Hello Everyone!!! I hope you are having a great time over there? It's really nice to have you visit my blog today and I must say I'm really happy to have a great personality like you reading my post today 😊. Thank you once again 💕😊.
I was actually given a personal research by one of my tutor about "the different ways in which electricity can be generated". During the process of the research, I found out some interesting methods of generating electricity even though some of them aren't really widely used unlike the common ones we do see around us.
Today I'll be sharing with you a special method of generating electricity and I found this method really interesting and great to utilize even though some countries have started using this method to generate clean electricity. This method is known as Geothermal Energy System.
What is Geothermal Energy?
The word “Geo-Thermal” was actually coined from two different terms in which “geo” is a prefix derived from the Greek which connotes “earth” and the word “thermal” is simply known as “heat”. This implies that the word Geothermal is simply explaining the existence of heat (thermal) beneath the earth (Geo). We can simply define geothermal energy as the heat energy derived from the sub-surface of the earth which can be harnessed to generate clean electricity for human utilization.
The heat generated beneath the earth surface as a result of hot springs, fumaroles, lava flows, geysers, mud and pots is mostly produced by the radioactive decay of thorium, potassium and uranium in the earth crust and also the frictional effect brings about the margins of continental plates which leads to the production of such heat.
A research conducted by John W. Lund (2014) shows that the subsequent annual low-grade of heat flow to the surface of the earth averages between 50 and 70 milliwatts (mW) per square meter around the world and this makes the estimated amount of energy that can be recovered and utilized on the earth surface equal to 4500000 exa joules which is also equivalent to 1400000 terawatt years which equates to roughly three times the world’s annual consumption of all energy types according to Britannica explorers.
This connotes that geothermal energy has been one of the best renewable source of energy being utilized in different places around the world for electricity generation which serves as a means of comfort for human use.
Principle of Operation
The working principle of a geothermal system isn’t really as ambiguous or complicated as it may seem as shown in the image above. The geothermal system is set up in such a way that the heat energy (steam) beneath the earth crust is able to rotate or spin the turbine which is connected to a generator to produce electricity. The principle of operation or working principle will be more effective provided the geothermal system is well set up.
An injection well or a pipe of increased length is immersed beneath the earth crust which helps to generate hot high pressure water through suction process or capillary action. The heated pressurized water flows through the injection well or pipe until it gets to a reservoir connected at the upper part of the injection well which helps to reduce the pressure of the of the heated pressurized water by converting to steam.
The steam then spins the turbine connected to a generator that produces electricity which is then distributed to various places. Another pipe is connected from the turbine chamber to the cooling tower which allows the flow or passage of heated steam from the turbine chamber to be cooled by condensation process and the cooled water is then pumped back into the earth to repeat the same process.
I hope you were able to understand the working principle of a geothermal system 😊. I think it's also very okay if we look into some required factors in designing a geothermal system.
Factors Required in Designing and Siting a Geothermal System
#1 AVAILABILITY OF MATERIALS
Before you can design or construct a system, you must ensure that the materials are available for utilization. The fact is that the available materials will definitely make it more possible for you to design and construct a geothermal system while the lack of materials for construction makes it impossible for you to build a geothermal system.
#2 TYPES OF MATERIALS USED FOR CONSTRUCTION
You must also ensure you make use of high quality materials with high durability for the construction process. The types of materials you adopt is also one of the key factors that determines how long lasting the geothermal system becomes. Always go for appropriate materials for design and construction operations. Ensure to make use of metals with high conductivity and thickness where necessary because you will definitely need it here 😊.
#3 ENVIRONMENTAL FACTOR/CONDITION
You must also be more mindful about the type of environment you desire to set up such system. The environment should meet the requirements in terms of remoteness, soil condition, water source, topography and soil type.
#4 DESIGN CALCULATIONS
This is where your knowledge of engineering is needed. You will need to do some little mathematics and engineering calculations about the system factor of safety, heat loss and heat gain, stress and strain calculations of metals, loading effect calculations and many others. Engineers will understand this aspect more better 😊.