Monday, November 15, 2010

Short Essay on Geothermal Energy

Essay on Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy can be described as Geo (Earth) Thermal (Heat). It is essentially a form of heat that comes from the earths crust itself. It can be found in shallow hot water reservoirs, and certain lower crust rocks that are heated by the superheated Magma underneath. Because it is produced naturally and is produced quickly by the earth it is a constant form that is rarely recognized for its potential energy capabilities. It is not only a good source of constant energy it is in fact 95% available at all times, this coupled with the fact that it produces little to no greenhouse gases or other emissions makes it an excellent source of power.

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In most parts of the world the surface temperature is kept at a constant, (between 10 and 16 degrees C). Using this knowledge, heating and cooling systems for homes and larger office buildings have been built. These systems rely on a mass of pipes buried bellow the surface that carries water below and then back to the buildings walls. This is one of the more simplistic forms of harvesting the earths heat.

In a geothermal power plant mile deep ‘wells’ can be dug to pump water down closer to the core to heat the water to a steam. While the initial construction is expensive the fact that the water can be used and reused and the fact that no outside fuels have to be constantly shipped in means that the overall cost of operating the plant is cheaper.

There are three forms of harvesting geothermal energy these are:
  • Tapping into an underground steam reservoir and pumping it back to the surface.
  • Pumping mildly heated water from the reservoir and using that to turn the turbines.
  • Pumping water from the plant down through the well until it turns to steam that will turn the turbine.
Each of these three have their advantages and disadvantages however they all bring us to the same end a clean and reliable constant source of energy that is available all over the world once we relies the potential for this power source than we will be able to have more elaborate plans for the future.

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