GEOTHERMAL Angelina Genelow, Nathan White, Brandon McMurphy, Paige Bronsburg
THREE TYPE OF GEOTHERMAL Flash steam plants are the most common in use today. They use water reservoirs that are more than 360 degrees. A well is dug in the ground and the water flows up towards the surface decreasing the pressure and turning into steam which is used to turn a turbine and generate electricity. Dry Steam power plants use underground steam to turn a turbine. Geysers are an example of dry steam energy that can be harnessed to produce electricity Binary Cycle power plants use water at lower temperatures from 225 to 360 degrees to boil a liquid with a low boiling point. The liquid is vaporized and used to turn a turbine and generate electricity. The water is then piped back through the ground and reheated. The water and other liquid are separated in a closed system.
ADVANTAGES: Clean, sustainable, and renewable. Can be used just about anywhere. Helps local economies. Conserves fossil fuels.
AGREE OR DISAGREE? Many people agree that this can be an effective alternative energy. It is very efficient the only downfall would be the expense of drilling the well, but eventually it will pay for itself.
PROBLEMS: Arsenic, mercury, and ammonia are some other hazardous materials that can be exposed with geothermal energy. Hydrogen Sulfide is one gas that can come up. This gas is extremely hard to dispose of. One major problem would be that this can cause earthquakes. Can only be used for energy to the surrounding area. Before an area can begin construction the land must be surveyed. This survey can take years to complete. This is also very costly to build.
LAWS AND REGULATIONS: For the dry steam power plants geysers which could be used to produce electricity are protected from development. For example the geysers in Yellowstone National Park are seen as a national tourist attraction and are therefore protected by the government from geothermal energy production.
CAN GEOTHERMAL RUN OUT? Hot dry rock resources occur at depths of 3 to 5 miles everywhere beneath the Earth's surface and at lesser depths in certain areas. This means that geothermal energy will last as long as the earth has a core. Because of the presence of the core, the area below the surface is constantly heated, which means the geothermal heat is completely renewable.