As in my previous question, I was talking about survival, when the parent star of a planet, Eridanus, froze due to some unknown cause. So the residents of this planet Taurus, the Villagers, have done everything possible to ensure their survival, and for a later time, generate enough heat to warm up the surface to prevent the atmosphere from freezing over and creating a second "Pail of Air" scenario. It was basically a rudimentary "nuclear" reactor, or, simply just 10 million tonnes of Uranium-238 thrown together into a cave and left to warm up from radioactive decay and create HTHP steam for powering turbines for electrical generation.
However, as pointed out by someone in the comments, it would take a hell lot of time for the reactors to be operational. 4 years for it to get hot enough to atleast boil water, and 20 years for it to generate HTHP steam. The Villagers have nothing to do for the first 20 years, so they have to search for an alternate solution of electricity. The Villagers have temporarily ruled out these sources of electricity, for the following reasons:
- Wind energy - Sounds promising, because the sudden cooling of the atmosphere irregularly would lead to catastrophic turbulence, which could be used to spin wind turbines, but considering the fact that the atmosphere is about to freeze over in like, a few months, the atmosphere is going to be a near vacuum, and thus is ruled out.
SolarStellar energy - Do I need to explain myself
- Fusion energy - Trying to harvest deuterium from frozen-over oceans is like trying to ask an ant to lift the Burj Khalifa. No guarantee if you get more output energy or not. Furthermore, Villager Fusion tech is just similar to what we currently have now. (large energy wasting tokamaks and other bunkum)
- Fossil Fuels - They do have plenty of barrels of petroleum left (~11 trillion barrels of petroleum reserves). But considering the fact that they they have to heat up the atmosphere next, that feat is impossible. The atmospheric pressure pre-freezing was about 1 bar, but the surface area of the planet is much bigger, which would mean that the amount of frozen air to be boiled into gas, would be tremendous (I cannot calculate how much energy would be required to warm up the atmosphere, however, based on my estimates, it would take nearly a whooping 10 quadrillion oil barrels to heat up the atmosphere enough to make it remain gaseous).
- Geothermal Energy - This is like the most viable option, something that the Villagers can construct easily, as they have sufficient oil for drilling out and manufacturing mining bits. However, as the goals of the Villagers are huge (heating up the atmosphere and keeping it gaseous), it would require a ton of geothermal wells to be created. And based on this EAS scenario about a similar thing, building a ton of GT-wells caused a ton of earthquakes and tectonic shenanigans.
Note that this does not mean that these energy sources are forbidden forever, it just means that the Villagers will look for alternate energy sources, but if they failed they will have to use either of the energy sources mentioned above. But for now, they have to exclude them from the list and look for other sources of energy.
What alternate energy source should the Villagers use for their survival and heating up their atmosphere?
- The Villagers are not attempting to reignite their parent star, Eridanus. They know that they have limited energy resources, and they just have 2 goals in mind - That of remaining alive and keeping plants alive, and warming up the atmosphere to atleast keep it gaseous.
- The Star is not frozen forever. As I mentioned in a previous question, Eridanus is only frozen for like 10,000 years, which slowly causes it to compress and heat up, and again reignite into a star again. However, as the star is really small, it takes about nearly 10,000 years for the compression to finally heat up and become a star. So the Villagers look for alternate electricity sources.