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Program ID: Innovation Anthology #865
Program Date: 05/04/2017
Program Category: Alberta, Energy, Engineering, Environment

Dr Jonathan Banks: Geothermal Power Temperature Criteria

Dr Jonathan Banks at the University of Alberta has been researching geothermal resources over the last decade.

He says to produce geothermal electricity in Alberta, we need temperatures of about 100 degrees celsius.

DR JONATHAN BANKS:   To produce electricity with modern technology,  it's not so much based on the temperature, it's based on the temperature differential.  So there's a hot side and a cold side to an engine.  And to reliably produce electricity in an economic fashion here in Alberta, we're looking to get a temperature differential of 100 degrees or more.  Since the average ambient air temperature  in Alberta is about zero, we look for temperature above 100 degrees to make electricity.  For directly using the heat, we actually only need water that's at the temperature we want to use it at.   So to run a greenhouse for example, we're looking for temperatures that are about 60 degrees.  To melt snow off a road, for that we only need water that's maybe 40 degrees celcius. 

Dr. Jonathan Banks says higher geothermal temperatures, at say 120 degrees, lead to a positive cascading effect.  

This allows production of electricity at the high end.  Then as the water cools, it can be used for heating.
  
Thanks today to ALBERTA INNOVATES

Learn more at INNOVATION ANTHOLOGY.COM


I'M CHERYL CROUCHER

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