Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Direct use of geothermal energy

Geothermal energy is the heat energy obtained from deep inside the earth in the form of hot water or steam. The geothermal reservoirs found miles beneath the earth’s surface provide heat directly. This heat can be used for several purposes. This is called the direct use of geothermal energy.

The direct use of geothermal energy was made thousands of years ago. The geothermal energy from hot springs was used for purposes like cooking and bathing. Today, geothermal energy can be put to several uses in sophisticated ways by using better and advanced technology.

The direct use of geothermal energy includes the following:

• Heating a single building or multiple buildings at the same time.
• Raising plants in greenhouses.
• Drying crops.
• Heating water at fish farms.
• Pasteurization of milk.
• Generating electricity.
• In industries.

Geothermal energy is being commonly used today. In these systems, a well is drilled into the geothermal reservoir to ensure a steady supply of water. These systems have three components- piping, heat exchanger and a controller. The water is brought up through the well. The components of the direct use system deliver the heated water for direct use. The water after being used generally cools down and is injected back into the well or disposed off at the surface by a disposal system.

The direct use of geothermal energy is very common and with the advancement in technology, better methods and systems can be developed that use this source of energy in a more efficient and cost effective manner.

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