Hot dry rock heat mining: An advanced geothermal energy technology

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The conventional geothermal industry relies on naturally occurring fluids, either liquids or gases to transport the internal heat of the earth to the surface where it is applied to useful purposes, but there are only a relatively few places where these hydrothermal resources exist at temperatures high enough to generate electric power. Over most of the world, the hot rock beneath the surface is relatively dry. Geothermal energy in the form of hot dry rock (HDR) is abundant, widely distributed, and accessible. Energy extraction from HDR promises to be economically competitive and can be accomplished with essentially no adverse environmental ... continued below

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Medium: P; Size: Pages: (24 p)

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Duchane, D.V. January 1, 1991.

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The conventional geothermal industry relies on naturally occurring fluids, either liquids or gases to transport the internal heat of the earth to the surface where it is applied to useful purposes, but there are only a relatively few places where these hydrothermal resources exist at temperatures high enough to generate electric power. Over most of the world, the hot rock beneath the surface is relatively dry. Geothermal energy in the form of hot dry rock (HDR) is abundant, widely distributed, and accessible. Energy extraction from HDR promises to be economically competitive and can be accomplished with essentially no adverse environmental effects. The purpose of this paper is to describe the technology which is being developed to gain access to, mine, and utilize the thermal energy existing in HDR. For the last two decades, the Los Alamos National Laboratory has been working to develop techniques for mining HDR energy. Early worked proved that it is feasible to extract thermal energy using drilling and fracturing techniques adapted from the petroleum and geothermal industries. Recently, results have demonstrated that it should be possible to operate HDR plants in a closed-loop mode with minimal water use. Long-term testing is about to begin at the HDR facility operated by Los Alamos at Fenton Hill in the Mountains of northern New Mexico. The goal of this test will be to demonstrate that useful amounts of energy can be produced from HDR on a sustainable basis. Results of this work will form the basis for design, construction, and operation of economic HDR plants in the future. Significant HDR programs are now underway in a number of countries. As the technology matures, HDR should take its place as a clean, economically competitive energy source for the world. 11 refs., 7 figs., 2 tabs.

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Medium: P; Size: Pages: (24 p)

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OSTI; NTIS; GPO Dep.

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  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) energy sources technology conference and exhibition, Houston, TX (United States), 26-30 Jan 1992

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  • Other: DE91018038
  • Report No.: LA-UR-91-2749
  • Report No.: CONF-920122--1
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-36
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 5109743
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1053867

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • January 1, 1991

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  • Jan. 22, 2018, 7:23 a.m.

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  • Feb. 1, 2018, 7:03 p.m.

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Duchane, D.V. Hot dry rock heat mining: An advanced geothermal energy technology, article, January 1, 1991; New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1053867/: accessed April 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.