In this world saturated by broadcast media, I find it necessary to keep people informed myself. While I do not doubt the media’s ability to inform vast swathes of people, the succinctness of such broadcasts has the inevitably unfortunate consequence of omitting certain crucial pieces of information.
To clarify, I am referring to the recent discovery of a geological hotspot beneath Lower Piltover.
In the aftermath of both Jinx’s campaign of wanton destruction and the recent tsunami, we have been dutifully rebuilding our fair city. Any recent visitor to Piltover has seen that this is a citywide endeavor. For many, seeing the city burn was a call to action, a spark that ignited the flames of passion that lay dormant in every sentient being. Hundreds of thousands continue to toil, tirelessly restoring the City of Progress to its former glory.
But even now, it is an uphill struggle. Both Jinx’s raids and the tsunami have destroyed critical, precious infrastructure. Roads, power transmission lines, telecommunications towers, and so on. Rationing is still in effect, in a desperate attempt to make the best use of our diminished food production. The city is a living, breathing thing, struggling to heal itself while being addled by starvation and hypovolemia. Rolling blackouts continue to make things difficult, as we work to make best use of our limited power generation resources. Until our solar concentrators and wind turbines are restored to working order, we are operating in diminished capacity.
That being said, any potential resource to add to our power generation infrastructure comes as a welcome blessing.
At this point, I will confirm the claims that the media are making. Last week, I appeared before Parliament to discuss safety concerns regarding the geological anomaly discovered beneath us. The Academy’s scientists have determined that the rock has settled into a stable structural configuration. The risk of further displacement is, at this point, minimal. The magma chamber itself is situated many kilometers beneath the surface, and so there is little danger that surface architecture would accidentally breach it.
However, the rock above the magma chamber has been shown to transfer large quantities of heat to cavities above. In various places this infringes upon local aquifers, causing the formation of vast quantities of steam. It is the belief of both myself and many others, both at the Academy and in Parliament, that this can be harnessed for our own benefit.
To my readers, I would like to introduce and briefly explain the core concepts of geothermal power generation. At its most basic level, many methods of power generation accomplish the same task in the end — the production of rotational motion that is used to turn electrical generators. Most often, this rotational motion is produced by the flow of gas or liquid across the blades of turbines, connected to these generators by means of shafts. Our wind power generation is one of the more direct examples of this design. Large blades are turned by the wind, akin to a more traditional windmill. Though, instead of operating a grindstone, an electrical generator is installed in a large housing atop the pylons you see out in the bay. From here, electrical power is transmitted through cables that run down the pylon’s length, and into the city’s powergrid by means of conduits buried beneath the seabed. Coal or gas-fired generation uses the heat released from such combustion to vaporize water into steam, which is in turn used to rotate turbines.
In geothermal power generation, the source of heat comes from molten rock deep beneath the surface. A simplified explanation follows: First comes the boring of two holes deep into the cavities receiving the magma chamber’s heat. Water is channeled down one duct, heated into steam, and then, by means of a difference in pressure between the underground chamber and the surface, made to flow up. Along the way, it passes by the blades of turbines, providing the necessary work to turn electrical generators. The steam is then condensed into liquid water by exposure to to chilled ductwork, and made to repeat the cycle.
The benefits of geothermal power generation are twofold: the fading of heat sources occurs over the course of geological timespans — millions of years. Assuming the facilities and equipment are properly maintained, power generation would be steady and uninterrupted for decades. Secondly, because no combustion is being used to heat the working fluid, there is no release of pollutants into the atmosphere.
Clean, renewable energy. Every scientist’s dream. Now, we can make it a reality.
Parliament has approved us to move on to the next steps. Surveying the land above the anomaly. Engineering the ductwork that will carry the steam. Designing the turbines that will generate the electricity. All of this represents a monumental commitment by many individuals, and many more are joining the cause every day. We are creating jobs. We are giving people purpose. We are creating something that will hasten our city’s recovery. We are encountering engineering obstacles, and devising ways to defeat them. Both in boardrooms and in the field, we are establishing the sheer scope of what it is we are doing. This will be our next grand work, and its legacy will be felt for many decades to come. We will make Piltover great again.
They say necessity is the mother of invention. To truly achieve something, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time.