Icelandic Volcano Could be a Natural Source of Energy

This is a great story for those who are environmentalists or simply think it’s great to use natural sources of energy. Indeed, this is a story that provides a good opportunity to show the world that renewable energy is worthwhile persuing.

Geologists who had been drilling a well to explore for geothermal resources in the Krafla volcano in Iceland have found underground lava. Also known as magma, it has flowed into the well at a depth of approximately 2.1 kilometers (6,900 feet) and forced the scientists to stop drilling.

An Icelandic volcano could just be the ticket to a great energy source
An Icelandic volcano could just be the ticket to a great energy source

There has only been one documented instance of this before, as told by the team’s leading geologist Wilfred Elders from the University of California in Riverside. They have received money from both the National Science Foundation and International Continental Scientific Drilling Program in order to continue their research into the magma.

As part of the Iceland Deep Drilling Project, which is a project in association with an industry and the government, they have been studying the well in order to test if it was possible to utilize geothermal fluids that are at supercritical temperatures and pressures. The well was to go as far as 4.5 kilometers (15,000 feet).

A substance known as supercritical water, which is a denser fluid that has an incredibly high heat content that can be found in a hot zone, has been used in power plants that are still coal-fired. Still, no one has attempted to use it in the deeper geothermal zones.

They discovered this when they found they were having problems drilling at the depth of 2 kilometers (6,600 feet), especially as they encountered a variety of severe problems in the next 100 meters (330 feet). Terminating the drilling, they completed it as a production well.

They have been doing tests to decide the viability of energy, especially after discovering that the steam from the Krafla well could generate 25 megawatts of electricity when it was paster through an appropriate turbine.

Another well is planned by Iceland Deep Drilling Project to be started in 2013 in the southwest of the country, continuing to seek for supercritical geothermal resources.

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