Geothermal Energy Facts

Geothermal power works by coverting energy stored in the earth or collected from underground sources into geothermal electricity. Geothermal renewable energy or power is one of the least publicized and thus understood renewable energy sources around. In both the Philippines and Iceland almost a quarter of their electricity is generated from geothermal electricity. However, these are the only countries that make much use of geothermal energy.

There are a few different ways that geothermal energy can be harnessed and converted into useful energy. These include conventional geothermal which consists of both binary cycle power plants, hot dry rock geothermal energy, dry steam plants, and flash steam plants. Also, direct heat and geothermal heat pump is used as well. The most common geothermal technology are binary cycle power plants. These pass moderately hot geothermal water past a secondary fluid with a lower boiling point than the water coming from the Earth. This results in the secondary fluid becoming a vapor which drives turbines to generate electricity.

This image below shows how geothermal energy is generated and harnessed for generating electricity. The magma which is the real energy source heats underground rivers and other water sources. This water is then extracted and used as explained above to generate electricity.

Although geothermal power isn’t well known to the general public it is just as viable a renewable energy source as solar, wind, or other more popular renewable energy technologies. Advances in turbine technology and the increasingly important search for alternative renewable energy should make geothermal power an attractive option. Hopefully in the future we’ll see more of this technology being used.



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