Geothermal Energy in Iceland

In the world of geothermal energy, Iceland is a top celebrity. This cold European country and popular tourist destination is burning with fire underneath. Nowhere else on Earth can we observe so many active volcanoes where eruptions occur every four to five years. Icelanders can thank for this spectacle of geothermal activity to its unique geographic location. Iceland and other parts of the world including areas of western USA and Japan lie on top of shallow geothermal resources. Iceland, in {Read More}

Geothermal Energy Images, Iceland

Extending across the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Iceland has exceptional geological conditions. It has 250 geothermal energy areas, 22 active volcanoes and 780 hot springs. It also has the world’s third largest ice-cap. Iceland is one of the world’s most active hotspots with the world’s greatest exhibit of volcanic features. Being the youngest country in Europe, its geology is constantly developing. Here is a collection of characteristic geothermal energy images from Iceland. Being a part of Haukadalur Valley, Stokkur is an Iceland’s {Read More}

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Magma and Lava

Magma is defined as molten or partially molten rock within or under the crust of the Earth. It consists of a mixture of molten rock, suspended crystals and gas. Some of the  gases found in magma are carbon monoxide, ammonia and carbon dioxide. When volcanoes erupt, magma is extruded onto the Earth’s surface as lava and igneous rocks (“fire formed”) are developed. In terms of modes of their appearance, igneous rocks can be intrusive (plutonic) or extrusive (volcanic). Intrusive or {Read More}

Geothermal Energy Pros and Cons

The promoters of geothermal energy emphasize its stable, renewable and versatile nature that can help us beat our precarious dependence on fossil fuels. The critics, on the other hand, dismiss it quoting its high capital costs and impacts from land subsidence. I this article we will juxtapose the most prominent geothermal energy pros and cons based on environmental and economic considerations. We will draw a conclusion based on the results of this inquiry. Geothermal Energy Pros: Environmental Considerations From an {Read More}

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How Geothermal Energy Works Part I

In What is Geothermal Energy? we have discussed how geothermal energy works—the science of it. In this part we explore how geothermal energy works in practical applications, that is, how this energy source gets translated into useable power. Geothermal energy has three main applications. 1.   Direct use 2.  Geothermal heat pumps 3.   Electricity generation In this segment we look at how geothermal energy is used directly. We will also review the myriad of direct uses for geothermal energy. In Part {Read More}

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How Geothermal Energy Works Part II

In this part of How Geothermal Energy Works, we will review how geothermal energy is converted into useable energy through geothermal heat pumps. A geothermal heat pump (GSHP) or ground-source heat pump[1] is a heating and cooling system that uses the ground as source of heat during the winter and a sink for heat during the summer. Invented by Lord Kelvin in 1852, the heat pump was developed by Peter Ritter von Rittinger in 1855 and built in the late {Read More}

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How Geothermal Energy Works Part III

In What is Geothermal Energy?, we covered the science of how geothermal energy works. In Part I we looked at direct uses of geothermal energy. In Part II we reviewed how geothermal energy is converted into useable energy through geothermal heat pumps. In this segment we look at the technologies that convert geothermal energy into electricity known as geothermal power plants. We also briefly look at the pros and cons of geothermal power plants. Conversion technologies used today are: Dry {Read More}

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Geothermal Energy Definition

Geothermal energy allows many definitions—most revolving around the concepts of “earth” and “heat”. Expanded definitions additionally focus on a renewable nature of geothermal energy. The vast supply of heat from the Earth can be utilized as a source of energy in many ways – from simple, direct use for applications such as heating houses, pools and greenhouses to large and complex power stations that convert geothermal energy into electricity. This clean and versatile energy source is being regarded as an {Read More}

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Is Geothermal Energy Renewable and Sustainable

In order to answer whether geothermal energy is a renewable and sustainable source of energy it is necessary to characterize terms “renewable” and “sustainable”. Renewable forms of energy constantly replenish themselves without any human participation. Regardless of how much renewable sources of energy are used their supply will not be exhausted. Examples of renewables include solar energy, hydro-energy and wind energy. The advantage of renewable energy sources is that they can free society of its reliance on non-renewable, finite energy {Read More}

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100 Geothermal Energy Facts

The word geothermal is a fusion of “geo”,  a Greek word meaning “Earth,” and “therme” a Greek word meaning “heat. Geothermal power originates from the Earth’s formation, decay of radioactive isotopes, volcanic activity and solar energy. The temperature increases around 80 degrees Fahrenheit for each mile of depth below the Earth’s surface. At the center of Earth is a solid core with an estimated temperature of about 8,000 °F (4426 °C). The high temperature of the Earth’s core melts the {Read More}