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Geothermal Energy Analysis

1670 words - 7 pages

Geothermal energy is energy that is obtained by tapping into underground reservoirs of heat. This type of heat is usually found near volcano or another type of hotspot on the surface of the earth. This type of energy is a renewable source. It is considered renewable because the heat produced by the earth is ongoing and will continue to generate. Although this form of energy is primarily used to generate electricity the numbers are still very small of a contribution of this sector. The main reason for his is geothermal energy is limited to location of the source. You must have a hotspot to tap into or the process will be useless. This limits the locations and numbers of geothermal energy ...view middle of the document...

The next step would be heat exchange and use. The heated water is returned to the house or building for the useful purpose of space or water heating. The system does this by using a heat exchanger to transfer the heat into the houses or buildings existing air handling, distribution, and ventilation system. Also with the addition of a desuperheater allows the addition of domestic water to be heated for a home as well. The last step of this process is called recirculation. So once the water has transferred its heat to the building its temperature drops and it is cooler it returns to the ground. Through the loop this same process begins again and continues to heat the water for more energy.
Ground source heat pumps are a good source for cooling a home as well. This process is almost the same except it absorbs heat from the home and returns it to the ground through the pipes or loop. This returns the heat to the ground. The first step would be heat exchange and absorption. First water absorbs heat inside the building through the heat exchanger. The next step is called circulation. In this step the above ground heat pump moves the heated water through the ground loops. Next we move into the step of heat discharge. During this process the heated water passes as it gives heat to cooler soil, rock, and/or ground water. Lastly this final step is recirculation. Once the waters heat is transferred to the ground it returns to the building at a cooler temperature again to restart the process and continue to keep the building cool.
The next system is called direct use geothermal. This system uses ground water that is heated naturally geologically below the surface. These waters usually tend to reach 2000 F or more. The first step to this process is pumping. First to collect this water a hole must be drilled. After the drilling a pumping system must be put in place. Sometimes the water may rise without the assistance of a pump. The next part of this process is called delivery. Once the heated water is collected it can be used directly. It may also be cycled through a heat exchanger. Next would be refilling this part all depends on the requirements of the pumping system and the conditions of the drilling site. The ground water aquifer may need to be replenished wit surface water and in some cases the ground water may refill the aquifer naturally. This method is very useful in large scale pool heating, space heating, cooling, and on demand hot water for buildings of most sizes even district heating. This heating can also heat roads to melt snow. This resource is limited to regions with natural sources of hot ground water at or near the surface. The location usually is not more than a mile under the ground.
The third primary system is deep and enhanced geothermal system. This system uses steam from far below the surface. This is used for applications that require several hundred degrees Fahrenheit. This process can involve...

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