What is geothermal power?
Geothermal energy (geo meaning “earth” and thermal meaning “heat”) is energy recovered from the heat of the earth’s interior. Geothermal heat can appear in the form of volcanoes, hot springs and geysers. It’s electricity that’s generated from the Earth’s heat. Heat will be converted into mechanical energy by a turbine, and then a generator converts the mechanical energy into electricity which is the major aim.
The advantages of Geothermal Energy:
- Renewable: Unlike fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gas, heat produced by the Earth is virtually limitless.
- Non-polluting: No fuels are burned and no pollutants are released into the environment, making geothermal power extremely clean.
- Sustainable: The process of converting the Earth’s heat into electricity is very efficient. Combined with its renewable aspect, geothermal becomes one of the most sustainable methods of power production currently known.
Why do I need a geothermal system?
A geothermal system provides significant cost savings on energy bills and qualifies for a variety of financial incentives to help with installation costs. Because geothermal utilizes the Earth’s energy, it can be installed anywhere, in both residential and commercial buildings. The energy is renewable and non-polluting, which reduces your carbon footprint.
How does a geothermal system work?
A geothermal system, also known as a Ground Source Heat Exchanger (GSHEX), involves a series of looped pipes installed below ground. The pipes have a heat-absorbing fluid running through the system constantly. In the summer, the geothermal system takes the heat from the house and pushes it downward into the pipes to be cooled by the Earth’s surface. In the winter, the process is reversed: the heat from the ground is pushed upward by the pipes to circulate in the house. The heat source for geothermal energy comes primarily from large, magmatic systems deep in the earth’s crust. These are still partially molten or crystallized, but are hot igneous intrusions that yield their heat gradually over hundreds of thousands of years. As the earth cools over time, there is a constant movement of thermal energy that travels outward through highly permeable fracture zones to the surface.