We can generate geothermal energy by drilling deep holes into the earths crust pumping cold water through one end and then by the time it rises back to the surface the water can be hundreds of degrees Celsius which we then use as steam to drive a turbine which drives a generator creating power. Geothermal energy is one of the best natural energies around.
The first advantage of using geothermal heat to power a power station is that, unlike most power stations, a geothermal system does not create any pollution. It may once in a while release some gases from deep down inside the earth, that may be slightly harmful, but these can be contained quite easily.
The cost of the land to build a geothermal power plant on, is usually less expensive than if you were planning to construct an; oil, gas, coal, or nuclear power plant. The main reason for this is land space, as geothermal plants take up very little room, so you don’t need to purchase a larger area of land. Another factor that comes into this is that because geothermal energy is very clean, you may receive tax cuts, and/or no environmental bills or quotas to comply with the countries carbon emission scheme (if they have one).
No fuel is used to generate the power, which in return, means the running costs for the plants are very low as there are no costs for purchasing, transporting, or cleaning up of fuels you may consider purchasing to generate the power.
The overall financial aspect of these plants is outstanding, you only need to provide power to the water pumps, which can be generated by the power plant itself anyway.
So if geothermal power stations are able to provide an excellent source of clean, cheap, simple, renewable power, why isn’t every power plant in the world using geothermal energy? See disadvantages…
Geothermal heat is extracted from deep within the earths surface, and this is the main disadvantage concerning finding a suitable build location,
There are some other deciding factors that may convince a constructor to build a different type of renewable energy power plant in a different location, such as a wind turbine.
The main disadvantages of building a geothermal energy plant mainly lie in the exploration stage. During exploration, researchers will do a land survey (which may take several years to complete) and then post their findings to the company that contracted the survey.
Many companies who order surveys are often disappointed, as quite often the land they were interested in cannot support a geothermal energy plant. To extract the heat we have to find certain hot spots within the earths crust, these are very common around volcanoes and fault lines, but who wants to build their geothermal energy plant next to a volcano?
Some areas of land may have the sufficient hot rocks to supply hot water to a power station, but what if these areas are contained in harsh areas of the world (near the poles) or high up in mountains. Some very good proven spots have been found in New Zealand, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
The questions that are usually asked during a survey are; is the rock soft enough to drill through, do the rocks deep down contain sufficient heat, will this heat be sustainable for a significant amount of time, is the environment fit for a power plant. If the answer to these basic questions is yes, a more in depth survey should go ahead.
Another big disadvantage of geothermal energy extraction, is that in many cases, a site that has happily been extracting steam and turning it into power for many years, may suddenly stop producing steam. This can happen and last for around 10 years in some cases.
Developers of such sites must be careful and aware that in some cases, harmful gases can escape from deep within the earth, through the holes drilled by the constructors. The plant must be able to contain any leaked gases, but disposing of the gas can be very tricky to do safely.
Source: Clean Energy Ideas
Another type of Geothermal Energy…
Your own backyard has the potential to be your source of heating and cooling comfort. Now you can get safe, reliable, energy efficient heating and cooling from one piece of equipment. Geothermal energy moves heat energy to and from the earth to heat and cool your indoor environment. And compared to ordinary systems, geothermal technology can save you 30% to 60% on your monthly energy bills. Geothermal is the safest, cleanest, most reliable space conditioning system you can buy.
Geothermal energy is an unlimited resource. The lot surrounding a suburban home or other building contains a vast reservoir of low temperature thermal energy, typically 10 times that required over an entire heating season. This resource is constantly resupplied by the sun, the surrounding earth, and heat rejected while cooling during the summer. The universal definition of geothermal is “…pertaining to the heat of the earth.” By using the earth to provide up to 50% of a building’s total heating and cooling needs, GHP systems are truly geothermal energy made practical.
Energy in the ground is actually stored energy from the sun. At six feet below the surface, the earth’s temperature is a constant 10-15°C (40-60°F) all year round. This latent energy is a steady heat source, even in the coldest winter.
Source: Geothermal Energy Systems
Having seen and experienced the hot springs in New Zealand, the potential for geothermal energy in that country is plain to see. Very specific conditions are required for a the conventional type of geothermal power plants but where all the conditions are met, vast amounts of eco-friendly, ‘free’ energy can be harnessed. Other types of geothermal energy as explained in the second article, are available to just about everyone, especially in sunny South Africa. When these systems are combined with Water Rhapsody water conservation systems, utility bills could be drastically reduced.
Water Rhapsody Water Conservation Systems has incorporated Yes Solar Mpumalanga so that we can offer solar water heating systems to further reduce your environmental impact (water and energy are linked). Yes Solar is a distributor for Solsquare Solar Solutions- high quality German-engineered solar energy systems that are competitively priced. Solsquare solar geysers are SABS- and Eskom-approved and are fitted by qualified, Eskom-accredited solar installers. Now is the time to install a solar geyser while the Eskom rebates last (this money will run out eventually) and before the looming energy crisis arrives. Solar water geysers can reduce household electricity costs by up to 50%.
Water Rhapsody’s WWF AWARD-winning water conservation systems (product demo) include rainwater harvesting systems, grey water recycling systems, swimming pool backwash recycling, water-saving toilet flushing mechanisms and rainwater tanks (we are authorized JoJo Tanks & Atlas Plastics water tank dealers in Mpumalanga and Limpopo- best water tank prices in the Lowveld!).
Our water and solar systems will save the environment while you save money on water and electricity bills; get free water and free water heating!
Contact us for a free quote on a solar geyser, water system, rain water tank or water tank.