See you next time Iceland

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This is our last full day in Reykjavik and in Iceland. In the morning we visited the Hellisheiði Power Plant for the ON Geothermal Exhibition, which gives us a detailed introduction including the history of Iceland using geothermal energy and the significance of geothermal energy to Iceland.

To use geothermal energy, there must exist a geothermal area, which is created by groundwater flowing through hot layers of rock generated by volcanic activities. The geothermal areas are They are categorized based on the temperature of the water in the bedrock into high- or low-temperature areas. The locations of the high- and low-temperature areas is a result of the age and temperature of the bedrock, where production in high-temperature areas focuses on using steam to produce electricity. Eight power plants in total produce 30% of Iceland’s 100% renewable electricity. Whereas within low-temperature areas geothermal hot water can be used for space heating. Approximately 90% of people living in Iceland use geothermal energy for that purpose.

a simplified flow chart of the geothermal plant


The outdoor view of part of the plant (pipe, cooling tower, steam exhaust)



The graph for a high-pressure turbine


the turbine connecting condenser and electricity generator


How they deal with the geothermal gas remaining in water such as carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide is also impressive. After the method of pumping the water back into the basaltic bedrock to let the gas turned into minerals by chemical combination is introduced, the percentage gets even lower.

We had a free afternoon again after we came back from the geothermal plant. Some of us went to the public pool (heated up by geothermal of course) to release the tiredness accumulated for three weeks. I personally walked around the main street downtown looking for souvenirs.


After dinner together, we all reflected on the whole trip. It is a pleasure to hear what people learned about Iceland from all aspects, how we grow by doing science and living together with each other and to think about what I achieved, accomplished and can do better.


I hope everyone can get some kind of sleep and ready to catch up the 8.30 am flight tomorrow. 🙂

How we celebrate Independence Day? Working!

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Today is a quite busy day for everyone. After the script designing and drone flying, I experienced working in a group of four with Sydney, Kaela and Kathryn to take soil samples at two different spots. One next to the coast close to the birds’ habitat, the other one on both sides of the waterfall close to our camping site. The group work was divided efficiently, Kathryn and Sydney took all the samples, Kaela put the data into the database and I am in charge of taking bird view pictures of the sample site with Kari.

We took all the samples under the area covered by a tree crown, the trees we met here are 50 cm tall in average, no more than 2 meters, even if they’ve been growing for a decade or more. For each sample taken under the tree, we took a control group sample on the ground away from the tree. I assume the analysis of the sample can show the difference of the soil affected by the tree or not.


In order to get to the other side of the waterfall, instead of going all the way down, we chose to cross the river directly. The river is wider than it looks from above, it is also harder to cross than I expected. Yet everyone got excited crossing the river as it reflected a great group work between us and marked our job in the afternoon is halfway done, and we made it!

selfie taken right in the middle of the river

The whole process took longer than we expected, but everyone feels perfect after the task been accomplished. I am glad to see that we can work so well in as a group to contribute to the project, I also feel more bonded with my beloved team members.

I wonder how’s the taste of the grass


On the other hand, the drone flying group is also having a hard day, lots of flight plans need to be finished which cover a large area. Especially Jordan is almost having a non-stop. Cheers to super hard-working Jordan!

It’s all worth it when we were rewarded by Charlie’s roast lamb at dinner 😉