Nutopia societies operate entirely with electricity as the source of power. There are no vehicles or machines with internal combustion engines. Fossil fuels are used in very small quantities for very specific purposes, they are not used as a power source, or to heat our buildings, or to power vehicles. Oil is used only for products such as lubricants, plastics, and asphalt, and gas is used only for food grilling and cooking, and wood and coal is only used for fires (fireplaces for visual effects in homes, ski lodges, etc., and camp fires). Buildings are properly insulated and have tank-less just-in-time electric water heaters.
Each Nutopia community is powered by its own Geothermal Plants. The number of power generators will depend on the size of the community but there will be ample power for all the electrical needs of the community. The electricity passes on electric cables through the Under Ground Network from the power source to wherever the power is needed. Once installed the electrical cable network will be extremely low maintenance as it is not subjected to any weather or any other conditions which typically affect over ground cables.
Geothermal power today typically taps in to the shallow geothermal rocks and hot water springs because they are easy,
but there aren't many locations around the world to exploit to make any significant difference to our electricity supply.
But geothermal energy can literally be the solution we are looking for and it's right under our feet.
Geothermal electrical power generation can solve all our energy problems for good.
The rock deep below the Earth will still be hot when our Sun has died in billions of years from now, so once we have adapted to a geothermal energy supply
we will not need any other energy source ever again.
The process of using heat to boil a liquid, to produce steam, in order to drive a turbine, to generate electricity has been around for over a century.
The technology has improved dramatically over the years to produce highly efficient and robust equipment which is used in many different types of power station.
But imagine a geothermal turbine generator unit which is a
self-contained pod which has all the components for power generation installed inside the outer shell of the pod.
A shaft is created from the surface of the Earth to a
depth between 5km and 7km (where the optimum temperature of the rock is found).
When the shaft is complete the pod is simply lowered on a cable (to both support the pod and to transfer electricity from the pod to the surface) to the appropriate depth.
When the pod is activated the outer shell of the pod acts as a heat conductor transferring heat from the rock through the pod wall to the binary liquid on
the inside of the outer shell. The binary liquid turns to steam which drives the turbine and generator, and the binary liquid is then
cooled, and the cycle repeats in a closed system.
A geothermal electric power system like this has the following advantages:
The pod systems can be installed anywhere in the world. Everywhere on the Earth there is rock of sufficient temperature under the surface at various depths
between 5km and 7km. Traditional coal and gas power stations typically have to be located near resources such as rivers, oceans, and coal mines.
Nuclear power stations are typically located away from population centers for safety reasons,
and solar and wind farms have to be located where the sun and wind conditions are optimal.
Traditional geothermal power stations are located wherever there is easy access to shallow heated rock and steam which is not typically near population centers.
Hydroelectric power stations have to be located on rivers with a dam to create the suitable conditions for hydroelectric power.
The geothermal pod system however can be installed anywhere on land, so it makes most sense to install them
where the electricity is needed so that it doesn't need a substantial network of cables to get
from the power source to the power need.
Pod stations will be set up directly in Nutopia communities wherever there is need for electricity.
The pod's modular design means that pod components can easily be shipped from the manufacturing plant to the power station site
and assembled at the power station site as they are lowered down the shaft.
As one module is lowered, the next module is attached to the previous module and then it is lowered down the shaft.
Multiple pods can be lowered down the shaft depending on the requirement for electricity in the area.
So a small town might have ten pods in the shaft whereas a large city might have a hundred pods
all connected together stretching hundreds of meters down the shaft.
Once the shaft is completed, the equipment to lower pods in the shaft and the control equipment
are installed at the top of the shaft. The footprint on the surface of the Earth is tiny (perhaps 10 meters by 10 meters)
because all the power generation is done underground.
Each pod is a closed system which does not require a constant supply of liquid (such as water for steam)
and it does not require a fuel supply.
The pod system does not consume any fuel which means that it doesn't
destroy the environment with drilling, mining, and transportation of fuel,
and there are no emissions.
The small footprint and the below ground installation means
that no ecosystems or wildlife are affected.
The electricity is also transferred from the head of the power station over a short distance to the population center on underground cables
so that the transfer of electricity has no negative effect on the environment either.
The heat in the Earth will be there for billions of years. As the heat is consumed, the shaft is simply extended so that the power generation can continue. Electrical power from this geothermal pod system will keep going as long as there are people living on the Earth.
The self-contained pods are closed systems with very few moving parts.
Pods should last many years without requiring any maintenance.
When a pod does have a problem it can be taken offline automatically by the control system on the surface and a new pod
can be lowered to compensate for the loss in power.
Low Labor Requirement
The pod system is basically automated so each power station site does not need any staff.
Once the power station is brought online, it does not need any human involvement
unless faulty pods are to be brought to the surface and repaired.
The heated rock underground will gradually lose its heat but
most estimates suggest that it may take up to 30 years before it has any effect.
The rock will also return to its previous levels of heat after a few years without the heat being used.
When the shafts are first created they are created to a deeper depth than the immediate requirement
so that when the heat source at the current level has depleted to a temperature which is too low,
the pods can be lowered to a deeper level where the temperature is sufficient.
Then after a few years the pods can be returned to the shallower depth because the heat source will have replenished.
This whole process is automated by using temperature sensors and a winch system to keep pods at the appropriate depth
depending on the current conditions.
Because the power station is underground it will not spoil the landscape above ground.
Electric power will come from underground and will be delivered to communities through the Under Ground Network
so there will be no significant footprint to spoil the landscape on the Earth's surface at all.
The power station does not depend on any fuel and there are very few moving parts,
and the station is underground so it is not impacted by inclement weather conditions.
The heat from the Earth is constant so the power generation is 24/7/365 until the Earth finally dies in billions of years from now.
Renewables such as wind (it isn't always windy) and solar (it isn't always sunny) all have problems which prevent
them from being constant and reliable energy sources.
There is no significant technical challenge to creating such a pod system.
The only significant obstacle to its implementation is our ability to create thousands of shafts
which are 5km to 7km deep. Technically this is possible using today's drilling methods but because everything today is about money and the short term return on investment, no business or government would invest in it. In Nutopia there is no money and no need for ROI so the shafts can be created because it just makes sense.