Earth’s Most Powerful Natural Resource
One of the fastest growing energy systems is Geothermal. Geothermal energy harnesses the earth’s heat brought closer to the surface from the high-temperature, molten magma core - the most powerful energy resource on the planet. From residential buildings, to high-rise towers, geothermal energy is the clean and sustainable energy alternative.
A common misconception is that geothermal energy is not readily available. However in almost everywher on earth, the shallow ground or upper 10 feet of the Earth’s surface maintains a nearly constant temperature between 50° and 60°F (10° and 16°C). With the right geo-thermal system or geothermal heat pump, this heat can be tapped and used for heating, cooling, and more.
A geothermal heat pump is a geo-thermal system consisting of a heat pump, air delivery system (ductwork), and a heat exchanger, which is a system of pipes buried in the shallow ground. In the process of heating a building, the heat pump removes the heat from the earth via the heat exchanger and pumps it into the indoor air delivery system. For cooling, the process is reversed, with the heat pump moving heat from inside the building into the heat exchanger. In both of these process, the heat that is brought into or removed from the building is also used to provide a free source of hot water.
There are areas of the United States that have a greater amount of active geothermal energy in the form of geothermal reservoirs. In this case, residents and buildings use a well thermal system by drilling into these underground reservoirs. Most Geothermal power plants use the steam from the reservoir to power a turbine or generator to create electricity. Other geothermal power plants use the hot water to boil a working fluid that vaporizes and turns a turbine to create electricity.
Both of these types of thermal systems have practical applications for heating and cooling that can be directly used in residential and commercial buildings, agriculture – growing plants in greenhouses, food production – drying crops, heating water at fish farms, and pasteurizing milk, and more.
With constant research and innovation, the world of geo-thermal systems is growing. With an energy source this powerful right underneath our feet, the possibilities of geo-thermal systems and geothermal energy are endless.