|Geo-Thermal Energy | Geothermal Heat Pumps | Geothermal Power Plants|
While there is a great deal of energy coming from outside of the earth, such as solar energy, there is still a great deal of energy beneath us, buried deep in the Earth's crust. There are several ways to harness these underground heat sources, let's explore them.
The upper 10 feet of the Earth's surface does not change temperature very often. The average temperature hovers around 50°F-60°F.
By inserting heat-transfer elements into
One of the oldest forms of electricity generation, ground steam used to turn turbines
Another form of hydrothermal energy is called Flash Steam. Geysers that contain fluids above 360°F can be tapped just like Dry Steam Power Plants, but the high-pressure vapors are injected into a "flash tank" which is kept at a much lower pressure. The unequal pressures cause the heated fluid to "flash" which will turn a turbine. These "Flash Steam Power Turbines" are more efficient than Dry Steam Power Turbines because any unused fluid can be held in another tank and flashed again.
A third form of geo-thermal energy is called
Binary-Cycle. This system employs two closed-circuit systems. The first pumps
the hydrothermal fluids up from the ground and into a heat exchanger. The second
system pumps another fluid around a closed loop. This fluid in the second system
has a much lower boiling point than the geothermal fluid. When the second fluid
gets to the heat exchanger, it flashes into vapor and is used to turn a turbine.
This system is highly efficient because there are no lost liquids because they
are closed circuits. This will eventually be the standard geothermal power