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Geothermal Energy: Energy from the Earth

Aug 17, 2007
The simplest way to get energy is to use what is already there. The heat in the earth is already there and we just need to dig into it to tap it as a source of energy.

On the surface, we can stand the heat of the earth, but deep below, immense power is stored as tremendous heat.

The core of the earth is over 60 times hotter than boiling water. This heat creates pressure that is just below the surface of the earth. In other words, we don't have to go to the center of the earth to reach this geothermal energy. If we only dig down three miles, the temperature is over 100, enough to produce steam to produce power.

It is a simple concept: we normally use coal or oil to produce energy which is converted to electricity for our everyday use. The superheated fluids in the earth can produce the same energy to convert to electricity.

This heat is extracted in the form of molten rock (magma).

Water seeps into the earth's core and pools in little lakes.

The hot rock in the earth heat this water and wells are drilled to bring this heated water to the surface to power generators.

As the superheated fluid passes through pipes, any solids are removed and the water is forced through pressure to produce steam. This steam will power turbines which will power generators. Generators store energy and then send it to transformers that in turn send electricity to power lines.

Geothermal energy has been used for a while, but it is not fully exploited as the source of energy it could be. In the United States, geothermal energy remains a lessor source of energy for many reasons:

a. A lot of study and research must be done to find areas that are most conducive to geothermal energy.

b. Some geothermal sites may not produce steam for a long enough time to run generators.

c. It is very expensive to build a geothermal power plant, and the return is not guaranteed.

d. The process of bringing up the heat may also bring up materials that may be hazardous.

These factors make us wonder whether it it worthwhile to develop this source of alternative energy in a location.

Hopefully, these problems can be outweighed by the benefits:

a. Geothermal energy uses natural heat, and therefore does not cause any pollution.

b. You do not have to use energy to get the energy of geothermal heat, which is sometimes the case of other alternative energy sources.

c. We conserve fuel.

d. It does not require as much room as a traditional power station.

We will have to weigh the pros and cons of geothermal energy before it can be decided how feasible it is to use. But constant developments may eventually make it a perfect alternative fuel.
About the Author
MJ Batta writes on various alternative energy related topics and hosts an alternative energy websites at Alternative Fuels
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