Author Topic: Warm water from mines?  (Read 892 times)

Offline Keris82

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Warm water from mines?
« on: June 09, 2020, 07:44:00 pm »
Hmm not sure what to make of this. Does this mean the loss of a lot of mines that will now no longer be accessible? Also I'm not convinced how this is going to work.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-52963645

Online mikem

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Re: Warm water from mines?
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2020, 07:58:50 pm »
Coal mines are generally not safe places to explore...

Offline Graigwen

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Re: Warm water from mines?
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2020, 08:08:46 pm »
This low grade warm water has been the subject of considerable study for some time. I mentioned it a while ago to one of the shareholders in Tower Colliery, I think they were already aware of the economic prospects.

I don't think it will sterilise many good exploration sites - I am none too keen on disused coal mines myself!

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Offline aardgoose

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Re: Warm water from mines?
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2020, 08:30:14 pm »
The BGS have a research project in Glasgow on coal mine water running
https://www.bgs.ac.uk/research/energy/geothermal/heatEnergyGlasgow.html


Offline AR

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Re: Warm water from mines?
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2020, 08:46:28 pm »
If what they're proposing is pulling water up from abandoned deep coal mines then the number of sites lost for exploration will be exactly zero. They're already flooded, and if there is anything above water still potentially accessible the odds are it'll be collapsing all over the placea nd the atmosphere lethally gassy.  Us mine explorers generally stay out of abandoned coal mines, and that's before the consideration that you can be prosecuted for entering one...
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Offline Andy Farrant

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Re: Warm water from mines?
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2020, 09:18:05 pm »
The vast majority of disused coal mines are flooded, and represent a potential store of thermal energy beneath many of the UK's urban areas (Glasgow, Manchester, Nottingham, Sheffield, Bristol etc). What remains to be seen is how economically viable this is, as it will involve the constructon of district heating networks. I suspect it will be small scale at first, used to heat public buildings, to see how viable it its. But my view is that properly insulating the UK's housing stock would be cheaper and more effective solution. Upgrading home insulation and ensuring all new builds are carbon neutral is something which the Govt has systematically failed to do over the past ten years.

Online PeteHall

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Re: Warm water from mines?
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2020, 09:23:57 pm »
District heating networks are on the rise. Where they are in the pipeline, it is usually a planning requirement for city centre sites to have the option to connect once it's all up and running.
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Offline alastairgott

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Re: Warm water from mines?
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2020, 09:44:31 pm »
Well if they're got any sense, then instead of pumping the water out they will just use water source heat pump technology, like a reverse underfloor heating system to warm clean water in sealed pipes then pump it round to where it's needed.

There a few examples of Water source heat pumps in mines including one in Glasgow which seemingly has been operational since 1999.
https://www.gshp.org.uk/London/7_BanksGeothermalMinewater.pdf

Short 2 pager from the coal authority
https://www.theade.co.uk/assets/docs/nws/Renewableheatfromminewater.pdf

This is a presentation from the SEREN Project in south wales, the presentation is well put together and seems from the short glance that I took at it very informative. I particularly like page 17, screenshot below.
http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/510965/1/FarrTucker%20SEREN%20for%20NORA.pdf

If only you could have water from TOWER or Six Bells pumping round your house all day everyday, you would (perhaps) never need to heat your house ever again!

Offline mrodoc

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Re: Warm water from mines?
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2020, 06:57:41 am »
Thermal heating projects seem to come and go. it must be at least 40 years ago I first heard about tests on using geothermal heat in Cornwall. Nothing see to come of this then but I see the idea was revived again recently. There must be a fair number of technical problems associated with the concept.

Offline Andy Farrant

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Re: Warm water from mines?
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2020, 08:37:10 am »
There are various types of geothermal power; the original project at Rosemanowes in Cornwall tried to extract high grade heat from granites ('hot dry rock') to generate power. The rock was suffciently fractured to get flow in and out, but the rocks were not hot enough to make steam for a turbine to generate electricity unless the boreholes were drilled much deeper. A geothermal well has been suppling hot water to Southampton for many years (extracting hot water from a deep sedimentary basin). The coal field geothermal plans to use much lower grade heat to heat houses via heat pumps and district heating networks. The old flooded mines represent a large thermal store at a lower temperature. Karst springs tap into the same store; water coming from groundwater springs is typically around 10-11 deg in southern England; for example, Cheddar Caves could easily tap into this by installing a heat pump in Skeleton Pit to heat their offices. Upgrading insulation ought to be the first priority rather than heating a draughty house with hot water from mines.

Online mikem

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Re: Warm water from mines?
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2020, 08:40:44 am »
Of course the technology is generally a lot more efficient & cheaper than it was 40 years ago, plus the political will to try alternative sources of energy (& the increasing costs of making other options more environmentally friendly)

Offline Keris82

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Re: Warm water from mines?
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2020, 09:29:51 am »
There are various types of geothermal power; the original project at Rosemanowes in Cornwall tried to extract high grade heat from granites ('hot dry rock') to generate power. The rock was suffciently fractured to get flow in and out, but the rocks were not hot enough to make steam for a turbine to generate electricity unless the boreholes were drilled much deeper.

That's what I thought, I'm not sure the water would be hot enough to be sufficient unless they can drill really deep.

Also, I wasn't aware that cavers don't explore coal mines much. I haven't been in many mines apart from some in N.Wales and Nenthead.

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Re: Warm water from mines?
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2020, 11:01:15 am »
Even mine explorers tend to stay away - metal or stone mines tend to be in more stable rock strata & don't have so many problems with dangerous gases.

Offline SamT

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Re: Warm water from mines?
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2020, 12:15:33 pm »
Already up and running in Holland.. google Heerlen Mine water.. Loads of good info.


https://ec.europa.eu/environment/ecoap/about-eco-innovation/good-practices/netherlands/328_en
https://www.irbnet.de/daten/iconda/CIB8366.pdf


I'm pretty sure they were conducting feasibility studies on some of the mines around wakefield at the mining museum there about 10 years ago. 

Makes a lot of sense.

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Re: Warm water from mines?
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2020, 02:40:14 pm »
I gather there's a substantial aquifer under Sheffield, much within sandstone, but part of which at least is in flooded coal mines, but I don't think they're that deep - some of the early Victorian ones may only be 50-100 metres or so, and I can't imagine the water would be that warm there - though maybe the energy trapped in one degree warmer than outside is substantial? Crookes Croft Colliery, which closed in 1820, was under what is now Park Square roundabout, and a few years ago a mysterious hole opened up under the tram tracks - Look North reported that engineers were' looking into the cause'. They never reported back, presumably as the hole was over the engine shaft. In later years a brewery was built on top, and rumour has it they drew water up from the mine to make the beer with. Yum. Nutty Slack Mild.

I'm also told that in Victorian times, the bottom section of what is now called the Megatron culvert for the River Sheaf suddenly breached, and a large hole appeared in one wall, and the river disappeared down it for a few days. Apparently it eventually reappeared a few miles downstream near Attercliffe, rising in fields and being rather black, having travelled several miles through the old workings. They also managed to drain the canal in one afternoon, when some old coal workings only a few metres below the bottom of the Wharf basin in town collapsed, and the resultant plughole emptied the canal all the way down to Tinsley Locks.

Offline Speleotron

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Re: Warm water from mines?
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2020, 02:46:52 pm »
That's fascinating about the river disappearing into the old mines. The new resurgence must have looked bizarre. Presumably it would have been a huge resurgence, possibly the biggest in the UK at the time if it was carrying the whole river. Did the river just burst out of some blocked-up mine entrance just below the surface or seep out of lots of small openings? Do you think there's a photo anywhere?
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Online MarkS

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Re: Warm water from mines?
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2020, 03:18:15 pm »
I think domestic ground source heat pumps are only about 1-2 m deep. Obviously the warmer the better, but the water certainly doesn't need to be "warm" in the way we would normally define it.

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Re: Warm water from mines?
« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2020, 05:12:05 pm »
That's fascinating about the river disappearing into the old mines. The new resurgence must have looked bizarre. Presumably it would have been a huge resurgence, possibly the biggest in the UK at the time if it was carrying the whole river. Did the river just burst out of some blocked-up mine entrance just below the surface or seep out of lots of small openings? Do you think there's a photo anywhere?

I'll try and get some more info from my 'contact' on the river disappearing as I'm not sure what the date was. I assume that it 'resurged' due a fault or a comprehensive blockage that forced it back upwards again. It's not a massive river - it joins the Don just after the culvert ends, so I assume that it essentially ran under the Don until the levels met and then it came out again. But presumably it took days to fill the old workings first, and I have no idea how deep they were, but probably shallow. The canal collapse was in 1854 and it caused total havoc.

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Re: Warm water from mines?
« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2020, 04:03:01 pm »
I just got this from my friend on the river disappearance - sadly there's no info on where the water re-surfaced, but I'm guessing somewhere down near Carbrook:

This area (including the Peak District) experienced repeated heavy rainfall in the 1870s & 1880s, which affected both lead mines & collieries alike. Silence mine was flooding (from snow melt) in Jan 1883 and the particular event you refer to occurred in Feb 1883. Underground flooding of Sheffield collieries was first reported at Manor pit on Feb 24 of that year (although it was subsequently stated that Manor had not worked since Xmas because of the water problems there, pumping all the time).

On Feb 26, 1883, the Sheffield Telegraph reported:


Quote
"Nunnery Colliery enjoys a unique reputation for a superabundance of water, but  a very serious disaster has occurred. Twelve months ago the pumping stations at Nunnery and Soaphouse pits were supplemented by the erection of a pumping engine at Manor pit, near the Intake road. In recent weeks the weekly readings from all stations showed that the manor pump was having to cope with double the quantity. This may have been caused by excessive rains. On Saturday morning the level of water in Crookes Croft pit - now Greave's brewery - had risen to within 10 yards of the surface - 30 ft higher than ever known before. Mr Bainbridge and others, including Mr Taylor (local inspector for Midland railway) entered the arched tunnels beneath the Midland Station (built about 1866). At the time they were being built, the workmen broke into some old coal workings associated with Ponds colliery and the water ran through the cavity with great force, causing considerable damage to Manor Pit. Bainbridge feared that the remedial works implemented in 1866 may have given way.  Upon inspection, they found water estimated to be about 2,500 gpm pouring down an aperture, 7ft x 2ft in size, at a different location about 40 yards further downstream from the 1866 breach. The stream was soon diverted by means of a temporary dam. Last week the water in Nunnery pit was 5 feet deep extending for 600 yards along the level. The flowing water had also eroded part of the foundations for one arch wall. The temporary dam reduced the flow to Crookes Croft shaft, and yesterday morning the water level was 3 feet lower. Nunnery has recently been pumping at 3,500 gpm, day and night, to keep up with the water flow."

On Tues Feb 27:  "It is thought that the vibrations of trains passing through the station has caused progressive failure of the thin roof over very shallow workings near the outcrop of the coal." ... "In consequence of the precautions taken on Saturday and Sunday, no more water is going through the cavity under the Midland Station railway arches. The water at the Crookes Croft pit, under Messrs Greaves Brewery, shows a decrease of 4ft since Saturday, but the water has extended from 600 to 800 yards along the level of Manor pit. To overcome the quantity of water in the Nunnery Colliery all the pumping machinery will have to work night and day."

On March 3:  "Threatened inundation of the Nunnery Collieries - for some time past the officials at Nunnery collieries have been troubled with an unusually large quantity of water at each of the pumping stations, i.e., at Nunnery, Manor and the old Soaphouse pumping engine. During the last three weeks a much larger volume has been seen than the in the previous wet seasons and for 6 months or so the Manor and Soap House pits the water has been greater than ever prefviously known. Manor pit has been idle since Christmas, but the pumps at the other two pits have been coping. Daily water levels have been taken at Greaves Brewery, which stands on the site of the old Crookes Croft pit, used as a pumping station by the late Mr Dunn when he was a proprietor of the Sheffield Collieries. On Saturday morning it was reported to Mr Emerson Bainbridge, managing director or the Nunnery Collieries, that the water in the Crookes Croft pit had increased. In previous years this had not risen higher than 15 yards from the surface, but in the last few days it reached 10 ft from the shaft top. Mr Bainbridge made arrangements to inspect the arches under the Midland railway station, which is built over the river Sheaf. Whilst it was being erected in 1866 The men engaged in constructing the arches found that the water, which had been a problem, suddenly disappeared - into an old heading in the Silkstone seam. Although it did not run into the workings for more than a few hours, the railway company had to pay a large amount of damages to the lessee of the collieries.  The leak was plugged with a cement wall. This worked until recently, when during the new inspection the sound of falling water was heard, indicating that the river bed had given away - with the river flowing down an 8ft deep cavity. Steps were taken to divert the flow of water. By Monday the water standing in the manor Pit level had increased to 800 yards. The cavity beneath the station is close to one of 3 archways upon which a portion of the station stands. It is supposed that excavations for the foundation of one of the arches reached the outcrop of the coal and the vibrations from passing trains has caused the collapse of the roof of some workings."

I have not found any more reports after this. It seems likely that there should be, but the common keywords don't return any search results in the digitised newspapers (poor OCR recognition), so the papers will have to be read page by page, looking for small entries, which may only be a few lines in a long column.

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Re: Warm water from mines?
« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2020, 04:04:39 pm »
And here's a PDF on the canal basin collapse - I hope it works.

Offline Speleotron

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Re: Warm water from mines?
« Reply #20 on: June 11, 2020, 04:25:42 pm »
Thanks a lot!
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Offline Slug

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Re: Warm water from mines?
« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2020, 03:15:37 pm »
 This is actually a well proven and mature technology, relatively easy and cost effective to do........well it is in some countries who have the foresight AND political will to do it......NOT looking at You Britain :o.

 This video gives a rough outline of what is what.

 Imagine how much energy there is stored in, say out canal network - shallow, slow flowing, "dark",( have you ever seen clean canal water) soaking up all that free sunlight. Through the use of heat pumps and thermal mass storage there could be a whole new technology just waiting to be developed. Store up enough heat and couple it to say a Stirling Engine, or some other method of transfer you'd be be able to generate electricity.

 It is however, like I said all a matter of the will to do it.......except in my case where its the lack of money  :lol:
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Re: Warm water from mines?
« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2020, 03:28:13 pm »
Fabulous video - thanks. Sheffield's canal basin and both the canal and the river run directly past the main incinerator plant (all in the area discussed above), and the incinerator already feeds heat to homes and public buildings in the city. It would seem a no-brainer to get a heat pump installed in each water body and feed it in. I'm probably massively over-simplifying the installation, but it's feasible at least. Most canals go to a city at some point.

 

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