Here are the disadvantages to geothermal energy. Although the disadvantages of geothermal energy exist, there are far more benefits to this form of energy than you can imagine. Reduces Fossil Fuel Dependency When we use geothermal energy, we cut our dependency on fossil fuel alternatives. Energy Statistics in Iceland 2012. This type of energy creates no waste product and operates at almost no cost once the original plant investment is completed. This approach is important because it helps to mitigate supply side energy problems associated with fossil fuels. The following are the fields in which this energy is prominently used: In Industries Paper mills use geothermal energy for all paper processing stages.
Using resource temperatures of 4°C 40°F to 38°C 100°F , the heat pump, a device which moves heat from one place to another, transfers heat from the soil to the house in winter and from the house to the soil in summer. It is also used to warm houses anddoesn't need to use fossil fuels to do it. In winter hea … t from the earth is transferred to building, while in summer it can transfer heat from the home into the ground acting much like a refrigerator. Geothermal heat pumps can keep homes warm How do we get power from the Earth? If it is hot water of a high enough temperature, a flash system can be used; otherwise it must go through a heat exchanger. We can exploit this temperature difference for both heating in the winter and cooling in the summer.
However, geothermal energy production, which is our topic of discussion today, does not involve burning of any fossil fuel to generate electricity. Energy Sources, Part A: Recovery, Utilization, and Environmental Effects. Such low-temperature geothermal water and steam have been used to warm single buildings, as well as whole districts where numerous buildings are heated from a central supply source. The cycle leads to instabilities along fracture lines resulting to an earthquake. Sustainable Energy - Without the Hot Air. These loops are made up of high-density polyethylene pipe, the same pipe which is used in city gas lines.
This is done either by directly circulating the hot water through buildings or by pumping it through a heat exchanger that transfers the heat to the building. Geothermal reservoirs associated with those regions must have a heat source, adequate water recharge, a reservoir with adequate permeability or faults that allow fluids to rise close to the surface, and an impermeable caprock to prevent the escape of the heat. Department of Energy found that heat pumps can save a typical home hundreds of dollars in energy costs each year, with the system typically paying for itself in 8 to 12 years. In winter, through a heat pump, houses are warmed whereas in summer it acts as a coolant because the process of the heat pump is reversed and heat from the house is carried into the pipe system and dumped underground. The study projected that such advanced geothermal systems could supply 10 percent of U.
When developed irresponsibly, ground temperatures below the surface may lower. There are three basic designs for geothermal power plants, all of which pull hot water and steam from the ground, use it, and then return it as warm water to prolong the life of the heat source. Aside from large-scale uses such as in Iceland and in big power plants, geothermal energy can be tapped into in smaller levels using heat pumps to cool and heat homes. Salt can also pose an environmental problem. In New Zealand, it is used primarily to generate electricity. What is exactly geothermal energy? Furthermore, direct-use applications such as fish farms, greenhouses, microbreweries, fruit and vegetable drying, spas, pulp and paper processing, and lumber drying offer attractve and innovative opportunities for local businesses and entrepreneurs. The most economically efficient facilities are located close to the geothermal resource to minimize the expense of constructing long pipelines.
Some people are using a geothermal heat to produce ethanol and bio-fuels. According to the Geothermal Energy Association, it needs many more specialists to support the technology required to develop geothermal electric power. If you live in a poorly insulated and leaky home, it would be economical to invest that money in a better insulation, energy efficient doors and windows, draft sealing and other upgrades that will assist minimize the amount of energy needed to heat and cool your home. Direct uses Probably the most widely used set of applications involves the direct use of heated from the ground without the need for any specialized equipment. Despite these impressive statistics, the current level of geothermal use pales in comparison to its potential. The drilling its self may not trigger , but the rupturing of steam and subsequent return of the used water to the hot water reservoir could. Naturally occurring large areas of hydrothermal resources are called geothermal reservoirs.
In Central America, several countries are developing large and previously untapped high-temperature sources of geothermal energy to reduce their exposure to the price volatility of fossil fuels. The Ancient Romans took the concept a step further and used hot springs as a way to heat flooring and public baths. During warmer months, heat from warm air is transferred to the heat exchanger and into the fluid. This electricity is added to the grid and is sold to consumers. More than 600,000 ground-source heat pumps supply climate control in U.
Geothermal Energy What is geothermal energy? The universe has a bountiful supply of energy, and it can neither be created nor destroyed. People used hot springs as far back as Ancient China. Energy Information Administration, The areas with the highest underground temperatures are in regions with active or geologically young volcanoes. A district heating system provides heat for 95 per cent of the buildings in Reykjavik, Iceland. Power generated from geothermal energy is one of the cheapest electricity sources available today. The main disadvantage of geothermal energy development is the high initial investment cost in constructing the facilities and and the high risk of proving the resources. In Klamath Falls, Oregon, and Boise, Idaho, geothermal water has been used to heat homes and buildings for more than a century.
In 2001, there were 15 geothermal plants producing electricity in the area. Geothermal Energy Uses It is a renewable source of energy because heat and steam are continuously produced underground which is available to us at anytime. Energy produced by ground-source heat pumps has increased by 20% per annum over the same period. Depending on the geological conditions of different fields, fluids may also contain a variable quantity of chemicals but most are concentrated in the disposal water that is routinely re-injected into drill holes and thus not released into the environment. A large part of this cost concerns the exploration and drilling for geothermal energy resources. Some of these are harmful to the environment and our atmosphere. Check this out lemons grown in the middle of winter! That could include snow melting where pipes are buried in concrete slabs.