Have you ever asked yourself the question “how does geothermal energy work?” or “what is geothermal energy“. If you have you may already know the answer, yet if you are unsure, or would like to know about geothermal energy and the geothermal energy process, then by all means read on.
The process of harnessing energy from geothermal activity is fairly simple, yet this depends on how you wish to make the geothermal energy work for you. The two main types of geothermal power come from the center of the earth, and the sun.
In this article we are going to focus on geothermal energy relating to the sun. If you would like to see how the earth produces geothermal energy and how we harness this more powerful energy, please visit our geothermal power plant page.
You probably know that the sun heats the first few feet of the ground we walk on to a significant degree, and then this heat is lost during the night. In the U.K, a few meters beneath the earths surface, the temperature hovers around 10 to 15 degrees Celsius.
During the winter months this temperature is much greater than the average temperature of the air above the surface. To extract this heat, we are able to run hundreds of meters of piping (in loops – to save space) under the ground. These pipes are then filled with water, and a pump pushes cold water through the pipes to the exit area.
The water is collected in a boiler where it can be directly channeled to mechanisms such as underfloor heating, or it can be heated to a higher temperature by the boiler and used for the buildings hot water supply.
The heating of the water is more environmentally friendly than heating colder water, as you are closer to the stop temperature from the start. It is said that for every unit of electricity you put into geothermal energy systems, 3 to 4 units are received.
Geothermal energy processes are able to work in many different ways, which allows you to harness different amounts of energy for different locations, this is how it all works.