Geothermal energy is obtained from the hot areas under the surface of the earth that remain at a relatively constant temperature all year around day and night. Once available, geothermal energy can be used either directly or indirectly as an alternative energy resource to both heat and cool our homes. This naturally occurring and free energy is extracted by a series of pipes filled with water buried below the Earths surface. This hot water is then used in our homes for heating, called Geothermal Heating, or to generate electricity, called Geothermal Power.
Geothermal energy is, literally, the heat of the earth. The heat itself derives from radioactive decay beneath the earth’s surface and, in certain locations, it is concentrated enough and is close enough to surface waters to be brought to the surface by local geological features.
Geothermal heat comes from the magma in the earth’s core, and that itself is heated by the radioactive decay of uranium, thorium, and potassium present in the core. Geothermal energy is present everywhere beneath the Earth’s surface, although the highest temperature, and thus the most desirable, resources are concentrated in regions of active or geologically young volcanoes.
Geo-energy was once thought of as nothing but a thing to wonder at, but it is thought of very differently, now, and is considered by many as one of the most promising forms of renewable energy. It is a renewable energy source because the hot water which conveys it is replenished by rainfall and the heat it brings with it is continuously produced inside the earth.
Geothermal Energy is another type of renewable energy resource that makes use of the large amounts of energy stored as heat in the water deep below the Earth’s surface with the most prominent and visual example of this coming from “Geysers” and “Hot Springs” ejecting large columns of very hot water, steam and gases high up into the air. In fact the word “Geothermal” comes from combining together the two Greek words of Geo, meaning “Earth”, and Therme, meaning “heat”, with the resulting word “Geothermal” actually meaning “heat generated from the Earth”, then the expression “Geothermal Energy” literally means “heat energy generated from the Earth”.
Geothermal energy works for us when, for example, is used as to warm the water in fishing farms. The water is heated, and the warmth makes it more possible for alligators, tropical fish, and other types of fish to grow in seasons and places where they wouldn’t normally. When used in a power station geothermal heat from the hot water from the well causes a “secondary fluid” to turn into vapor, which as it expands drives the turbines to produce electricity.
Since the technology used in a binary-cycle geothermal power plant is a closed-loop system, nothing is emitted to the atmosphere. After turning the turbine generator, the working fluid is condensed back into liquid, which is repeatedly vaporized by the geothermal heat in a continuing cycle.
The main advantages of Geothermal Power is that it is clean, cheap, no additional fuel is needed resulting in no greenhouse gases or air pollution. However, some disadvantages include ground water and waste water pollution, geographically restricted and high maintenance costs. But the biggest disadvantage is that the closer you put a Geothermal power plant to an active volcano or heat source, the larger the potential operational problems you can have.
Geothermal Energy Process