Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Geothermal Energy

The ground beneath your feet contains energy, vast sums of energy. It has been estimated that in the U.S. alone the geothermal energy resources are enough to power the entire U.S. for 30,000 years.To find a geothermal hot spot for energy generation, measure the helium isotope ratio in groundwater, and if it is high in helium-3 you have yourself a potential spot to drill. This technique could be used to map the potential of geothermal areas, and determine where geothermal technology will be most effective, hopefully with the least environmental damage, or seismic risk.Geo thermal is not just tapping into hotspots!!!!The cheapest most cost effective form of geothermal is simply using the difference in temperature between the earth and the air to produce electricity Large reserves of heat reside as stored thermal energy deep within the Earth's crust. Mining this energy could meet a significant portion of the United States' future energy needs, at competitive prices and with minimal environmental impact, according to an MIT-led 18-member panel, which just released the first study in 30 years to explore the largely ignored concept of harnessing geothermal heat as an energy resource.United States is the world's largest commercial producer of geothermal energy.

How geothermal energy works:You drill several wells to reach the hot rock of the Earth's crust . These wells are then connected to a fractured rock region through which water can flow. This creates a heat-exchanger that can produce more hot water or steam than you can shake a stick at, which then power up electric generators at the surface. Unlike conventional fossil-fuel power plants that burn coal, natural gas, or oil, these generators don't need any fuel. Plus, they're not tethered to the same constraints as wind- and solar-based systems are, resulting in a potentially non-interruptible source of electric power.The environmental impacts of geothermal development are "markedly lower than conventional fossil-fuel and nuclear power plants."

"This environmental advantage is due to low emissions and the small overall footprint of the entire geothermal system, which results because energy capture and extraction is contained entirely underground, and the surface equipment needed for conversion to electricity is relatively compact,"


No comments:

Post a Comment