Geothermal Energy By: Kyle Fisher, Andrew Colagreco, and Philip Himmelstein.
Definition:thermal energy generated and stored in the Earth It can be used for electrical use and also for home heating. The heat inside of the Earth originally came from volcanic activity and solar rays being absorbed when the Earth was formed. What is Geothermal Energy?
Definition: Electricity generated from geothermal energy. Geothermal plants run around the clock, which increase the reliability value of them. Which solar and wind are not able to do. The three types of geothermal plants are dry steam, flash steam, and binary cycle plants. Geothermal Electricity
Dry Steam Plant A power plant where steam is released from the pressure of a deep reservoir, through a rock catcher, and then past the power generator turbines.
Flash Steam Plant A power plant where water is pumped under great pressure to the surface. When it surfaces, the pressure is reduced and as a result some of the water changes to steam. This creates a blast of steam. The water is then returned to the earth to be heated up by geothermal rocks again.
Binary Cycle Plants A power plant where warm geothermal water is pumped to the surface and passed through a heat exchanger that contains a special fluid that boils the water. The heat from the water makes this secondary fluid flash into vapor. The newly created vapor spins the turbines, while the cooled steam is injected back into the earth.
Geothermal Energy For Home Use Used mostly for domestic heating and cooling Creates absolutely no pollution Can save you up to $2000.00 dollars annually
In cooling mode, geothermal heating / cooling systems take warm air from in the house and run it through a compressor, which turns the air into water. Then, the water goes underground and disperses the heat into the ground, cooling the water. The water then runs back up, turns back to a gas, and cycles back into the house. Cooling Mode
In heating mode, geothermal heating / cooling systems take cold air from in the house and run it through a compressor, which turns the air into water. Then, the water goes underground and absorbs the heat into the ground, heating the water. The water then runs back up, turns back to a gas, and cycles back into the house. Heating Mode
Geothermal Energy Pros & Cons The six main areas of discussion about the pros and cons of geothermal energy are: - Environmental Friendliness - Reliability - Cost - Availability - Looks - Sustainability
Reliability Pros Cons Once in operation, the most reliable energy source No purchase of fuel No waste disposal Every geothermal energy facility that has been built in the last 100 years is still in production NONE
Cost Pros Cons No fuel costs In competition with coal power plant prices, making them one of the cheapest High initial costs for construction
Availability Pros Cons Provides ¼ of the Western US’s electricity Drilling technology is improving, increasing the range of geothermal use on the globe Primarily available where magma is close to the surface, which isn’t everywhere Not very vast amount of plants
Looks Pros Cons Least aesthetic problems out of all power plants Least visual impact of any power generation technology available Plants where river water is used for a cooling medium are built completely underground NONE
Sustainability Pros Cons Enough thermal energy exists in our planet to run civilization for billions of years More energy available in the earth than oil, coal, gas, and mineable nuclear fuels combined. When technology improves, geothermal energy will provide us with more than enough energy than we need Some resources aren’t hot enough to successfully run a geothermal power plant
Pros & Cons Overview All in all the average for each area of discussion is as follows: - Environmental Friendliness - Reliability - Cost - Availability - Looks - Sustainability
Conclusion All in all, Geothermal Energy is a long-lasting, efficient way to heat / cool your home and run some of the world’s electric power plants.