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Directory:Geothermal

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Free energy from the earth. Geothermal energy can be tapped either at or near the surface, or from magma miles below the Earth's surface.

Geothermal Energy Market Potential - A newly-released report by Research and Markets explores the factors associated with utilizing the actual potential of geothermal energy, covering all the technological details, along with issues and challenges faced during the utilization of geothermal energy. The report covers major projects, power plants, players in the industry, including U.S. government role. (Business Wire; July 5, 2007)

Contents

Overviews

      "Another way of getting motive power without consuming any material would be to utilize the heat contained in the earth, the water, or the air for driving an engine. The difficulties of sinking shafts and placing boilers at depths of, say, twelve thousand feet, corresponding to an increase in temperature of about 120º C, are not insuperable, and we could certainly avail ourselves in this way of the internal heat of the globe. [The] internal heat of the earth is great and, in comparison with the demands which man can make upon it, is practically inexhaustible; since the heat contents of the earth are sextrillions of tons." -- Nikola Tesla ("Our future motive power"; Everyday Science and Mechanics; Dec. 1931)
  • A Groundswell for Geothermal - Though the US is the world’s largest producer of geothermal electricity, generating an average of 16-billion kWh of energy per year, this is still only a fraction of what it could be producing. There is virtually no area of the country where geothermal cannot be used. (Distributed Energy; May/June 2008)
  • CalEnergy Presents a Virtual Geothermal Plant Tour - Geothermal power plants use the natural heat of the earth to generate electricity for homes and businesses. CalEnergy Generation facilities generate more than 1,290 megawatts of electric power and steam-producing facilities in the United States and the Philippines.
  • Does Geothermal Drilling Cause Earthquakes? - Although geothermal drilling does not cause earthquakes, there has recently been heightened concern about induced seismicity because of the development of Engineered Geothermal Systems (EGS) technology, which can (but does not always) involve the deliberate fracturing of deep reservoir rock... (Renewable Energy World; January 20, 2010)

PES Network Coverage

  • Featured: Geothermal >
    Nikola Lakic Fulfills Tesla's Vision of Dropping Geothermal Systems Down Where the Heat Is - Geothermal Worldwide, Inc.'s patented technology presents a radical approach to harnessing geothermal power by boring a fairly large hole and lowering the boiler, turbine, and generator down where the heat is, rather than using water or other fluids to bring the heat to the surface. They also have technology for boring the large diameter hole, enabling geothermal to be installed just about anywhere. (PESN and Examiner; March 26, 2012)
  • Feature: Geothermal > Raser >
    Steam Dream: Utah's Geothermal Energy Potential - Geothermal compared to other renewables as well as coal and natural gas. Raser is deploying cost-effective geothermal resources, able to harness lower-heat input (200 - 300 degrees F) compared to usual flash-to-steam geothermal processes. Unlike wind or solar, geothermal is capable of base-load power production, providing constant output. (PESN; September 1, 2010)
  • Top 100 / Featured:  Geothermal >
    Interview with Raser About Their Cost-Effective Geothermal Power - Company has a rapid-deployment capability for low-heat geothermal energy. The geothermal pipes are in a closed loop, tied to a heat exchanger that heats a refrigerant which runs a turbine, in a reverse-refrigeration system, generating electricity in a cost-effective manner. (PESN; Sept. 4, 2008)
  • MIT Releases Major Report on Geothermal Energy (Sat., Jan. 27, 6:00 - 6:55 pm Eastern, live) - A comprehensive new MIT-led study of the potential for geothermal energy within the United States has found that mining the huge amounts of heat that reside as stored thermal energy in the Earth's hard rock crust could supply a substantial portion of the electricity the United States will need in the future, probably at competitive prices and with minimal environmental impact. (PESN; Jan. 22, 2007)
  • Converting Abandoned Oil Wells to Geothermal Plants - Drilling costs have made many geothermal projects uneconomical. A solution is found in the fact that among the over one million abandoned oil and gas wells around the world, many contain hot water that can be used to generate electricity or hydraulic power.
  • Ground Source Heat Pumps - Ground source heat pumps (aka Geothermal Heat Pumps) "extract stored solar energy from the ground to run a home's central heating, and can cost as little as an oil-fired boiler to install. Widely used in the rural US, they produce three or four units of heat for every unit of electricity they use, and can be reversed to provide cooling."

Companies

  • ElectraTherm Green Machine harnesses geothermal and other low heat - ElectraTherm’s Texas partner, Gulf Coast Green Energy, will make power from heat captured in geothermal brine, a common byproduct of drilling for oil. The machine can produce power from a wide array of heat sources including industrial waste heat, stationary engines, biomass, and solar thermal installations. (BusinessWire; June 4, 2009)
  • Power Tube - Argus is a clean energy, closed loop, geomagmatic, renewable power plant that can produce up to 10 megawatts of electricity. It differs from a standard geothermal system in that it does not need water or steam pressure to operate. It uses only low to medium temperature heat from the earth, 110-200 C, to heat an isopentane/isobutane working fluid mixture. Skeptic's comment
  • CalEnergy Generation - CalEnergy Generation facilities generate more than 1,290 megawatts of electric power and steam-producing facilities in the United States and the Philippines. See virtual plant tour.
  • enercret - Uses thermo-active foundations and floor slabs to absorb thermal energy from the ground and ground water for geothermal heating and cooling of buildings. The energy is transported by fluid-filled pipe systems incorporated inside the foundation elements. A building can be cooled for next to nothing and heated by means of a heat pump.
  • Geodynamics - Exploring Hot Dry Rock geothermal energy using heat extracted from buried hot granite by circulating water through an artificial underground heat exchange reservoir. A 40 MW power station is planned following reservoir testing.
  • Global Energy Supply Organization - Advanced vertical tunnels can harvest safely and more inexpensive with high production rates at almost any location the natural heat beneath our feet. Tiefengeothermie is the only inexpensive, safe, sustainable and clean Energy source.
  • Kelix Heat Transfer Systems - The Spiralex system is 30% more efficient than conventional U-tube loop ground heat exchangers. Material cost is reduced and drilling cost is cut to one third of conventional, while providing a more efficient system.
  • Mannvit Engineering - Mannvit Engineering was involved in the development and construction of the world’s first geothermal power station utilizing Kalina technology in Iceland and offers comprehensive consulting and engineering services in the Geothermal development field.
  • Nevada Geothermal Inc - Feature page discusses what geothermal is, where the company has installations, who's involved, some politics, and financial info.
  • Ormat Technologies - The Ormat Energy Converter (OEC) is a power generation unit which converts low and medium temperature heat into electrical energy using the Organic Rankine Cycle. Ormat has manufactured more than 750 MW of geothermal power plants, and also uses the OEC to generate power from exhaust heat recovery in energy-intensive industrial processes.
  • Puna Geothermal - Provides 25% of Hawaii's energy needs.PGV is in the Puna District of Hawaii Island. It is located 21 miles south of Hilo. PGV has been quietly producing geothermal-generated electricity for Hawaii Electric Light Company for years, working to be a good neighbor, and a steady supplier of power. Since becoming part of Ormat, a company with considerable depth in geothermal knowledge, PGV has undergone substantial upgrades.
  • UTC Power - The PureCycle® geothermal system can operate on a wide range of resource temperatures starting as low as 165°F (74°C). This enables geothermal wells deemed unproductive because they are below 300°F (149°C) to become viable energy sources once again.
  • U.S. Geothermal - Renewable energy development company that currently owns and leases approximately 8.2 square miles of land located at Raft River, Idaho USA. This property contains a proven geothermal reservoir that is verified by GeothermEx Inc. to be capable of up to 110 MW.
  • Western GeoPower - Developing the South Meager Geothermal Project, located 170 km northwest of Vancouver, as Canada's first commercial geothermal power facility, with a potential of 100 MW to 250 MW of electricity generating capacity.


  • Geothermal Heat Pump Advantages - TERRASource Geothermal systems are environmental-friendly. They generate no on-site emissions, do not burn gases, contain no combustible liquids, do not produce carbon monoxide, nor carbon dioxide, and have the lowest emissions among all heating and cooling technologies.
  • Geothermal Heat Pump Training Course - CleanEdison Offers a 24-hour 3-day accredited geothermal installer training focused on the installation of geothermal heating and ocoling systems. This course prepares participants for the IGSHPA Accredited Geothermal Installer certification exam

Ground Source Heat Pump

See Directory:Home Generation:Ground Source Heat Pump - separate index page

Image:Climate Master ground source heat pump 95x95.jpg Image:Earthlinked-groundsourceheatpump95x95_byKevn.gif Image:Water-_Geothermal_95x95.jpg Image:Ground_source_heat_pump_100b.gif Image:Hydro_Delta_95x95.jpg

Hydrothermal Vents

  • Featured: Geothermal >
    Marshall Hydrothermal System for Harnessing Deep Sea Vents (Interview) - Bruce Marshall has filed a patent for a hydrothermal system that would harness the vast energy available from deep sea hydrothermal vents in which water seeps into near-surface magma, where it is continuously heated and ejected through vents at around 750 degrees Fahrenheit. The hot water and minerals would be brought to the surface to turn turbines. (PESWiki; Oct. 22, 2009) (Comment)

Tools

  • Hydro-thermal Spalling - Potter Drilling’s technology differs from prior air based techniques in that it uses hot fluid rather than air to spall rock. Because spallation occurs in a water filled borehole, Potter Drilling’s technology can be used to drill to depths required for universal EGS (12,000 to 30,000 feet). (Flash animation in link) (Oct 10, 2008)

Around the World

  • Ten-Year Renewable Energy Plan >
    Onshore Energy Security Program - The Onshore Energy Security Program (OESP), implemented by the Australian Government as part of a broader package of energy initiatives in 2006, is a five-year program designed to deliver reliable, precompetitive geoscience data and scientifically based assessments of the potential for onshore energy resources, including oil, gas, hot rocks (geothermal energy), uranium and thorium. 5-year plan 21-page PDF (Geoscience Australia; Dec. 1, 2008)
  • Massive clean energy reserves found - Queensland, Australia has struck yet another bonanza with the discovery of an enormous reservoir Millungera Basin of zero-emission coal seam gas in hot fractured rock ( HFR), 100km east of the outback town of Cloncurry. (The Australian; July 21, 2008)
  • Norway is Hydrogen Haven - Sitting atop one of the world's most active volcano fields, the Nordic nation has more readily available, renewable energy resources than any other place on Earth. And by tapping into those hydro and geothermal sources, Iceland hopes to become the world's first hydrogen economy. (AOL; June 16, 2006)
  • Australia Pushes Geothermal Energy - Several Australian firms are currently experimenting with tapping the country's vast geothermal energy using the "dry rock" approach. (Slashdot; Nov. 2005)
  • Geothermal power 'faces many challenges', says minister - The Australian Federal Government says the geothermal industry still needs to prove that it can generate electricity from hot, underground rocks. One company, Geodynamics, is about to start drilling, and says it should be able to prove within a year that its system works. (ABC News; Aug. 1, 2007)
  • Geothermal Energy Capacity in Vietnam and Elsewhere - Humankind is tapping only a small fraction of available geothermal sources. Costs about 1.5 times more than hydro, but installs faster and has less impact on environment. (Alt-Energy-Blog; June 7, 2005)
  • Nicaraguan Geothermal Project Prepares to Go Online - Final testing of the steamfield, which encompasses production wells, above ground piping and separation equipment, the re-injection systems and associated control systems; the substation; and the transmission line. (Renewable Energy Access; New York; April 18, 2005)

In the News

See News:Geothermal

Research & Development

  • Geothermal / U.S. Government and Energy >
    8GW Of Geothermal Energy to Be Added To National Grid - The Obama administration’s stimulus bill, which aimed to diversify the US' energy supplies, has funded 7,875 MW of geothermal projects, further breaking America’s dependency on fossil fuels. The US Recovery Act has enabled geothermal projects to qualify to receive a federal grant of 30% of investment costs, for a total of $363 million in funding for geothermal energy projects. (Inhabitat; Nov. 5, 2010)
  • Nanotech >
    Cheaper Geothermal - Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, WA, say they've developed a superior type of heat-extracting fluid using nanomaterials that could dramatically improve the economics ( of producing renewable power from low-temperature geothermal resources. The proprietary liquid can potentially boost the rate of heat capture by 20 to 30 percent. (MIT Technology Review; July 24, 2009)
  • A Googol of Heat Beneath Our Feet - Enhanced Geothermal Systems, or EGS produces heat and electricity by harnessing the energy from hot rock deep below the earth's surface, expanding the potential of traditional geothermal energy by orders of magnitude. EGS is a big challenge, but with the potential to power the world many times over, it demands our immediate attention. At Google, they've launched an effort ($10 million) to advance EGS through R&D, investment, policy and information. YouTube (Google; Aug. 18, 2008)
  • MIT Releases Major Report on Geothermal Energy - A comprehensive new MIT-led study of the potential for geothermal energy within the United States has found that mining the huge amounts of heat that reside as stored thermal energy in the Earth's hard rock crust could supply a substantial portion of the electricity the United States will need in the future, probably at competitive prices and with minimal environmental impact. (PESN; Jan. 22, 2007)
  • Helium Leads to Geothermal Energy Resources - two U.S. researchers have found a new method which doesn't require drilling. They are using the ratio of helium isotopes in surface waters to point to the best sources of geothermal energy. (EurekAlert; Nov. 30, 2007) (See Slashdot discussion)
  • Abundant Power from Universal Geothermal Energy - An MIT chemical engineer explains why new technologies could finally make "heat mining" practical nearly anywhere on earth by making artificial reservoirs for harvesting the earth’s heat. (MIT Technology Review; Aug. 1, 2006)
  • The Potential of Geothermal Power - The concept is simple to understand: earth's core heat transforms water into steam, which in turn causes a turbine to revolve. Scientists say this geothermal energy, clean, quiet and virtually inexhaustible, could fill the world's annual needs 250,000 times over with nearly zero impact on the climate or the environment. (Yahoo! News; Aug. 4, 2007)
  • Geothermal power – clean, silent electricity from out of the ground - An overview of geothermal energy methods and developments worldwide. "The optimum way of accessing this energy at the moment is Hot Dry Rock (HDR) or Hot Fractured Rock (HFR) technology." (Engineer Live; May 22, 2006)
  • Geothermal Energy 2005 in Review, 2006 Outlook - In 2005, a wave of new power production contracts were signed, new direct use projects were underway, federal tax and regulatory laws were substantially enhanced to promote geothermal development, and a series of other events boosted prospects for expanded geothermal energy production in the U.S. (Renewable Energy Access; Jan. 5, 2006)
  • Geothermal Could Meet 6% of U.S. Electrical Needs by 2025 - Geothermal resources could supply more than 30,000 MW of power by 2025, the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) told the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee earlier this week. (Renewable Energy Access; May 3, 2006)

Videos

Downsides

  • Geopower driller faces jail for causing earthquakes - The head of Geopower Basel, a thermal energy company, was testing pioneering technology to blast cold water deep underground and create steam to drive electric turbines; had to stop when it recorded an earthquake measuring 3.4 on the Richter scale and a series of smaller tremors that led to 3,500 claims for damages from homeowners and a compensation bill of SwFr9 million (£5.4 million). (Times Online; UK; Dec. 17, 2009)
  • Geothermal explosion rocks green energy hopes - The bid to produce green power on a commercial scale using heat mined from subterranean rocks – or "hot rocks" – has suffered a major setback, with the breach of a four-kilometre-deep well on Friday in the Cooper Basin in South Australia. (New Scientist; April 28, 2009)

Comments

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Resources

See also

GEOTHERMAL

TYPES OF GEOTHERMAL

GEOTHERMAL-RELATED

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