Geothermal EnergyWhat is geothermal energy?
This energy is quite clean, renewable and above all efficient as it can have implications in different aspects of life. It is important to make the most of it, since it allows the enjoyment of a wide range of activities.
The planet's subsoil produces this heat energy that has so many uses today. However, we can delimit the most important of geothermal energy in the following examples:
Geothermal energy applications
Geothermal power plants for electricity generation
Vapors are extracted from the earth's interior at high pressure. They are used to drive turbines that move the energy to an electric power generator, which is then ready for use.
The heat that arises as waste steam from the geothermal power plants is used to heat the processed water and goes to the homes. Here it passes through radiators that disperse it to homes that require higher temperatures.
Geothermal hot water
This type of water is the one that arises when it passes before the heating directly to the drinking water circuit, ideal not only for consumption but also for showering or even washing hands. This process is ideal for places with excessive cold.
Geothermal energy can generate hot water and melt snow with this resource. This is done by passing the water through the pipes, which heats the roads and thus the snow that usually obstructs them.
These waters emerge from deep underground when the earth heats up, thus raising the temperature of this resource.
Geothermal air conditioning
The air conditioning of this type is implemented before building a house, since with this technology they will be able to guarantee a more adequate environment in homes.
When cultivation methods are impossible in places where temperatures are very low, these types of sites are used to provide a warm climate for the development of plants.
Geothermal plants in the world
In the world there are several plants that provide large cities with electric power and hot water. The most important are:
Geothermal Complex the Geysers.
There are 21 power plants located in San Francisco California, considered the largest existing at present.
Cerro Prieto Geothermal Power Plant
This 820 MW plant is located south of Mexicali in Baja California Mexico and has 5 plants with 15 power generating units.
LArderello Geothermal Power Plant
This power plant in Tuscany, Italy, is made up of 34 steam reservoir plants located more than 700 and less than 4000 meters deep in the earth.
Olkaria geothermal power plant
It is an incredible plant in Kenya located in Hell Gate National Park and surpasses hydropower in that country as a source of energy.
Makban Geothermal Complex
This geothermal complex is located in the Philippines, and mitsubishi was the main supplier for the execution and commissioning of this power plant.
How geothermal energy works
If you have wondered about geothermal energy how it works it is very easy to explain. It all starts with the location of that heat that is located underground, and for which they use geothermal pumps for different purposes:
- To heat and provide high temperatures in the winter.
- Cooling in summer.
This procedure is achieved by transferring or extracting heat through panels placed on the ground, which are passed through a solution of water and glycol in order to obtain the desired temperature.
Geothermal energy advantages and disadvantages
This is an extremely important energy for the development of life on earth. However, it has advantages and disadvantages that we will mention below:
- They represent a great economic saving at the energy level.
- The geothermal reservoir represents a cost of exploitation only at local level.
- It is ecological.
- It does not generate noise pollution.
- It emits less CO2 emissions.
- Once the reservoir is exploited, it can damage the landscape.
- It can only be used from where it is produced, it is impossible to transport.
- There are few places where it can be available.
- This type of project is very expensive.
- The implementation of these projects involves an environmental impact.
- Some geothermal energy deposits can emit hydrogen sulfide, which is harmful to health.
Geothermal energy worldwide
The case of geothermal energy Iceland is a point of reference for all nations that want to take advantage of the benefits of this type of energy that resides in the earth and that advances supplying 65% of its energy from this renewable resource. It is a model to follow for many countries, even in Latin America.
In terms of geothermal energy in South America there are some pioneers, since in 2017 was inaugurated the first geothermal power plant in chileand the first of its kind in this region of the world. It will benefit more than 165 thousand families with the electric energy generated thanks to the fact that Chile belongs to the Pacific Ring of Fire and has a lot of geothermal potential.
There are countries that have the conditions to develop this type of energy but have not yet done so in its entirety, as in the case of geothermal energy in Spain. Here they use the resource but not to its full capacity, also without generating electricity but only as thermal energy. However, they have the intention and will develop it as time goes by.
There are areas that are potential generators of geothermal energy in Argentina, which is why it has recently been in the spotlight within the nation's energy projects. According to their studies, they indicate that 1,500 MW could be generated throughout the country. In spite of this, they still do not have any treatment plant, but sooner rather than later this will happen and it will benefit the nation significantly.
Harnessing geothermal energy
There are different geothermal energy applications that can benefit the development of everyday life. That is why this particular type of energy is so receptive, as it has an impact on our quality of life. Among the main applications that are given to it are:
- To air-condition the environments in order to benefit from high temperatures.
- To obtain a type of sanitary hot water in such an ecological way not only for buildings but also for homes.
As well as low temperature geothermal energy and high temperature geothermal energy help in daily life, this content should be managed not only in the places where it is developed, but in those who could take advantage of these methods to make it a profitable energy and more possible for the improvement of our quality of life.