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Improving Geothermal Energy Essay

1319 words - 6 pages

It is common knowledge that the quest for a better, infinite energy resource is consistently being searched for. The simple answer in solving the energy crisis is to utilize the heat from the Earth we live on. Geothermal energy harnessed from magma will produce enough energy to power the world. Geothermal energy is already one of the most effective and environmental friendly sources of power that is used today (Introduction to Geothermal Energy). Though most of the geothermal energy is harnessed from hot springs (Geothermal Basics – Basics), harnessing the energy from magma will create three times as much power (Melting Points of Rocks). To begin, what exactly is geothermal energy and how is it beneficial to the world?
Geothermal energy is the power produced from geysers and hot springs (Geothermal Energy Geothermal Energy). Magma is located closer to the surface where water is produced and it heats and boils the water (Geothermal Energy). It is difficult to locate these hot springs because they are deep beneath the Earth’s surface. The places where these reservoirs are found are mainly in the Western United States. To be able to produce electricity efficiently, these reservoirs must reach temperatures of 102oC and up (Geothermal Energy Geothermal Energy).
Harnessing this energy is easier said than done. The most effective way to harness energy is dry steam reservoirs. A well is drilled into the ground about 10,000 feet deep and steam is directly piped to a turbine generator. The generator produces the energy needed and the steam becomes condensed and cooled back into water. Once the water is reproduced, it can be injected back into the thermal reservoir well and be used to create more steam in a water cycle-like reaction (Geothermal Energy Geothermal Energy). Even if it may be difficult to harness this energy, geothermal power is able to produce about 42 megawatts of power (Geothermal Basics – Basics), which is enough to power about143 billion homes.
Another form of harnessing geothermal energy is through the use of hot water reservoirs. This is where the water is at such high temperatures and is pumped into a system where the pressure is lowered and steam is created. The steam then powers a turbine generator and is turned into electricity. The steam is condensed and cooled and returned back into the reservoir to heat up again (Geothermal Energy Geothermal Energy). Though this form is the most commonly used method of energy conversion, there are other effective sources out there.
A binary cycle is used when the water from a reservoir is not hot enough to convert into steam, but instead the water is pressured and expanded to power turbines (Geothermal Energy Geothermal Energy). This may seem more of a hydro power technique instead of a geothermal technique, but there is more to it than just the expansion of fluid. The water is pressurized to where it is heated up, so it is still geothermal energy. It then follows the same process of being...

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