Geothermal energy describes the natural heat found in the core of our planet.
This is more of a direct source of heat which comes from deep within the earth. Discussion of geothermal technology often revolves around its use in geothermal power plants designed to produce electricity.
Geothermal power plants use the high temperatures from the earth’s core to turn turbines and generate electricity. In its purest form, the geothermal energy is in the form of steam channeled directly from the core of the earth. These are called Dry Steam systems.
A second type of geothermal power plan uses what is called a Flash Steam System. With this system, hot water is converted or flashed into the steam which powers the plant. This type of geothermal power plant is most common today.
A variation of this system called the Binary System uses an alternative liquid with a lower boiling point than water. Hot geothermal water is used to heat this liquid. But because this liquid vaporizes at a lower temperature, more water of more moderate temperatures can be used.
Renewable Geothermal Energy
Geothermal energy is considered sustainable able because where it is available, it is a constant source. Generally, the amount of geothermal heat extracted is small when compared with the available content of
the earth. However there are exceptions. There have been times where the source of energy can be depleted over time. Therefore the use of geothermal heat sources should be watched carefully to insure that geothermal depletion is not an issue.