What is geothermal energy?
Geothermal energy is energy derived from the heat from the earth, it’s clean and sustainable. Resources of geothermal energy range from the shallow ground to hot water and hot rock found a few kilometres below the earth’s surface, down even deeper to the extremely high temperatures of magma. This heat can be used to for the heating and cooling of buildings and in production processes. This technology is particularly interesting in regions such as Northern Europe where about half of the energy is used for heating and cooling.
Applications of geothermal energy
Geothermal heat pumps, also known as ground source heat pumps take advantage of the constant year-round temperature (10°-16°C) of the shallow ground. This ground temperature is warmer than the air above in winter and cooler than the air in summer. Air or antifreeze liquid is pumped through a network of pipes burried underground an re-circulated into the building. In summer, the liquid moves heat from the building into the ground, in winter, it does the opposite, providing pre-warmed air and water to the heating system of the building.
Geothermal direct use
Geothermal reservoirs of hot water can be used to provide heat directly. Through a production well, the hot water is pumped up, passes over a heat exchanger and is generally injected back into the original reservoir via an injection well.
Geothermal Electricity Production (deep geothermal system)
Geothermal energy can also be used to produce electricity or higher-grade heat. In case the temperature (>180°C) and volume of the water are high enough, this can be done using steam-driven turbines. It’s also possible to generate electricity at lower temperatures (90°C-180°C) by using an organic liquid or a mixture of liquids in a secondary circuit, generating sufficient vapor pressure at lower temperatures.
Why geothermal energy?
Geothermal energy has many applications and significantly reduces consumption of electricity, fuel and natural gas. The percentage of energy needed that can be covered by geothermal energy heavily depends on the precise application, the size of the system, the size of the building, the nature of the heat transfer system up to the number of people and heat producing installations in the building.
On average, a shallow geothermal energy system has a payback time of around 1/3 of the life span of the installation, this is without taking into account government and/or tax incentives. Geothermal installations have the potential to bring CO2 emissions down to 20% for cooling and 50% for heating.
Upgrade Energy brings geothermal energy to your company.
Would you like to know more about the possibilities of geothermal energy in your company? Please don’t hesitate to contact us.