Monday, May 18, 2009

Advantages and Disadvantages of Geothermal Power

The depths of the earth can generate energy from the heat absorbed in them and this energy is called geothermal energy or earth energy. Geothermal energy can be harnessed to generate geothermal power that is being put to various uses by people across the world. As a renewable energy source, geothermal power products are being potentially used in both developed and developing countries. The advantages of using geothermal power products are that they do not require any fuel. They do not emit greenhouse gases. The energy generated from geothermal power products is a sustainable energy source. Because it is a renewable energy source, the availability of geothermal energy is inexhaustible. Also geothermal energy is replenished from the depths of the earth.

There are many disadvantages of using geothermal power. Once electricity is generated and geothermal power is used, the fluid that is left over is corrosive. The construction of geothermal power plants that use geothermal power products may adversely affect the stability of land. It may not be as environment friendly as the use of geothermal power emits small amounts of carbon dioxide, sulfur and nitric oxide into the atmosphere thus causing pollution. The water used as a geothermal energy resource contains small amounts of dangerous elements like mercury and arsenic which may make the water unsafe for drinking. It is also not a very cost effective method of generating electricity as the water is at a low temperature and requires a lot of heat to be used.

The use of geothermal power as an alternative power source is not being made to its full potential.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

How does geothermal power work?

Geothermal power or earth power is the electrical energy that can be generated from earth energy. Geothermal power is a renewable energy source that can be used again and again but will still be available for many years to come as geothermal energy gets replenished inside the earth.

Geothermal power plants can be used to generate earth power by using geothermal power products. A geothermal plant is the one that converts the geothermal energy into useful electrical energy that can be used for both domestic and commercial purposes.

To obtain the geothermal power products like hot water from geothermal reservoirs, a well is drilled. Once the hot water is available, it is converted to steam that can be used in a geothermal power plant to rotate the blades of a turbine. The rotation of blades of the turbine powers generator that converts the geothermal energy in the steam that rotated the turbines into geothermal power or electricity.

The use of earth power in the working of geothermal power plants is clean and environment friendly. It does not cause any pollution and also does not add any harmful particles to the atmosphere and so can be safely used as a green renewable energy source. Geothermal power products can help in cost effective generation of electricity in a reliable manner so as to provide electricity that is readily available for use whenever required.

The installation of geothermal power plants is very expensive and therefore, earth power has not been fully utilized for the generation of electricity.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Geothermal Energy

Today many people are interested to know the advantages associated with the use of geothermal energy resources. The use of earth energy is becoming more popular because of its non-polluting nature. There large amount of heat inside the earth is responsible for this renewable energy source. The heat can be used for boiling water and running steam turbines. Most of the countries in the world have set up geothermal power stations. As an alternative energy source, geothermal energy can be used to generate electricity for the future generations. Geothermal energy resources are considered as one of the cleanest forms of energy. The weather conditions can affect the other sources of energy but the geothermal power stations provide flawless supply of electricity irrespective of the conditions of weather.

As a green renewable energy source, geothermal energy does not cause pollution. The amount of electricity that can be produced by using geothermal energy resources is more as compared to that produced by conventional energy sources. It is also an efficient source of energy. Health spas make use of earth energy during winters. Although the use of geothermal energy was known to mankind for a long time, its use has become more popular now as an alternative energy source. As opposed to conventional sources of energy, the geothermal energy is a cost effective form of energy. Because heat will be continuously produced inside the earth, this form of energy will always be readily available for use. It is therefore also known as a renewable alternative energy source

Friday, May 1, 2009

Economics of geothermal power

Heat from the earth in the form of geothermal energy can be put to several uses. It can be used for power generation in small as well as complex power plants. Geothermal power can also be used in pumping systems. It is an affordable and sustainable source of energy that can reduce the dependence on fossil fuels, reduce global warming and also preserve the environment.

Geothermal power can be used commercially. However, the commercial use of geothermal power is influenced by many factors.

One factor that has an effect on the commercial use of geothermal power is the capital costs involved in setting up a geothermal power plant. Usually these costs are high. There are no fuel costs and geothermal power plants are structured so that they can cover up the capital costs within a few years of operation.

Another factor on which the use geothermal power depends is the operating and maintenance cost. The operating and maintenance cost depends upon the number of times the power plant runs. If the geothermal power plant runs many times, the operating and maintenance costs increase.

The use of geothermal power also depends upon the average cost. This cost must be low over the life of the power plant.

The use of geothermal power also has several economic impacts. One such impact is the reduction in trade deficits because with the generation of geothermal power, nations do not need to depend upon other nations for fuels. It has also created several employment opportunities. Geothermal power has become an important source of power and revenue.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Geothermal power cooling systems

The geothermal energy of the earth can be put to several uses. It can be converted to useful electrical energy. This is called geothermal power. Geothermal power can be applied in many ways.

One application of geothermal power is the geothermal cooling system. This takes advantage of the fact that the ground remains cooler than the surrounding atmosphere during summers and it remains warm than the surrounding atmosphere during winters. It keeps the buildings cool during summers.

It is important to understand that geothermal cooling systems do not produce heat or cold. They just transfer heat from one place to another. A geothermal cooling system consists of pipes, delivery system and a heat exchanger unit. The heat exchanger unit is installed in ground near the building. During a hot summer day, a refrigerant or water flows through the system down into the earth through pipes. Inside the earth, the water is cooled and then transferred back to the delivery system. The cool water circulates through the home and absorbs the heat. This causes it to get heated up. Once it gets completely heated, it is piped back into the ground for cooling.

The configuration explained above is the simplest one for a geothermal cooling system. Other geothermal cooling systems have been developed that work on better technologies.

The use of cooling systems that work on geothermal power can reduce the electricity bills by a significant amount and also are very efficient and reliable. Geothermal power used in these systems is a renewable source of energy that will always be available.

Monday, April 20, 2009

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy is the energy in the form of the heat of the earth. Geothermal energy is processed as follows:

• Extraction of water.
• Treatment of water to remove impurities.
• Heat exchange mainly for heating water.
• Disposal of energy for end use.

Geothermal energy involves pumping of water from deep inside the earth.

The following are the advantages of using geothermal energy:

1. It is a clean and unlimited source of energy.
2. Geothermal energy is sustainable.
3. It is a renewable source of energy.
4. This source of energy is not affected by weather in any way.
5. It does not cause any pollution.
6. Geothermal energy does not emit carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases.
7. The amount of electricity generated by geothermal energy is sufficient enough to light a whole town.
8. The use of geothermal energy has no adverse affects on the environment.
9. Geothermal energy generation does not use coal, gas or oil.

Disadvantages of geothermal energy are:

1. It cannot be harnessed everywhere because hot rocks are not present at all places under the earth’s surface.
2. Drilling for geothermal energy is an expensive and time consuming process.
3. Small amounts of nitric oxide and sulphur oxide are present in geothermal energy.
4. Power plants that run on geothermal energy may cause noise pollution.

With the ever increasing costs of fuels all around the world, geothermal energy presents itself as a reliable, cost effective and consistent source of energy. Without geothermal energy, it is almost impossible to meet the future energy needs of the world.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Costs and Benefits of Geothermal Power

Geothermal power is a renewable source of energy that can be put to a number of uses both commercially and for domestic purposes. However, before geothermal power can be used as an energy source, its costs and benefits need to be taken into account.

Generally, the capital costs for generation of geothermal power are more than the cost of operating the systems that generate geothermal power. The benefits depend upon how the electricity is generated by geothermal power.

Factors to be considered for determining the costs and benefits of geothermal power include climate, facility design, cost, efficiency and method.

Geothermal power can be used for both heating and cooling. Places which have hot summer weather with large air conditioning needs find geothermal power more beneficial. Geothermal power systems are more cost effective if they are installed in the initial design of a building or industry. Installing geothermal power systems at a later stage is more expensive. The rising prices of gas, fuel, oil and electric heating systems have resulted in making geothermal power more attractive economically. Geothermal power systems will be more beneficial and less expensive in buildings that are well insulated, compact and closed than in buildings which are not energy efficient where these systems will cost more and offer fewer advantages. If geothermal power is obtained from heated water or steam, it is less expensive. If drilling of land is required for geothermal power, it will cost more.

Geothermal power is basically a cost effective alternative source of energy that is being used all around the world.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Geothermal energy in the world

Geothermal energy is the energy derived from heat within the earth. It can be used in the form of hot water or steam that is produced in the depths of the earth. It is a renewable source of energy because water is replenished on the earth by rainfall and heat is being continuously generated inside the earth. This heat energy of the earth’s core can be used for heating buildings or for generating electricity. The use of geothermal energy can be made possible by digging deep wells and pumping the underground water or steam from the geothermal reservoirs.

Geothermal energy is now being used worldwide. Iceland is the best example of utilization of geothermal energy and is the world leader in the use of geothermal energy. Iceland uses this source of energy to generate electricity and has almost doubled the supply and generation of electricity by using geothermal energy. Germany is also emerging as a main user of geothermal energy. In Italy, geothermal reservoirs are being tapped for obtaining geothermal energy. Indonesia and New Zealand have a long history in the use of geothermal energy. In the European Union, the potential of geothermal energy is being explored by using new and innovative technologies. Other countries trying to use geothermal energy as an important source of generating power are Japan, the United States, Australia and Poland.

The demand for geothermal energy is increasing worldwide. New methods need to be developed to further explore this source and to utilize it reliably in a cost effective manner.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Harnessing geothermal energy

Geothermal energy is in the form of heat produced by the earth in its interiors. It is the most prominent in areas where there is high volcanic or seismic activity. The geothermal energy is either in the form of hot water or in the form of steam. In both the forms, geothermal energy can be put to many uses. It can be used to produce electricity, heat water or keep buildings warm.

Geothermal power plants can be used to convert geothermal energy to electricity. This electricity can be put to several uses. In a geothermal power plant, the geothermal energy in the form of hot water or steam can be obtained by drilling wells. This steam or hot water can be used to rotate turbines that are connected with generators. The generators then convert the energy of turbines into electricity.

Geothermal heat pumps are used to keep buildings warm. A heat exchanger is installed in the ground near buildings. When this heat exchanger comes in contact with geothermal reservoirs, the heat is transferred to the buildings through a delivery pipe. This keeps the buildings warm.

Geothermal energy can also be put to direct use. It can be used for heating water and cooking food. It can also be used for bathing. Hot springs, a direct source of geothermal energy are known and used for their medicinal value.

Harnessing of geothermal energy is important to make use of it effectively and efficiently and for exploring it to its full potential.