Geothermal energy |Geothermal heat pump | It’s important facts

What is geothermal energy, and how does it work?

Massive amounts of thermal energy, named Geothermal energy, is reserved under the Earth’s crust. This has produced from the radioactive decay of the minerals and elements. Water and steam are carrying the geothermal energy to the surface of Earth. Geothermal energy is a good resource for heating and cooling application or to generate clean electricity, depending on its characteristics. However, high or medium temperature resources (exploiting temperatures of over 180°C.) are needed for electricity generation. This type of Geothermal energy is usually located close to the Tectonically active regions.

In Geothermal PowerStation’s, utilize heat generated from deep inside the earth will be utilize to produce steam to convert electricity. Sometimes geothermal heatpump taps the heat Earth-surface reserves to utilized various heating applications.

Why geothermal energy is important?

It is a power source that produces electricity with minimal environmental impact.
This is one of most promising among renewable energy sources, reliable, clean and safe form of power production, and different advancement and upgradation is going on to make it more efficient.
Geothermal energy is a process that takings advantage of heat beneath the planet’s surface, so no heating cost is required.

Deep down in the earth’s crust, there’s molten magma (melted stones) leading to intense heat. This can heat water reservoirs and air spaces. The water temperatures are approximately 20 oC at 15ft below earth surface, but this will be lot hotter as it goes deeper down from the earth surfaces.

Geothermal energy image credit : pixabay

Types of Geothermal energy:

  1. Direct use and district heating systems.
  2. Geothermal power plants.
  3. Geothermal heat pumps.

Top countries producing geothermal power:

  • USA
  • Indonesia.
  • Philippines.
  • Turkey.
  • New Zealand.
  • Mexico.
  • Italy.
  • Iceland.

Technology in Geothermal energy plant:

The technologies for power production from geothermal heat available in hydrothermal reservoirs with permeability has been working since 1913. Various technologies are available for applications in geothermal heat pumps, district heating and may be considered for the advancement of existing technology.

Various energy plants in operation these days are dry plants or flash plants (single, dual, and triple) exploiting temperatures of over 180°C. But temperature areas are more and more used for the generation of electricity or combined heat generation in the binary cycle technology. In that, Geothermal fluid is utilized via heat exchanger to heating up fluid in a closed cycle operation. Furthermore, new technologies have been developed, such as Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS), that can be at the demonstration phase.

Installations may have been done in two ways. One is more straightforward in character, called ‘Direct Use,’ where pipes have been drilled down to the water table to tap warm water used in homes. Specific pump is need to be employed in cases to pull the water that is used to power air heating system in cold climate. This kind of delivery accounts for approximately 70 percent, while about 30% of its use accounts for electrical power.

Another way is a little broader in scale, in which water has been sent more in-depth into the ground through tubes. It’s heated up as the water passes through a network of pipes, and the steam is tapped to turn turbines to generate electricity. This type is booming in areas with temperatures that are underground and hotter, particularly in geologically young or busy volcano places. These areas generally have tectonic plates and more concrete lines, which permit more heat from the underground to get to the surface.

Deep down in the earth’s crust, there’s molten rock known as magma. This is in stone form in outer surface but that has been melted in the liquid form underneath the ground as a consequence of heating from geothermal energy. This may be located about 1800 km deep under the surface. However, nearer to the surface, the layers of the stone are comparatively hotter adequate to keep air and water at a temp is about 60oF. geothermal energy takings benefit of these temp that are close-to-earth-surface to generate electricity.

In areas with hotter close-to-earth-surface’ temp. wells may well be drilled and water pump. The water runs through cracks in the stones and is warmed up. It contributes to the surface as steam and water, in which its energy may be used to drive power generators and turbines. At present, there is not any technology that makes it possible for individuals to tap on the heat from molten rock, however. Perhaps in the future, it might be.
In different areas, a geothermal heat pump system consisting of pumps and pipes may be used to heat houses. This is achieved by opening the machine, extracting the hotter air to nourish the indoor air delivery system during winter.

Source of Geothermal Energy
Source of Geothermal Energy image source : pixabay

Geothermal heat pump:

A geothermal heat pump (GHP) is a centralized heating and/or cooling system or special pumping arrangements that transfer heat from the ground and may be utilize always without any intermittence, as a heat resource (in the winter season) or a heatsink during the summer season).

Direct Exchange Geothermal Heat Pump
Direct Exchange Geothermal Heat Pump
WGisolVapor Compression CycleCC BY-SA 4.0
Geothermal energy plant image source : pixabay
Geothermal Drill Machine Image Credit: Renegadeviking

About Dr. Subrata Jana

I am Subrata, Ph.D. in Engineering, more specifically interested in Nuclear and Energy science related domains. I have multi-domain experience starting from Service Engineer for electronics drives and micro-controller to specialized R&D work. I have worked on various projects, including nuclear fission, fusion to solar photovoltaics, heater design, and other projects. I have a keen interest in the science domain, energy, electronics and instrumentation, and industrial automation, primarily because of the wide range of stimulating problems inherited to this field, and every day it’s changing with industrial demand. Our aim here is to exemplify these unconventional, complex science subjects in an easy and understandable to the point manner.
I am passionate about learning new techniques and guide young minds to perform like a professional, have a vision, and improve their performance by enriching knowledge and experience.
Apart from the professional front, I like photography, painting, and exploring the beauty of nature.Lets connect over linked-in - https://www.linkedin.com/in/subrata-jana-399336140/