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Geothermal Energy

What is Geothermal Energy?

 Geo (Greek for earth


) Thermal (heat)
 Temp. of Shallow Cr
ust (upper 10 ft.) Con
stant 55-75°F (13-24
°C)
 Up to 14,400°F (8,00
0°C) at Molten Core (
approx. 4,000 mi. to
center of core)
What is Geothermal Energy?
 Utilize temperature
of the earth’s core.
 Direct use: District
Heating System
 Electricity
generation
 Heat pumps
Locations
 Ring of Fire
 Over 20 countries:
Iceland, U.S., Italy,
France, China, Japan,
ect.
 The United States is
the country with the
greatest geothermal
energy production
Direct District Heating System
 Use hot water from
springs or reservoirs
near the surface.
 Hot water near the
earth's surface can be
piped directly into
buildings and industries
for heat.
Geothermal Energy: History

 1926: a deep geothermal well was used t


o heat greenhouses.
Electricity Generation
 Dry Steam Power Plant: Uses the
superheated, pressurized steam (180°-
350°C)
Electricity Generation
 Flash Steam Power Plant: use hot water
above 182°C (360°F) from geothermal
reservoirs.
Electricity Generation
 Binary Cycle Power Plant:
 Insufficiently hot resource to efficiently
produce steam
 Too many chemical impurities to allow
flashing.
Heat Pumps
 Utilizes constant
temperature of upper
10 feet of the Earth’s
surface.
 Similar to ordinary
heat pumps, but they
rely on more stable
source than air.
Geothermal Energy
 Almost no negative
impact on the
environment.
 Release about 1 to 3
percent of the carbon
dioxide emissions of
a fossil fuel plant.
Can Geothermal Energy run out?
• 100% renewable
 Earth’s core is always going to be heated
 As long as there is a way to extract the energy from the
heat, the energy will always be available
Environmental Effects/ Benefits
 Remarkable difference
of environmental
effects compared to
fossil fuels
 Leaves almost no
footprints
 Most hardware used to
extract geothermal
energy is underground (http://www.geothermal.nau.edu/about/enviroment
.shtmlNorthern Arizona University. 2009 Oct
 Minimal use of surface 27)
Environmental Effects/Benefits

Power Source Land Requirement


(ac/mW)
 Easy to operate
Geothermal 1-8
 Open up economy
Nuclear 5-10  Much more efficient
Coal 19 use of land

(http://www.geothermal.nau.edu/about/enviro
ment.shtml> Northern Arizona University.
2009 Oct 27)
Benefits of Geothermal Power Cont’d

 Reliability1:
 Plants Have Very Little
Down Time - Avg.
Availability is 90% or
greater
 60-70% for Coal and
Nuclear Plants
Environmental Effects/ Disadvantages
 Fluids drawn from the deep (http://www.geothermal.nau.edu/about/enviroment.sht
ml> Northern Arizona University. 2009 Oct 27)
earth carry a mixture of
gases Operation Noise Level (dBa)

 Pollutants contribute to global


warming and acid rain Air drilling 85–120

 Construction of Plants can Mud drilling 80

adversely affect land stability Discharging wells after drilling (to Up to 120
 Sources may hold trace remove drilling debris)

amounts of toxic Well testing 70–110


chemicals/mineral deposits
Diesel engines (to operate 45–55
 Loud Noises compressors and provide electricity)

 Initial start up cost (expensive) Heavy machinery (e.g., for earth Up to 90


moving during construction)
Advantages
 Very high efficiency/high net yield
 Very reliable (runs 24 hrs. a day)
 Very clean – no air pollution or GHGs
 Renewable and sustainable
 Conserves fossil fuels
 Can help decrease dependence of foreign oil
 No transportation involved
Disadvantages
 Can’t provide our current energy needs
 Can only be used in certain geologically active
areas
 Water contains minerals that can be corrosive and
difficult to dispose of safely
 Harmful gases can escape from deep within the
earth
 Piping system requires large areas of land
 Initial costs can be high
References
 1:http://www.worldbook.com/wb/images/content_spotlight/ea
rth/insideearth.jpg
 2:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Pacific_Ring_of_Fire.png
 3:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:2005-08-30-district-
heating-pipeline.jpg
 4:http://www.geothermal.nau.edu/about/generation.shtml
 5:http://www.inhabitat.com/images/steamystuff2.jpg
 http://www.eia.doe.gov/kids/energyfacts/sources/renewable/
geothermal.html
 6:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geothermal_power#_note-
USGeo