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Geothermal Energy

Ava, Vera, Nicole

Emily Schmeeeglee

on 3 May 2010

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Transcript of Geothermal Energy

Geothermal Energy Ava, Vera, & Nicole History of Geothermal Energy >10,000 years ago the American Paleo-Indians settled near hot springs, but they weren't used as geothermal energy, rather, they used it for bathing and other living necessities. Hot springs were originally used as luxury spas for the wealthy and as a heat source for heating homes, but not as a source of electricity. In 1921, John D. Grant drilled a well at the geysers with the intention of generating electricity. One year later he was successful at another location where the first geothermal powerplant was established. The Science of Geothermal Energy The Science of Geothermal Electricity Continued... >Geothermal energy is produced in a geothermal power plant. Deep holes are drilled into the earth until a hot spot is found. Once found, a pipe is attached deep inside the hole which allows the hot steam from the earth's crust to rise up to the surface. The pressurized steam is channeled into a turbine which begins to turn under the large force of the steam. The turbine is linked to the generator. The steam turns the generator which contains a large magnet. The spinning of the magnet generates the electricity. >Geothermal energy is used in hydrogen production. The steam reacts with methane to produce a synthesis gas made up of hydrogen and carbon monoxide. Next, the carbon monoxide reacts with steam over a catalyst to form hydrogen and carbon dioxide. The Application of Geothermal Energy >In the U.S. 14.86 billion kilowatt hours or .4% is used per year (2008)
>Geothermal energy is most commonly found in California, Nevada, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, and Utah
>In Iceland, 89% percent of its residents use geothermal energy.
>Geothermal energy is a renewable source and it won't ever deplete because it's a flowing cycle of water, which is heated by the earth's crust.
>It can only be harnessed from hot spots that have a lot of heat. (Mainly in areas such as Iceland and Western United States) The Effects of Geothermal Production >It costs 5 cents per kWh.
>Geothermal powerplants release less than one percent of the carbon dioxide emissions of a fossil fuel plant.
>Geothermal energy producers use scrubber systems to clean the air of hydrogen sulfide that is naturally found in steam and hot water.
>Geothermal energy powerplants are not an eyesore, so there aren't many complaints as to how the powerplant looks, for most of the plant is underground.
>Since there is no burning involved, there is no risk of explosion. The only possible danger is the potential of burning oneself on the hot pipes.
>There are three main types of powerplants:
Dry steam
Flash steam
Binary steam
Geothermal Policy Because Minnesota doesn't have many hot spots to harness geothermal energy, it can't be utilized efficiently. Although the use of geothermal energy might be more energy efficient, it is more of a hassle to harness the small amount of energy that we have in Minnesota. However, there is a company that uses a simpler form of geothermal energy that should be installed in every new home that is built or remodeled.
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