Most of this is to be taken a wee bit
tongue in cheek, but if anyone reading these pages thinks that they're
a good idea then please talk to me about them. I wouldn't mind making a
few dollars out of them!
Geothermal Power Plant
What I think would be a better idea would
be to drill a hole, say, 2 metres in diameter, down as far as possible.
The sort of rock that would be suitable is one that is as geologically
as stable as possible, as the shaft dug would be lined with a steel
liner, to stop the rock from crumbling in. The liner would be passed
down the shaft in either two or three pieces, and joined by shaped
explosion-fusion welding. (A well established process these days) The
further down the shaft goes, the thicker the steel liner would be, to
ensure that the shaft remains stable at the greater depths. The
machinery to do the job of digging the shaft, placing the liner plates,
and then welding them in place would not be too far removed from the
current technology of mining equipment, so the cost of building them
would not be too great.
The shaft is the easy part - The tricky part is how to use the heat to make electricity. There's a few different ways to do this -
- By using a Stirling Cycle heat engine. This engine uses a differential in heat to make a rotating crankshaft, which could then be used to drive a generator. I don't think that the Stirling engine can be made to spin fast enough to produce a great deal of power, but if you went to the trouble of digging a deep shaft way down, then near the bottom you could dig shafts outwards in a few different directions, thus giving more access to the high heat levels. So, for a single vertical shaft you could have, say, up to ten or so Stirling engines humming away, making power.
- By using a straight heat exchanger and steam turbine combination. By pumping water around in a circuit along the shaft walls, you could make it steam up enough to spin a fair sized turbine, to produce power. I think that it'd be possible to do this in many stages up the main shaft. The pressure inside the generator system would have to be controlled so as to make sure that the water steamed up well enough, eg, it may need to be run at a half-vacuum, compared to sea level pressure.
By using these two systems, it wouldn't be necessary to pump the water all the way to the surface and back.
** I have written another page on how I think it would work here
- By using a plain thermo-couple, ie, by using two different types of metal pressed hard together, they will generate a small amount of electricity when hot. If there was, say, a hundred or so of these thermo-couple down each shaft, then at, say, 8km in length they'd have to make useable power.
By making the power generators as a unit,
it would be possible to raise and lower them as needed to service them.
It would obviously take a fair number of these shafts to be dug to make a big increase in power, but I think that the process of making these shafts could be largely automated. By doing this, quite a few shafts could be dug over a few years - All up, a pretty effective power system could be made, with very little evidence on the surface. (Apart from all the extra dirt & rocks lying around ... ;) ) Because this system would have little sticking out of the surface, except for the power cables and a hot air duct, it could be placed quite close to cities and so reduce the need to put power plants way out of town - Thus reducing the power loss in the cables from the power plant to the towns, cities, etc.
I've spent a bit of time having a think about how to make the turbine method work, and so have written another page on how I reckon it would all come together. Please take a look on the next page.
As I mention at the top of this page,
it's probably just a crazy idea, but I think that because it would have
relatively little environmental damage, cost very little to run, be reasonably
cheap to build, and be extremely long lasting, the idea really would be
On to the -
- Laptop computer electronic circuit simulator
- Anti-aircraft missile system
- Horizontally opposed diesel aircraft engine
- Different electric car
- Listening spy device
- Super cooler device
- Radar Jammer
- Land speed record car contender
- Water speed record contender