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Copy of Sci4 Geothermal Energy

Science Project

H Watters

on 20 March 2013

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Transcript of Copy of Sci4 Geothermal Energy

Geothermal Energy How does the energy source work? Geothermal energy is renewable heat energy from the earth. Water seeps down under the surface of the earth, and is heated by molten rock, so the water turns to steam, and then runs a generator, therefore providing energy. How could this energy source be used? GEOTHERMAL POWER PLANT

Hot water is pumped to create electricity, which is then generated to a power plant. There are three kinds of power plants, DRY STEAM PLANTS, FLASH STEAM PLANTS, & BINARY CYCLE PLANTS. FLASH STEAM PLANTS: Water that’s at a temperature of 300 to 700 degrees is brought through a well, which then allows the steam to rise, and drive the turbines, the water then condenses and goes back into the well. BINARY CYCLE PLANTS: Somewhat hot geothermal water passes through a heat exchanger, and the heat energy is passed from water to another liquid that boils at a lower temperature, therefore allowing the heat energy to be transferred, then the fluid’s steam evaporates and runs a turbine. DRY STEAM PLANTS: the hot steam is pumped directly from the reservoirs, which then turns turbines to generate electricity. What are some examples of it's energy use? Geothermal energy is growing rapidly, and
is used all across the world.
This is a chart showing how its uses have increased Homes and buildings are places where geothermal energy use is becoming popular. What are the disadvantages of geothermal energy? Pollution

There may not be as much pollution as generating electricity from fossil fuels, but there still is some. Water Pollution

Some of the geothermal liquids contain high contents of boron, arsenic, lithium, and mercury. These chemicals are lethal, and if they get into the ground water system, they could kill people. Also, if the chemicals get into a waterway, they could be a danger to the animals. Air Pollution

In dissolved geothermal liquids contain gases that are dangerous if they "escaped" from the plant. Some gases created from the process include carbon dioxide (CO2), and hydrogen sulfide (S2H). These gases are greenhouse gases, therefor adding to the greenhouse effect.

Although there are greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere, there are less emitted through the process of generating geothermal energy than in burning coal, and non-renewable fuels. Geothermal energy is used to cool and heat homes in many countries. Some countries include:
Russia,Kenya the Philippines, Indonesia and Iceland The United States also uses geothermal energy. The states that use, or are in the process of using geothermal energy include:California, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Utah, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska Subsidence

Subsidence means to sink to a low level. When you extract geothermal fluids, you reduce the pressure of the land, therefor forming sinkholes, or subsidence bowls. Removal of Heat Resources

When you remove the heat energy from the geothermal liquid, the process is 10 times faster than replenishing the heat source. This causes an imbalance, and then it causes the process to become difficult. What are the advantages of geothermal energy? -If set-up correctly, there should be VERY little pollution
-Little maintenance of the plants
-Power plants don't have to be large
-Power plant is "self reliant", or provides it's own energy to run These are examples in the industrial world, and how energy is being created, and used. At home...
How is this energy source used? To recap.

-There is an open and closed system
-Rural areas use open loop systems that is connected to a well
-Other areas use closed loop systems that's connected to a pond or in the ground
-There are 3 ways the loop is placed
3.directional board Is geothermal energy widely accepted today? Geothermal energy is accepted today.
It’s accepted, because it’s a renewable energy, meaning we will be able to use it over and over again.

It’s also a clean energy source, and barely pollutes.

Geothermal energy is also extremely efficient; the only problem that might be encountered would be because of turbine friction. What is the cost of geothermal energy? The cost of a geothermal plant is more of an upfront cost than anything else.

The cost of the power plant would depend on size, and then probably start at 2,500 for every installed kW. After that, every kWh costs about $.01-.03 kWh. It’s really cheap to run, and very efficient.

To heat a house that is about 1300 sq. ft. it would be around $2500.

Also in 2011, DOE has set up a fund to help lessen the cost of setting up a geothermal power plant. Are there specific areas where geothermal energy works better? Specific locations that would allow the geothermal power plants to provide energy easily would be areas with geysers, or areas along the ring of fire.

Geothermal energy in the U.S is mainly on the west coast, because active geothermal reservoirs are along areas with a high concentration of earthquakes and volcanoes.

Major plants would be better in those conditions, but for a house, your backyard is a good spot for a geothermal energy system. How is science applied & how is it used to address geothermal energy? Science is applied when trying to turn the energy into heat. It applied when they’re trying to find the locations to extract geothermal energy. Science is also applied when trying to create electricity from geothermal energy. There are international companies trying to create geothermal plants worldwide. An example of a global geothermal energy use is in Iceland. The entire country is run by geothermal energy. On a local scale, the western side of the U.S uses geothermal. Science was applied in trying to figure out how to have the heat run the turbine, and allow energy to be created, without destroying the turbine.Once they realized the steam could spin the turbine, it was a "breakthrough" Lastly, they had to be able to create the plant without destroying the land, or polluting the areas, like the groundwater, and the air. As you saw, that was in Iceland. Geothermal energy is what runs 80% of their country. So in parts of the world, they're already ahead of us in trying to help provide clean energy. The U.S is trying to create geothermal energy, but it's a steady process. How effective is the science & it's application in solving the global energy problems? The science is effective, because people would have to be able to understand the idea before investing in it.

It’s also only effective to a point; we are extracting the energy faster than it’s being reheated. What if a house only runs on geothermal, it will not be able to run, if the geothermal heat is extracted at an unreasonable rate. Geothermal energy is solving some of the world’s energy problems, but what people before us have done isn’t reversible. It’s lessening the pollution in the air, and ground. It’s almost five times cheaper per kWh, but the upfront cost is what people don’t want to invest in. The plant is energy sufficient, so we wouldn’t have to maintain a large cost for it to provide energy. Lastly, the idea is so simple, that people would find it effective, and virtually problem-free. Geothermal Implications: -No pollution= NO harm to people & environment

-When you use geothermal, the demand for gas would decrease, therefor the prices would decrease, and the less economically able will be able to afford energy -Employment
-Better infrastructure
-Better standards of living
-Improved health & sanitation -Economic stimulation (not being dependent on foreign fuels)
-Cheaper kWh
-Investing upfront=less environmental& economic damage Economic Implications Social Implications Moral & Ethical Implications Political Implications -Increase in public awareness allows the government to save money on foreign fuels, which in-turn gives the U.S' economy independence, and in the long run, there won’t be wars on fuel.

-That’ll save money, and people’s lives, leading to providing funding for people to switch their houses to geothermal, saving lots of money, and bringing back the economy Cultural & Environmental Implications -Certain areas provide better industrial energy capabilities
-Impacts areas that have cultural heritage, or are national landmarks
- Subsidence
- Earthquakes (because major geothermal spots are on plate edges) By: Carmen Rida, Kendall Morgenstein, Brent Asmar, and Andrew Cassady
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