Geothermal Energy A Renewable Resource. History There wasnâ€™t an official founder...
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- Geothermal Energy A Renewable Resource
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- History There wasnt an official founder of geothermal energy, however there were numerous individuals that helped lead to the discovery and development of this renewable energy source (developmental pioneers). The first encounters with geothermal energy were viewed as the gates to hell or related topics such as the devil, etc. The enormous amounts of heat were just stumbled upon. In 1807, settlers founded the city of Hot Springs, Arkansas, where, in 1830, Asa Thompson charged one dollar each for the use of three spring-fed baths in a wooden tub, and the first known commercial use of geothermal energy occurred. Geysers in Yellowstone National Park were used as the center for a resort called the Geysers Resort Hotel. In 1864 homes and dwellings have been built near springs through the millennia to take advantage of the natural heat of these geothermal springs, but the construction of the Hot Lake Hotel near La Grande, Oregon, marks the first time that the energy from hot springs is used on a large scale. In 1940 the first residential space heating in Nevada begins in the Moana area in Reno. The country's first large-scale geothermal electricity-generating plant begins operation. Pacific Gas and Electric operates the plant, located at The Geysers. The first turbine produces 11 megawatts (MW) of net power and operates successfully for more than 30 years. Today, 69 generating facilities are in operation at 18 resource sites around the country.
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- How geothermal energy works http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A _NBMSoLyvo&feature=player_emb edded
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- Function Back in the 1800s geothermal energy was used primarily for commercial uses such as resorts, hotels, etc. However, there were instances where the energy was being used as a heating system in residential areas. Which is one of the primary uses for this energy today. Today there are many more uses than previous times. Geothermal energy is being used for heating greenhouses, and warming water to give plants in the winter time. In addition it is used in fish farming to also warm water so that it spurs the growth of the animals. Geothermal power is a good electricity generator as well: Flashed Steam Plants- The water "flash" boils and the steam is used to turn turbines. Dry Steam Plants- These plants rely on the natural steam that comes from the underground reservoirs to generate electricity. Binary Power Plants- These plants use the water to heat a "secondary liquid" which vaporizes and turns the turbines. The vaporized liquid is then condensed and reused. Hybrid Power Plants- In these plants binary and flash techniques are utilized simultaneously.
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- What do we use it for? Geothermal energy is used in a number of ways such as: to heat greenhouses, heating houses as well as businesses, and to warm sidewalks and roads so that ice does not form in the winter. It is also used to power hybrid power plants, binary power plants, dry steam plants, and flashed steam plants.
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- How do we use it? To obtain geothermal energy, drills forge into pools in the earths crust where water has been heated by magma. Water is injected into the pools and the pressure that has been built the the extremely hot water allows it to rise and the steam is then used to power turbines which then create electricity which can be used to heat places and things.
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- Effective or Not? Definitely effective! Can reduce your electric bill by 70% Geothermal energy provides heat, electricity and energy. By using heat pumps it can control the temperature of buildings on the surface of the Earth Electricity generating power plants use geothermal energy to heat up water/steam to high temperature (300-700 degrees Fahrenheit) to generate electricity.
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- How do we use it?
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- How is it being used? There are three main types of plants that use geothermal energy: dry steam power plants, flashed steam power plants, and binary power plants.
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- How is it being used? Dry steam power plants. One of the most direct uses. How it works: The steam from the earth is directly used to power turbines. However the water source must be at least 150C. This type of plant is mainly found where hydrothermal resources are present. Ex. Geysers
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- Dry Steam Power Plant
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- How is it being used? Flashed Steam Power Plants One of the most common types of geothermal power processing plants. How it works: High pressure water, that is typically 180C, is taken from the earth by way of pipeline into a different chamber (flash chamber) that is at a much lower pressure. The water then transforms into steam due to the low pressure immediately, giving it the term flash.
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- Flashed Steam Power Plant
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- Binary Power Plant When high water temperatures are not naturally present this type of power plant is used. How it works: Water heated by rocks from reservoir pools flows up into a chamber where the heat is then harnessed by using a heat exchanger with another liquid that has a lower boiling point than water. The steam from the secondary liquid is used to power the turbines. The cooled water is cycled back into the earth to be used again.
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- Binary Power Plant
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- Positive effects Geothermal energy is renewable. In other words, it is an energy source that can sustain its consumption rate. Unlike more conventional resources such as coal and fossil fuels, the energy we gather from below the Earths surface is practically unlimited. Harnessing energy using these methods can be considered non- polluting. In other words, geothermal energy is a green energy source. Geothermal heating and cooling systems can save a lot of money. It is not unusual to save up to 70% on heating bills when compared to using traditional heating systems. Geothermal energy can be used for a wide array of different purposes. Below is an overview of the most common ones (2005).
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- Where is this type useful? Geothermal energy is found often along the ring of fire where is most useful because there are pools of heated water that can be accessed. It is not efficient in areas where warm water pools cannot be accessed.
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- Is it used to move machinery? Geothermal energy is used to move turbines which generate electricity.
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- Cost How much does geothermal energy cost per kilowatt- hour (kWh)? Answer: At The Geysers, power is sold at $0.03 to $0.035 per kWh. A power plant built today would probably require about $0.05 per kWh. Some plants can charge more during peak demand periods. 0.05kWh|3.41x10^6BTU|1055J |1000kWh | 1BTU =179877.5 J 0.05kWh|3.41x10^6BTU |1000kWh =170.5 BTU
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- Locations Top locations are Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, Arizona, Utah, Alaska, Hawaii, California, Canada, Iceland, Italy, France, New Zealand, Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Russia, The Philippines, Indonesia, China, Japan, and the rift valley of Africa.
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- The six main areas of discussion about the pros and cons of geothermal energy are:
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- Environmental Friendliness Geothermal energy use does entail some environmental impact, but it is safe to say that the environmental benefits far outweigh the costs. Most geothermal facilities operate virtually emission free. Almost 100% of the visible, airborne effluent seen rising from geothermal plants is water vapor. Geothermal facilities also have no coal or nuclear fuel to mine and transport, no radioactive wastes or ash wastes to deal with, and no emissions of carbon dioxide, particulates, or other combustion byproducts. A few do produce some silica and sulfur dioxide, both of which are largely removed from the vapors and either returned to the hydrothermal well or processed and sold for industrial uses.
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- Energy Reliability They require no purchase or transport of fuel. They require no waste disposal. They can be used either as base load systems or swing with demand They have no intermittency or dispatch ability problems. Its noteworthy that every geothermal energy facility that has been built in the last 100 years is still in production.
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- ENERGY COST Energy is currently cost competitive with conventional generation methods. Geothermal power plants do have high initial costs to drill and construct new facilities. But relatively high construction costs are paid back because there are no fuel costs. Geothermal power costs are currently competitive with coal power plants, making them among the cheapest power providers around and getting cheaper with every project.
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- ENERGY AVAILABILITY Using current technologies, geothermal power is primarily available where hot magma finds its way close to the surface and heats ground water to usable temperatures above 212F There are very few locations for this in the United States. To be both usable and economical a site must have an adequate volume of hot water or steam that is not too impure to use, a surface water source to cool generating equipment, and close proximity to power transmission lines. So, even in promising areas, economically usable sites are few and they are difficult to locate. Th