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Mine Exploration Forum

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Author Dissertation help
andym

Joined: 05/06/2009
Location: Oxford

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Posted: 05/06/2009 15:52:45
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Hi,

I'm a student at the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales and doing an MSc research project into electricity generation using deep mines. I wondered if anyone could assist me locating sources of information that will give me details of mine locations, depths and current condition. My aim is to locate areas of the UK that have a number of very deep disused mines that are either dry (or could be made dry economically) and ideally with brownfield sites above.

If anyone could help point me in the direction of these sources or could suggest search areas I'd be really grateful. Thanks. Smile
IP: 195.93.21.33
stuey

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Joined: 15/08/2007

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Posted: 05/06/2009 16:15:49
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This sounds exceedingly interesting. I have no idea how you plan to extract electricity. Pumping costs may be interesting.

Have a google search for Billingham Anhydrite mine and if you get access, give me a shout Wink

It's a very long way down and pretty much bone dry.

There is little in Cornwall..... we are in the orders of 300ft being your sort of max big space and max drop being about 500ft.....

I'd love to hear more about this as it sounds pretty far fetched!
IP: 87.113.11.109
andym

Joined: 05/06/2009
Location: Oxford

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Posted: 11/06/2009 08:36:04
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Thanks for the information Stuey.

The gist of my research is looking whether it would be feasible to use old mines as pumped hydro storage in a similar way to Dinorwig. I am proposing that *relatively* small volumes of mine water could be usefully used in a closed system to store excess electricity production - assuming the head is high enough. The reason why I think it's important is that we could generate and dispatch energy much more efficiently in this country if there was more distributed storage. There are lots of potential barriers in the way both economic and technical but think we'd be better off exploring more productive uses of mines rather than indefinitely storing CO2 or nuclear waste.

Although it's not my main area of study, I'm also keen to see if there are ways that the economies of old mining areas may be revitalised - such as extracting the heat from the circulating water to use for commercial use such as food production...

Cheers, Andy
IP: 92.2.79.158
davel

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Joined: 24/07/2007
Location: Gwynedd

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Posted: 11/06/2009 09:52:03
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About six(?) years ago there was a proposal (the 'Llechwedd Energy Conservation Project') to have a pumped storage system at Llechwedd quarry which would utilise the underground chambers there as reservoirs. This was to be in connection with the proposed wind farm above Llechwedd (and was possibly intended to make the scheme more attractive to the planning authorities).

Dave
IP: 195.137.87.110
andym

Joined: 05/06/2009
Location: Oxford

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Posted: 11/06/2009 15:11:38
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Very interesting - thanks Dave.... I'll have a look into that proposal. Since starting my research, I've not come across any evidence of an actual scheme using mines as batteries. I've however recently come across a South African energy company who have just proposed something similar.

Cheers, Andy
IP: 92.2.79.158
Peter Burgess

Joined: 01/07/2008
Location: Merstham. Or is it Godstone ...... ?

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Posted: 26/01/2015 11:49:48
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But the internet can be so slow. Sometimes it can take nearly SIX years to get a reply!

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The most useful idiot you can ever hope to meet...
IP: 82.69.118.115
rhychydwr

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Joined: 09/06/2007
Location: Cwmparc, Rhondda, South Wales, UK.

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Posted: 26/01/2015 15:31:08
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I think most coal mines enterd by a shaft will be flooded to the brim. [I am now waiting for shouts of "Rubbish" or worse]. Any that are dry, could be full of methane. This could be used to generate electricity.

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Cutting coal in my spare time.
IP: 86.129.23.134
Morlock

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Joined: 31/07/2008

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Posted: 26/01/2015 16:29:36
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I'm not sure if any water storage space in a coal mine would stay stable for long under conditions of regular cyclic flow?

Edit: Same would apply to salt mines, I suspect.
IP: 31.49.115.11 Edited: 26/01/2015 16:31:49 by Morlock
JohnnearCfon

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Joined: 22/12/2005
Location: Sir Caernarfon

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Posted: 26/01/2015 16:35:06
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I believe the Llechwedd project was abandoned because of the amount of silt it would stir up in the mine. IP: 78.150.217.3
Yorkshireman

Joined: 23/06/2011
Location: Hanover, Germany

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Posted: 26/01/2015 16:47:32
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Wouldn't it be easier to exploit temperature differentials between the surface and at depth with a heat pump?

An interesting project in Northern Germany involved using off-peak electricity for pressing air at high pressure into a salt dome cavern and withdrawing it at peak demand periods to start gas turbine powered generators.

Cheers
IP: 93.199.6.220
John Lawson

Joined: 09/12/2010
Location: Castle Douglas Dumfries & Galloway

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Posted: 26/01/2015 19:12:48
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The obvious previous, location, was the Pelton wheel at the bottom of Brewery shaft, where enough electricity was made to power the mill, and I think free street lighting for Nenthead.

I think Greenside Mine may also have had something similar, but I am not sure on the details.
IP: 109.147.250.95
sparty_lea

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Joined: 26/04/2007
Location: Weardale

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Posted: 27/01/2015 00:01:06
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salt mine probably not the best for this
[web link]
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bageo

Joined: 05/03/2011

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Posted: 31/01/2015 13:11:31
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Salt Caverns are of interest, for compressed air storage rather than water to store energy. Infrastrata are planning to (with partners) use what was going to be a gas storage facility at Portland for energy storage using compressed air. IP: 80.42.175.54
Knocker

Joined: 17/06/2008

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Posted: 31/01/2015 13:38:50
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I believe there is a company currently looking to set up pump store schemes in some if the disused clay pits in the St Austell area. The biggest problem I can see with using underground mines is where the water goes; you would be pumping out of the mine into a surface storage reservoir and then releasing back into it, which sounds fine BUT during that time a significant amount of water will naturally infiltrate into the mine, which means the water will effectively overflow into the adit, putting a sudden surcharge into the adit and rivers downstream, stirring up alot of silt on the way, which will get the EA excited, it should be possible to overcome it utilising attenuation and settling ponds though IP: 94.197.120.241
rhychydwr

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Joined: 09/06/2007
Location: Cwmparc, Rhondda, South Wales, UK.

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Posted: 04/02/2015 13:58:12
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A company in Canada is "making" a salt mine to store compressed air. It will them use the air to generate electricy to supply a small town for 5 days. Not sure if this will work. Might be easier to sell ice to Eskimos.

http://www.journalofcommerce.com/Technology/News/2015/1/Salt-caverns-in-eastern-Alberta-created-to-store-energy-1005431W/



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IP: 82.71.20.254
Morlock

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Posted: 04/02/2015 14:21:46
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I have a feeling that it will need to propped up by some sort of Government grant aid. IP: 86.156.78.128
Knocker

Joined: 17/06/2008

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Posted: 04/02/2015 17:21:11
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The problem with compressed air is that the process of compressing it is so energy inefficient, the heat generated is huge as is the noise. And the decompression process is also inefficient. IP: 94.197.121.176
Graigfawr

Joined: 04/11/2009

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Posted: 04/02/2015 18:08:22
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Yes - compressed air is one of the least efficient mainstream methods of energy transmission.

I dare say someone will be along in due course with figures to prove or disprove this commonplace assertion...
IP: 92.14.157.182
Yorkshireman

Joined: 23/06/2011
Location: Hanover, Germany

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Posted: 05/02/2015 10:44:07
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Not if you use the surplus power that gets lost when there's low demand for running the compressors.

As I mentioned earlier, the compressed air can be used for starting gas turbines. These are extremely efficient once they are running - the inefficient bit is getting them started.

Read all about it:
http://tinyurl.com/p5n9ovy
IP: 93.199.46.184 Edited: 05/02/2015 10:48:34 by Yorkshireman
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