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.