Monday, April 27, 2009

Introduction To Geothermal Energy

The earth’s interior is very hot. The heat energy of the earth’s interior is called geothermal energy. Geothermal energy is manifested in hot springs also known as thermal springs. A hot spring is a stream of hot water issuing from the ground. They are formed when water sinks far enough down the earth, gets heated and rises up the earth’s surface. Geothermal energy is more prominent in volcanically active areas where the frequency of hot springs is high as the water gets heated by magma.

Geothermal energy is used to generate electricity. Countries like New Zealand, Iceland, Russia, Japan, United States of America, Mexico and India are using geothermal energy to generate electricity.

Water of the hot springs can be converted to steam on heating to drive turbines of electricity generators. The electricity so generated by geothermal energy can be used in cold storage plants, in industries and for domestic purposes. Other uses of geothermal energy include drying fish, drying timber, processing of forest and farm products, home heating etc.

The amount of electricity generated by geothermal energy depends upon the speed at which the turbine is rotated by the steam or hot water. The electricity generated is more if the speed of rotation of turbine is more. Geothermal energy is a cheap and non polluting source of generating electricity.

Geothermal energy is a renewable source of energy. It can be collected by drilling the earth’s crust and allowing heat to escape in the form of steam or through very hot water. As an important source of energy, it should be conserved and utilized optimally.

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