How is Geothermal Energy Generated?

What is geothermal energy? There is a massive power source located below the earth’s crust for hundreds of years. Underground, well below us are the magma (molten rocks) hot ponds of water. Our geothermal lakes contain these water tanks. The purpose of geothermal power is to harness the earth’s temperatures to steam, heat or renew our homes and businesses. But the question is how is geothermal energy generated?

The power in the earth generates geothermal energy. The word “geothermal” derives from the Greek word geo, meaning earth and thermal, meaning heat. This energy used by people all over the world like electricity, heat buildings and greenhouses.

Geothermal energy is known as a source of green energy because the heat is produced continuously and the water is refilled by rainfall.

how is geothermal energy generated?

To give an answer to the main question of this article: How is geothermal energy generated? we should read these points bellow carefully, Geothermal power plants are generated in three major forms, each a very different way.

Dry steam plants:

The most popular forms of geothermal power plants are dry steam plants that account for nearly half of the operated geothermal plants. These are similar to geothermal reservoirs that drive generators that supply energy by piping hot steam from underground reservoirs directly into turbines. Once the turbines are powered, the steam condenses into water and is pumped back into the earth.

Flash steam plants:

Flash steam plants vary from dry steam since liquid water is being injected directly to the surface instead of steam. Those flash steam plants inject hot water from under the earth into a’ heat water tank’ on the surface at high pressure. The flash tank is very low, which allows fluid to “flash” into the vapor easily. The steam-powered turbines. The steam is absorbed and condensed into vapor, where the injection well dumps it down into the earth.

Binary cycle:

The main difference with such binary cycle plants is that water or steam from below the ground does not come into close contact with the turbines. Instead, a heat exchanger extracts water from geothermal sources to heat a second liquid – namely isobutene.

The second liquid is turned into a gas, to power a generator’s turbines. Via the injection well the hot water from the atmosphere is returned to the ground, the second liquid is recovered by the generator and back into the heat transfer, where it can again be used.

Geothermal heat pump

By utilizing geothermal energy for homes, you are able to heat or cool a structure by using conditions below the Earth’s surface. Although the underground temperatures fluctuate over the years over the seasons, the low-surface temperatures stay constant between 50 and 60 degrees each year.

Four types of pumps, three closed loops and open loop systems are available. All depend on the quality of soil, the atmosphere and the available ground.


The most cost-effective for residential areas is closed loop horizontal systems. Vertical loop systems are most commonly utilized by larger industrial buildings. This can go 400 feet down occasionally. The most often cheapest is closed loops.

The geothermal systems in the closed loop are different from the geothermal systems in the open loop since they use an antifreeze mix for the water which cycles through inland pipes rather than using fresh groundwater for the transfer of the heat. Geothermal loops are often used in various forms:

Horizontal: Geothermal applications for horizontal closed loop are systems that use the piping horizontally mounted on the ground. Such structures will take up a lot of room because the loops will operate longitudinally.

Slinky: The slinky closed loop geothermal system is a change of the horizontal system. The tubing is horizontally laid in a slinky loop system, although it first appears as a flattened and slinky spreading device. The trenches in which the pipes are placed have a lower capacity.

Vertical: Another form of geothermal loop closed system is the geothermal loop vertical. The tubes are vertically placed in multiple wells from 100 to 400 meters deep and are attached at the bottom via the U-bend instead of horizontally running the pipes out. The boreholes are then lined to have a strong thermal conductivity for the vertical tubing.

Open-loop geothermal systems utilize groundwater to transfer thermodynamic energy as a refrigerant. Because water is a good thermal conductor and groundwater is naturally isolated and far lower to the surrounding soil in temperature, open-loop geothermal systems are an excellent solution for performance. Open loop geothermal systems may be used as a source, a drain, a pond or lake as a source, a sink or a drain and a pond or lake as a sink. The expense, capacity and performance of the system are calculated by various installations and by specific variables of each system. And after response to the question, how is geothermal energy generated? Now we should know what the system is better for us?

Which to Choose?

In certain cases the open-loop geothermal systems are less costly and more effective than closed-loop geothermal systems because of their constant soil water temperature and the extraordinary conductivity relative to a closed-loop geothermic system in which heat is extracted and emitted via a polyethylene tube. However, open loop implementations are not feasible in certain cases either because there is no accessible groundwater supply because the groundwater requires far too much iron, or because local law may preclude open loop systems.

Pros and Cons of Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy was once rare, but it is increasing today because more homeowners are looking for less conventional methods of heating and cooling their houses. If you decide to swap a geothermal heat pump in your heater and air conditioning system, you would need to learn which geothermal installers in their area would be happy to do this. However, first taking into consideration the advantages and disadvantages of geothermal energy


Highly efficient heating and cooling: because geothermal energy moves heat instead of producing it, the device is capable of working at an output of 300 to 500 percent. This means that a geothermal power pump absorbs three to five units of power per each unit of energy. You should expect to save from today’s most powerful furnaces and air conditioners 30-60% on heating prices, and 25-5% of the cooling expense.

Low environmental impact: the greenest energy source possible is known to be geothermal sources. This is virtually free from pollution and does not involve combustion, unlike oil and gas furnaces.

Not weather dependent: Sun and wind are called clean energies since they never run out, but there may be short-term losses in energy as the sun goes down, and the wind starts blowing. But the planet still remains, and geothermal energy can be produced.


Higher upfront cost than other HVAC systems: Many may miss out by installing a geothermal heat pump. Nevertheless, the investment will compensate for itself in only five to ten years, with incredibly productive results.

Most suitable for new home builds: Although a geothermal heat pump may be mounted in an existing building, intensive excavation needs retrofitting. The system becomes even more feasible in new construction.


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