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Geothermal Energy Notes PDF Summary
Dear readers, here we are sharing Geothermal Energy Notes PDF with all of you. Geothermal energy comes from the heat within the earth. People around the world use geothermal energy to produce electricity, heat buildings and greenhouses, and for other purposes. The earth’s core lies almost 4,000 miles beneath the earth’s surface.
The double-layered core is made up of very hot molten iron surrounding a solid iron center. Estimates of the temperature of the core range from 5,000 to 11,000 degrees Fahrenheit (F). Heat is continuously produced within the earth by the slow decay of radioactive particles that is natural in all rocks.
Geothermal Energy Notes PDF
Surrounding the earth’s core is the mantle, thought to be partly rock and partly magma. The mantle is about 1,800 miles thick. The outermost layer of the earth, the insulating crust, is not one continuous sheet of rock, like the shell of an egg, but is broken into pieces called plates. These slabs of continents and ocean floor drift apart and push against each other at the rate of about one inch per year in a process called continental drift.
Magma (molten rock) may come quite close to the surface where the crust has been thinned, faulted, or fractured by plate tectonics. When this near-surface heat is transferred to water, a usable form of geothermal energy is created.
Geothermal energy is called a renewable energy source because the water is replenished by rainfall, and the heat is continuously produced by the earth.
HISTORY OF GEOTHERMAL ENERGY
Many ancient peoples, including the Romans, Chinese, and Native Americans, used hot mineral springs for bathing, cooking, and heating. Water from hot springs is now used worldwide in spas, for heating buildings, and for agricultural and industrial uses. Many people believe hot mineral springs have natural healing powers. Using geothermal energy to produce electricity is a relatively new industry. It was initiated by a group of Italians who built an electric generator at Lardarello in 1904.
Their generator was powered by the natural steam erupting from the earth. The first attempt to develop geothermal power in the United States came in 1922 at The Geysers steam field in northern California. The project failed because the pipes and turbines of the day could not stand up to the abrasion and corrosion of the particles and impurities that were in the steam. Later, a small but successful hydrothermal plant opened at The Geysers in 1960. Today 28
plants are operating there. Electricity is now produced from geothermal energy in 21 countries, including the United States.
WHERE IS GEOTHERMAL ENERGY FOUND?
What does geothermal energy look like? Some visible features of geothermal energy are volcanoes, hot springs, geysers, and fumaroles. But you cannot see most geothermal energy. Usually, geothermal energy is deep underground. There may be no clues above ground to what exists below ground.
Geologists use many methods to find geothermal resources. They may study aerial photographs and geological maps. They may analyze the chemistry of local water sources and the concentration of metals in the soil. They may measure variations in gravity and magnetic fields.
Yet the only way they can be sure there is a geothermal resource is by drilling wells to measure underground temperatures. The earth is a hotbed of geothermal energy. The most active geothermal resources are usually
found along major plate boundaries where earthquakes and volcanoes are concentrated.
Most of the geothermal activity in the world occurs in an area known as the “Ring of Fire.” The Ring of Fire rims the Pacific Ocean and is bounded by Japan, the Philippines, the Aleutian Islands, North America, Central America, and South America.
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