Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Yellowstone volcano solution

  1. Aug 23, 2017 #1
    Hello,
    recently I noticed an article about super volcano in Yellowstone and NASA's solution by drill and pumping water in there which will be a medium for energy transfer. I hope I have read good article with good informations. A price estimation was around 3.5 mld dollars. In my country we have build an nulcear power plant around 5 mld dollars so for me this aspect realable. Do you agree?
    My main question is: Would be better to use as medium some kind of metal or alloy as a bar which would transfer thermal energy by thermal conducting?

    Temperature of core is around 5000 C. A melting point of wolfram is around 4000 C so such materials exists. They have to exists, a borer has to resist such temperature. Also you need not to pump the water in there and spare energy. What is your oppinion?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 23, 2017 #2

    mfb

    User Avatar
    2016 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    Convection is much more efficient than conductivity, and water has a very high heat capacity. You can use the hot water to produce electricity - the system also works as power plant.

    Tungsten has a thermal conductivity of 173 W/(m·K). A 500 m column at 500 K temperature difference between the ends (that is unrealistically high) will conduct 173 W/m2. It has a price of 200 million dollars per square meter. With 3.5 billions you can transfer about 3 kW. A negligible power. A single cubic centimeter of water per second, turned to steam, can do the same.
    You could use other materials than tungsten, of course - iron has a lower thermal conductivity, but it is much cheaper. That gives you a factor ~30 mainly from the lower price. 100 kW is still a negligible power.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted



Similar Discussions: Yellowstone volcano solution
  1. Greywater solutions (Replies: 4)

  2. Sick for a solution (Replies: 1)

Loading...