In addition to solar energy and wind energy, geothermal energy is one of the most unexplored sources of Green Energy. However, with development in technology it would become possible in near future to benefit from this free source of energy.
Geothermal energy is the heat generated in the earth’s crust. This is a Green Energy source that is both sustainable and clean. The resources of this form of energy include ground hot water or hot rocks found at a depth below the Earth’s surface. The source of the energy originated in the red hot magma present several kilometers below the surface.
Tapping Geothermal Energy
Throughout the Earth’s surface, the shallow ground maintains an almost consistence temperature that ranges between 50ºF and 60ºF. Geothermal heat pumps are designed for tapping this source of Green Energy for both heating and cooling buildings. This system comprises of the following components:
• Heat pump
• Heat exchanger
• Air delivery system
The heat exchanger comprises of a network of pipes that are buried below the shallow surface close to the building.
During the winters, the heat pump takes the heat away from the heat exchanges to pump it to the air delivery system. And, during the summer season, an opposite process takes place. The heat pump takes heat from the air delivery system and transfers it to the heat exchanger. In addition, this heat removed from the indoor can also be used for heating water.
Electricity can be generated from this Green Energy source by drilling wells into the underground hot water reservoirs. Some of the power plants utilize the steam emitted from the reservoirs for running turbines or generators. And, some plants make use of the hot water for boiling a fluid to vaporize it and to turn a turbine.
If hot water is available at the surface, the heat provided by it can be used directly. The range of direct applications of this Green Energy source include:
• Heating water in fish farms
• Heating buildings
• Nourishing plants in greenhouses
• Industrial procedures like pasteurizing milk
• Drying crops
Use of Hot Rock Resources
Hot rocks are found at depths between 3 and 5 miles below the surface of earth. The good thing is that these hot rocks can be found almost everywhere on the planet. This resource can be tapped in an area by dropping water into one well, allowing it to circulate through the hot rocks and then pulling the hot water out from another well. Geothermal energy is currently not being used for any commercial purposes. In addition, the current technology doesn't allow extracting heat from the hot molten magma which is a huge resource of sustainable Green Energy.