The name Geothermal itself says where the energy comes from.
What is geothermal energy?
It is the heat (thermal) that is absorbed by the earth (geo). Geothermal energy is heat energy extracted from the earth’s core, which is stored in the rocks of the earth’s crust.
The population density on earth is increasing from day to day. We should, therefore, meet our energy needs through the efficient use of available resources.
Geothermal energy is one of the renewable energy sources available on earth.
This molten stone is called magma.
- Magma moves upwards because it is lighter than solid stones.
- This magma heats the rock and shell water to about 700°F.
- This thermal energy from magma near the earth’s surface is the main source of geothermal energy.
Some examples for the uses of geothermal energy
In general, there are two types of geothermal energy uses.
Electricity generation and the heating and cooling of buildings. In the first case, geothermal energy, about a thousand feet from the surface, is far above the boiling point of water.
Two or more geothermal wells are drilled from the surface to a hot location, then the water is pumped through an injection well to a hot location and the steam is returned to the production well.
The steam is fed through steel pipes to the steam turbine, where the steam expands and the turbine rotates to generate electricity.
After the steam flows through the steam turbine, the steam is condensed back into liquid water, which is then pumped back into the geothermal well to close the cycle.
Geothermal power plants can generate electricity from a few megawatts to over 100 MW.
A completely different geothermal process is used to heat and cool buildings. The pipeline network is buried at a depth of at least two meters in the ground near a house or other building, Also read Advantages of solar energy.
At this depth, the ground temperature remains fairly constant throughout the year and is much lower than the air temperature in summer, but also much higher than the air temperature in winter.
In order to use the almost constant ground temperature, the water is led through underground pipes and then fed to a heat pump, which cools the building in summer and heats it in winter.
A heat pump is much more efficient than a conventional heat pump due to the earth coupling and therefore consumes much less electricity.
Geothermal energy for domestic use
The use of geothermal energy makes it possible to lower the temperature in the house during hot periods.
This technology absorbs hot air from your home and transfers it to the ground, where the air cools naturally. The cooled air is then directed through the pipes back into the house.
The reverse process of geothermal heating takes place in the cold winter months when the use of an underground heat exchanger generates warmer temperatures in your home.
Geothermal energy for farms
Geothermal energy is often used by farmers to heat their greenhouses.
Thanks to this technology, it is also possible to grow tropical plants such as citrus fruits in the middle of winter.
Countries such as Hungary and Italy have been using geothermal energy for vegetable cultivation for many decades, regardless of weather conditions.
Another area where geothermal energy is needed is fish farming. Tropical fish and other aquatic animals need hot water to survive, and a geothermal system is the right way to provide it.
How is it used?
These underground storage facilities for steam and hot water can be used to generate electricity or direct heat and cool buildings.
A geothermal heat pump system can use the constant temperature of the upper three meters of the earth’s surface to heat the house in winter, while the heat is removed from the building and transferred back to the relatively cooler ground in summer, Also read Disadvantages of solar energy.
Geothermal water from the depths of the earth can be used directly to heat apartments and offices or to grow plants in greenhouses. Some American cities use hot geothermal water under roads and sidewalks to melt snow.
Geothermal energy for Industry
Paper mills use geothermal energy in all phases of paper processing. The resulting heat is used to dry the wood. It is also used to extract precious metals such as gold, silver, etc. from mines.
From this energy, the wood is dried with heat. In order to store fruit and vegetables longer, they are dried, i.e. the water in them is slowly removed.
Geothermal drying preserves the color, taste, and freshness of the food. The nutritional value of processed food is also preserved.
Geothermal energy for the Infrastructure
Interestingly, countries like the Netherlands have started to use geothermal energy to prevent cycle paths from freezing in winter, Also read Solar energy Facts.
Geothermal energy is, therefore, a good source to prevent roads from freezing in winter.
Production of geothermal energy
To generate geothermal electricity, wells are drilled in underground reservoirs, sometimes 1.6 km or deeper, to generate steam and very hot water that drive turbines connected to power generators.
The first geothermal electricity was produced in 1904 in Larderello, Italy.
There are three types of geothermal power plants: dry steam, flash steam and binary steam. Dry steam, the oldest geothermal technology, absorbs the steam from cracks in the ground and uses it to drive the turbine directly.
Flow-through systems draw in deep, hot, high-pressure water to cool low-pressure water. The steam released during this process is used to drive the turbine.
In binary systems, hot water is supplied from a second liquid with a significantly lower boiling point than water.
In this way, the secondary fluid is converted into steam, which then drives the turbine. Most geothermal power plants of the future are binary power plants.
Geothermal energy is generated in over twenty countries.
The united state is that the world’s largest producer, and also the largest geothermic development within the world is that the Geysers north of San Francisco in California In Iceland, several of the buildings and even swimming pools are heated with the geothermic predicament.
Iceland has a minimum of twenty-five active volcanoes and plenty of hot springs and geysers.