The word geothermal comes from the Greek words “geo,” meaning earth and “thermel,” meaning heat.
Geothermal energy is the heat from the Earth. It’s clean and sustainable. Resources of geothermal energy range from the shallow ground to hot water and hot rock found a few miles beneath the Earth’s surface, and down even deeper to the extremely high temperatures of molten rock called magma, heat is generated from within the earth’s core, some 4,000 miles below the surface. The heat is produced mainly by the slow decay of radioactive materials found in the various materials that make up the earth’s interior. The amount of heat within 10,000 meters (about 33,000 feet) of Earth’s surface contains 50,000 times more energy than all the oil and natural gas resources in the world.Thus we can say that its an important source of renewable energy resource
This heat can be used as an energy source in many ways, from large and complex power stations to small and relatively simple pumping systems. This heat energy, known as geothermal energy, can be found almost anywhere, so it is far more common than you might think. Some applications of geothermal energy use the earth’s temperatures near the surface, while others require drilling miles into the earth. The three main uses of geothermal energy are-
- Direct Use and District Heating Systems which use hot water from springs or reservoirs near the surface.
- Electricity generation in a power plant requires water or steam at very high temperature (300 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit). Geothermal power plants are generally built where geothermal reservoirs are located within a mile or two of the surface.
- Geothermal heat pumps use stable ground or water temperatures near the earth’s surface to control building temperatures above ground.
In the United States, most geothermal reservoirs of hot water are located in the western states, Alaska, and Hawaii. Wells can be drilled into underground reservoirs for the generation of electricity. Some geothermal power plants use the steam from a reservoir to power a turbine/generator, while others use the hot water to boil a working fluid that vaporizes and then turns a turbine. Hot water near the surface of Earth can be used directly for heat.
Tapping geothermal energy is an affordable and sustainable solution to reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, and the global warming and public health risks that result from their use.
APPLICATIONS OF GEOTHERMAL ENERGY- There are many applications of Geo thermal energy some are as follows.
Industrial applications include food dehydration, laundries, gold mining, milk pasteurizing, spas, and others. Dehydration, or the drying of vegetable and fruit products, is the most common industrial use of geothermal energy. The earliest commercial use of geothermal energy was for swimming pools and spas.
If you’re looking to cool your home in the summer, for example, one of the uses of geothermal energy technologies is to allow you in hot times to take heat from your house, send it down pipes into the ground (where it naturally cools), and return it to your house (where it helps bring down the temperature inside). The technology typically uses a liquid like antifreeze as a carrier of that heat, which is moved about in a closed-loop piping system.
One of the other main uses of geothermal energy is the same concept but in reverse in cold months. Geothermal energy technology is used to bring warmer temperatures into your home without using fossil fuels, just by tapping into a heat exchange deep below the surface of the earth. Cool, right? But geothermal energy is so much more.
GREENHOUSE AND AQUACULTURE FACILITIES
Greenhouses and aquaculture (fish farming) are the two primary uses of geothermal energy in the agribusiness industry. Thirty-eight greenhouses, many covering several acres, are raising vegetables, flowers, houseplants, and tree seedlings in 8 western states. Twenty-eight aquaculture operations are active in 10 states.