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.