highest heat potential.

 

Disclaimer: The author of this post, may or may not be a shareholder of any of the companies mentioned in this column. No company mentioned has sponsored or paid for this content.
The information on this site is for information purposes only. Alternative-Energy.com.au is neither responsible nor liable for the accuracy of this data.

Comments on this forum should never be taken as investment advice.

Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-26-2024, 02:50 AM
Sparty Sparty is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,880
Default

Given these considerations, water availability could indeed be a significant choke point for coupling geothermal energy with hydrogen production in dry areas like Paralana. It doesn't necessarily make the concept unfeasible, but it adds a layer of complexity and potential cost that would need to be carefully evaluated.

This challenge underscores the importance of holistic planning in energy projects, considering not just the primary resource (in this case, geothermal heat) but also all necessary inputs and their local availability. It also highlights potential areas for innovation, such as more water-efficient electrolysis technologies or novel water sourcing methods for arid regions. "novel water sourcing methods for arid regions."

H2O extraction from air?
Certainly, let's explore novel water sourcing methods for arid regions, including atmospheric water generation and other innovative approaches:

Atmospheric Water Generation (AWG):

Technology that extracts water vapor from the air
Methods include:
a) Cooling and condensation (similar to air conditioners)
b) Desiccant-based systems that absorb moisture
Challenges:

Energy-intensive, especially in very dry climates
Efficiency decreases in low-humidity environments

Fog harvesting:

Uses large mesh nets to collect water droplets from fog
More applicable in coastal or mountainous arid regions
Low-tech and low-energy, but dependent on specific climatic conditions


Deep aquifer extraction:

Tapping into deep, previously untouched aquifers
Requires careful management to ensure sustainability
May involve advanced drilling techniques, potentially synergizing with geothermal drilling


Enhanced condensation systems:

Using cooled surfaces to condense atmospheric moisture
Could potentially utilize the temperature differential from geothermal systems


Solar-thermal desalination:

Using concentrated solar power to desalinate brackish groundwater or seawater
Could be combined with geothermal energy for 24/7 operation


Hydrogels and sorbents:

Advanced materials that can absorb atmospheric moisture
Research is ongoing to improve efficiency and reduce energy needs for water release


Biological systems:

Engineered plants or microorganisms that enhance water collection from air
Still largely in research phase


Wastewater recycling and treatment:

Advanced purification of wastewater for reuse
Particularly relevant if there are nearby settlements or industrial activities


Radiative condensers:

Devices that use radiative cooling to condense water at night
Passive system that doesn't require external energy input


Geothermal brine treatment:

If the geothermal system produces brine, advanced treatment could make this water usable
Technologies like forward osmosis or membrane distillation could be employed


Subterranean water condensation:

Creating cool underground chambers to condense moisture from air circulated through them
Could potentially utilize the temperature differential in geothermal systems

Each of these methods has its own set of advantages and challenges, and their applicability would depend on specific local conditions. In the context of a geothermal-hydrogen project, the ideal solution might involve a combination of approaches, potentially integrating with the geothermal system itself.
For instance, using waste heat from the geothermal plant to power desalination or atmospheric water generation could improve overall system efficiency. Similarly, advanced drilling techniques developed for geothermal could be applied to accessing deep aquifers.
It's worth noting that water sourcing in arid regions often involves environmental and ecological considerations, so any solution would need to be assessed for its broader impact on the local ecosystem.

 

Disclaimer: The author of this post, may or may not be a shareholder of any of the companies mentioned in this column. No company mentioned has sponsored or paid for this content.
The information on this site is for information purposes only. Alternative-Energy.com.au is neither responsible nor liable for the accuracy of this data.

Comments on this forum should never be taken as investment advice.

Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-26-2024, 02:51 AM
Sparty Sparty is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,880
Default

Would you like me to elaborate on any of these water sourcing methods or how they might integrate with a geothermal-hydrogen production system?

Tasmania near the Bass Link has a geothermal hot spot. Tasmania is very wet and has an abundance of water. It also has a geothermal resource. Are there other areas of Australia that have the required hot rocks, water and other infrastructure for Hydrogen transport?

You've made an excellent observation about Tasmania's potential. Let's explore this and then consider other promising areas in Australia that combine geothermal resources, water availability, and infrastructure for hydrogen transport.

Tasmania:

Geothermal resource: As you mentioned, there is a geothermal hot spot near the Basslink interconnector.
Water availability: Tasmania has abundant water resources due to its high rainfall.
Infrastructure: Existing electrical infrastructure (Basslink) could potentially be used for power export or adapted for hydrogen transport.
Additional advantage: Tasmania's high proportion of renewable energy could contribute to "green" hydrogen production.

Other potential areas in Australia:

Great Artesian Basin (GAB) - Queensland and South Australia:

Geothermal: Significant hot sedimentary aquifer resources.
Water: Overlies the Great Artesian Basin, a vast groundwater resource.
Infrastructure: Some existing gas pipeline infrastructure that could potentially be adapted.
Challenges: Careful management of GAB water resources would be crucial.


Cooper Basin, South Australia:

Geothermal: Known for its hot dry rock resources.
Water: Overlies part of the Great Artesian Basin.
Infrastructure: Existing gas pipeline network.
Advantage: Proximity to existing oil and gas operations could provide synergies.


Gippsland Basin, Victoria:

Geothermal: Hot sedimentary aquifer resources.
Water: Adequate rainfall and water resources.
Infrastructure: Proximity to major population centers and existing energy infrastructure.
Advantage: Potential for repurposing offshore oil and gas infrastructure for hydrogen.


Perth Basin, Western Australia:

Geothermal: Hot sedimentary aquifer potential.
Water: Access to both groundwater and seawater (for desalination if needed).
Infrastructure: Proximity to Perth and existing energy infrastructure.
Advantage: Western Australia's push for hydrogen economy could provide policy support.


Otway Basin, Victoria/South Australia:

Geothermal: Both hot sedimentary aquifer and some hot dry rock potential.
Water: Adequate rainfall in many areas.
Infrastructure: Some existing gas infrastructure.
Advantage: Ongoing carbon capture and storage projects could provide synergies.


Hunter Valley, New South Wales:

Geothermal: Some geothermal potential, though less explored than other areas.
Water: Adequate water resources.
Infrastructure: Excellent existing energy infrastructure and proximity to port facilities.
Advantage: Potential for repurposing existing coal-related infrastructure.



Each of these areas has its own set of advantages and challenges. Factors to consider include:

The quality and accessibility of the geothermal resource
Sustainable water availability
Existing or planned hydrogen infrastructure
Proximity to potential hydrogen markets (domestic or export)
State and local government policies on renewable energy and hydrogen development

It's worth noting that while Tasmania's combination of geothermal resources, abundant water, and existing infrastructure is promising, other factors like the scale of the geothermal resource and local energy demand would also play into its viability as a hydrogen production hub.
The ideal location would balance all these factors, potentially starting with a smaller-scale pilot project to demonstrate the concept before scaling up. As Australia continues to develop its hydrogen strategy, we may see increased interest in exploring these geothermal-hydrogen synergies in various regions.
Would you like me to elaborate on any specific aspect of these potential areas or the factors influencing their suitability for geothermal-hydrogen projects? Thank you for your interest. I'd be happy to elaborate further. To provide the most relevant information, could you please specify which aspect you'd like me to expand on? For example, would you like:

A deeper dive into the geothermal potential of one of the specific regions mentioned?
More details on the infrastructure considerations for hydrogen transport in these areas?
An exploration of the water resource management challenges and solutions in a particular region?
A comparison of the policy landscapes in different states regarding geothermal and hydrogen development?
A more detailed look at the potential synergies between geothermal energy and hydrogen production in one of these areas?
An analysis of the economic factors that might influence the viability of geothermal-hydrogen projects in these regions?

Or if there's another aspect you're particularly curious about, please let me know. This will help me provide you with the most relevant and detailed information.

I'd like you to explore them all.
Certainly! I'll provide a comprehensive exploration of points 1-6 for you. This will be a detailed overview, so I'll break it down into sections for clarity.

Deeper dive into geothermal potential - focusing on the Cooper Basin:

The Cooper Basin in South Australia is one of Australia's most promising geothermal resources. Key points include:

High heat production: Granite bodies at depths of 3-5 km have temperatures exceeding 240C.
Extensive research: Significant exploration and testing have been conducted, providing a wealth of data.
Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS) potential: The hot dry rocks are suitable for EGS development.
Challenges: The basin's remoteness and the technical difficulties of EGS have hindered commercial development.


Infrastructure considerations for hydrogen transport:


Pipeline adaptation: Existing natural gas pipelines could potentially be repurposed for hydrogen transport, but this requires addressing hydrogen embrittlement issues.
New hydrogen-specific pipelines: These would be optimized for hydrogen but require significant investment.
Road transport: For shorter distances or smaller scales, hydrogen can be transported by truck in compressed or liquefied form.
Port facilities: Coastal areas like Gippsland or the Hunter Valley have an advantage for potential hydrogen export.


Water resource management - Great Artesian Basin (GAB) example:


Vast resource: The GAB underlies about 22% of Australia, providing water for many communities and industries.
Recharge rates: The basin recharges slowly, so sustainable extraction is crucial.
Competing demands: Agriculture, mining, and urban use already place pressure on the GAB.
Management strategies: Capping free-flowing bores, improving water use efficiency, and careful monitoring are key.
Potential solution: Using deeper, more saline parts of the GAB could reduce competition with other users.


Policy landscape comparison:


South Australia: Leads in geothermal exploration regulations and has a strong hydrogen strategy.
Queensland: Focuses on hydrogen production from renewable sources, including geothermal.
Victoria: Has a renewable energy target that could support geothermal-hydrogen projects.
Western Australia: Strong push for a hydrogen economy, particularly for export.
Federal level: The National Hydrogen Strategy supports the development of clean hydrogen, including from geothermal sources.


Synergies between geothermal energy and hydrogen production:


Constant power supply: Geothermal's baseload nature is ideal for continuous hydrogen production.
Heat utilization: Waste heat from geothermal plants could be used in hydrogen production processes.
Co-location benefits: Shared infrastructure and operations could reduce overall costs.
Water cycle integration: In some cases, geothermal fluids could be used in the hydrogen production process.


Economic factors influencing viability:


Capital costs: High upfront costs for both geothermal development and hydrogen production facilities.
Operational costs: Geothermal has low operational costs once established, benefiting long-term hydrogen production.
Scale economies: Larger projects could significantly reduce per-unit costs of hydrogen production.
Market demand: The growing interest in hydrogen for industrial use and export could support project economics.
Carbon pricing: Future carbon pricing mechanisms could make geothermal-hydrogen projects more competitive.
Government incentives: Subsidies or tax breaks for clean energy projects could improve financial viability.

This comprehensive overview demonstrates the complexity and interconnectedness of factors influencing geothermal-hydrogen projects in Australia. The ideal project would balance these various elements, likely starting with pilot projects in areas with the most favorable combinations of geothermal resources, water availability, existing infrastructure, and supportive policies.

 

Disclaimer: The author of this post, may or may not be a shareholder of any of the companies mentioned in this column. No company mentioned has sponsored or paid for this content.
The information on this site is for information purposes only. Alternative-Energy.com.au is neither responsible nor liable for the accuracy of this data.

Comments on this forum should never be taken as investment advice.

Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-26-2024, 03:06 AM
Sparty Sparty is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,880
Default

 

Disclaimer: The author of this post, may or may not be a shareholder of any of the companies mentioned in this column. No company mentioned has sponsored or paid for this content.
The information on this site is for information purposes only. Alternative-Energy.com.au is neither responsible nor liable for the accuracy of this data.

Comments on this forum should never be taken as investment advice.

Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 04:43 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.