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Biosphere presentation

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on 12 December 2012

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Transcript of Biosphere presentation

Is Geothermal Energy the Right Source
for Post-Disaster Japan? First of all, who cares? Geothermal use in other countries Conclusions In 2012 Greenideal.com published an article titled Fukushima Disaster Leads to Geothermal Energy
The March 2011 nuclear reactor meltdown left millions without electricity the following summer. In addition it had unreported health effects on a local and potentially global scale. The government is still attempting to deny these adverse health effects
Regardless, it has become clear that Japan desperately needs a clean source of energy if it plans to stay in line with Kyoto Protocols
So yes, we should care! What is geothermal energy? Geothermal energy is energy which is stored under the earth’s surface. It is generated by the natural heat of the earth or activity due to tectonic movement.
Geothermal energy can originate from a dry, wet or steam sources.
We can use this heat to fuel electricity and produce heating or cooling for municipalities, agriculture, individual homes and buildings Iceland is a prime example of a country which subsists primarily off of renewable energy sources.

90% of individual homes in Iceland are heated via geothermal heat pumps
86% of total heating (including the extensive municipal heating in Reykjavik, founded in 1930), is provided by geothermal energy
16% of the nation’s electricity in generate by geothermal power.  
The article had the right idea, geothermal is a potentially great source of renewable energy for Japan. However some measures must be taken:
ESG systems are likely not suitable for a tectonically active country
Consideration must be granted to locals, conservation areas, regional biodiversity, water table levels, etc.
planning ahead is key: optimized management, cascade systems or re-injection must be utilized where possible. Risk assessment is also needed.
governmental and institutional financing must be provided to mitigate the initial cost of construction.
heat pumping for homes, municipalities and public buildings should be maximized.
direct sources can be utilized for more efficient purposes such as agriculture. Presented by
Hila Karmi
Biosphere and Our Species
ESC 601 Fall 2012 The Engineering a.k.a the scary stuff The are various ways to harness geothermal energy, depending on the chemical, thermal, and structural characteristics of the field.
To generate electricity, ~150°C is needed. Sources which meet this requirement can be classified as electrical powering sources.
Sources with <150°C are classified as direct sources, because such temperature range is general not enough to generate electricity. Some basic systems for geothermal energy utilization Binary plants- generally used for electricity production. Re-inject fluids into the ground in a “closed” system, thus preserving the life span of the source
Heat pumps- come in various shapes and sizes, are generally used to harness the natural 50°C temperature of the ground
ESG plants- drilling down to the source in order use deep earth to heat water which is injected into the earth and then pumped back to the surface. The Economics (more scary stuff) Geothermal is competitively one of the least expensive sources of renewable energy in the world, comparable with hydropower and biomass only.
While research, drilling, and piping can be extremely expensive, the pay-off is both environmentally and economically beneficial.
Recently governmental and institutional assistance has enabled further reconnaissance, discovery, and general opportunities. Environmental Impacts (the stuff we care about) Binary process do NOT emit gases
Geothermal plants can disturb sensitive ecosystems and habitats
Geothermal resources can “empty” therefore, cascade systems and re-injection is recommended.
Open system plants can emit low levels of Carbon Dioxide, Sulfer, Mercury, Boron, Radon etc. Chemical compositions differ site to site. Affects of these chemicals on the environment are yet to be confirmed.
Even at the most highly concentrated sources, CO2 emissions are still half of those produced by fossil fuels. Weren’t we talking about Japan?
Japan established the world’s first geothermal plant in 1909
Japan has been culturally dependent on its hot springs for thousands of years
Recently the Japanese government offered 19 million dollars to geothermal research
Currently, the majority of geothermal Direct (<150°C) use is contributed to bathing and recreation
Heat pumping for individual or municipal use is still highly uncommon Yes, we were: Local Issues Concern over sources, due to Japanese traditional attachment to hot springs.
Post-Fukushima Daiichi disaster, citizens began heavily researching energy sources
However there are still scientific issues to deal with (which will be discussed shortly). As well as economic concerns for locals who depend on “onsen” as an income. Geology and Geography Landslides are common in Japan. This could cause problems in geothermal processes. Japan is also prone to monsoon seasons which can cause over saturation, which can penetrate to geothermal sources.
Tectonic activity could create damages to geothermal plants. For these reasons, careful planning must be done to reduce risks. Is Geothermal Energy the Right Source
for Post-Disaster Japan? Total Cost: $18,200.00 Savings Per Year Avg: $2,820.10 Payback Period: 6.5 years 15 Year Total Operating Cost - No Geo 4.5% fuel increase: $ 99,590.90 $2.15/Gallon Forever: $ 42,301.50 15 Year Total Operating Cost with Geothermal 12cent/kwh electricity: $ 7,686.00 2% electricity increase annually: $ 8,861.15 Bibliography

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Websites (all last accessed Nov. 25th 2012):

http://www.nef.or.jp/english/data/index.html, data on Japan's geothermal use.

https://analysis.nrel.gov/homer/, HOMER systems.


http://www.kantei.go.jp/saigai/senmonka_g3.html. Governmental website stating that Fukushima with
had a minor impact in comparison with the Chernobyl event in former USSR.

http://www.simplyinfo.org/?p=8220 Fukushima Health Survey

http://www.asahi.com/national/update/1215/TKY201112150613.html Government report stating that
radioactive levels are acceptable in the surrounding region, post-Fukushima incident.
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