Monday, May 18, 2009

Harnessing geothermal energy

Geothermal energy is available for use in the form of heat energy produced by the earth in its interiors and so s also referred to as earth energy. It is the most dominant in areas where there is high volcanic or seismic activity. The geothermal energy resources available are either in the form of hot water or in the form of steam. In both the forms, geothermal energy resources can be put to several uses. They can be used to produce electricity, heat water or keep buildings warm.

Geothermal power plants convert the geothermal energy to electricity. This electricity that gets generated can be used as an alternative energy source for several purposes. The geothermal energy resources in the form of hot water or steam can be obtained by drilling wells. This steam or hot water can be used to rotate turbines that are connected with generators which then convert the energy of turbines into electricity.

Geothermal heat pumps are devices that use geothermal energy resources to keep buildings warm. A heat exchanger is installed in the ground near buildings and when it comes in contact with geothermal reservoirs, the heat is transferred to the buildings through a delivery pipe, thus keeping the buildings warm.

Geothermal energy resources can also be put to direct use. They can be used for purposes like heating water, bathing and cooking food. Hot springs which are the most widely used geothermal energy resources are known and used for their medicinal value.

Harnessing of geothermal energy resources is important to make use of it effectively.

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