What do you get when Pacific Northwest National Laboratories takes over what was once the largest and deepest gold mine in North America? The answer might be enough energy to power 10,000,000 homes. The enhanced geothermal systems project includes the lab and several partners from academia and industry and aims to test sending fluids down boreholes so the Earth can heat them up. Hot fluids, of course, can easily create electricity.
At 4,100 feet underground, the old mine is not very convenient to get to. However, modern technology means that the equipment is largely automated so workers can carry out experiments from home using a computer or even a phone. The system itself is 7 feet long by 7 feet wide and 30 feet long. It was assembled above ground, tested, and then split into 4×4 sections for transportation deep below the surface.
The work tunnel is airconditioned, although once you go down for your shift at 6:30AM, you don’t get to go back up until 6:30PM so working from home is a definite advantage.
Some researchers on the project hosted a “deep talk” (we see what they did there) recently and you can see the video, below.
Paradoxically, you can get heat from the earth or you can dump heat into the earth. Great way to cool your next gaming rig.