Geothermal Energy: Everything You Need To Know
Earth is a powerful, beautiful planet, but it is also one in desperate need of saving. Fossil fuels and pollution have contributed to a slow degradation of our home, but a continual adoption of renewable energy can be the saviour.
Power actually generated from the earth, also known as geothermal energy, is certainly part of that solution. Learn all about it in our go-to guide…
What is Geothermal Energy?
Humans have enjoyed geothermal energy for thousands of years. If you’ve ever been on holiday to the likes of Iceland, Switzerland or Hungary, you may have too. How? Via hot springs, of course.
That’s right, the thermal baths around the world use geothermal energy to heat the water. So, what is geothermal energy, exactly? Well, the word originates from ancient Greece, with ‘geo’ meaning Earth and ‘thermos’ meaning heat.
How does Geothermal Power Work?
Carbon-free, sustainable and renewable, geothermal energy seems to tick all the boxes of being a viable, clean alternative to fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas. But how does it work?
Geothermal power, as touched upon earlier, is energy sourced from the heat generated by the earth’s core. Scientists tell us that 99.9% of our planet is hotter than 100 degrees celsius, making it a tremendous source of energy.
As you may remember from your school science classes, heat = energy. Why? Because it creates the motion of atoms and molecules.
Found underground, geothermal energy is utilised via streams and hot water sources within the Earth’s crust. If you dig even deeper, it can be found in magma and molten hot rocks. Devices known as geothermal heat pumps transfer this heat into energy to warm and cool our homes and water supplies.
What is a Geothermal Heat Pump?
Sometimes referred to as geoexchange, geothermal heat pumps are becoming increasingly popular among renewable energy enthusiasts. Essentially, a geothermal heat pump is a device that absorbs heat from the ground using stored water and circulates it through pipes into your home.
This is when the pump is triggered and it concentrates the thermal power, transferring it into a system to heat your home. It can also reverse this process to cool your building.
Different Types of Geothermal Energy Heat Pumps
There are two different types of geothermal power being used today, with many variations within each category:
Closed-Loop Geothermal Heat Pumps – Consisting of horizontal, vertical and pond/lake configurations, closed-loop pumps send an antifreeze solution around a buried or submerged loop, transferring heat between the cooling system and the heat pipe.
Open-Loop Geothermal Heat Pumps – Open-loop systems differ from closed-loop pumps in that they circulate via wells or surface water. Open-loop geothermal heat pumps are only used when it can be guaranteed that the source water is clean and plentiful.
Other Types of Renewable Energy
Our planet has been heavily polluted via fossil fuels, so much so that global warming and climate change is a serious threat to current and future generations. The good news is that there are plenty of alternatives available, including geothermal energy.
Access our guides to learn about other sources of clean, renewable, sustainable energy and how they are enhanced with our green energy products.