RENEWABLE ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES

 

 

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Energy from the Earth                       

A less familiar source of energy is geothermal power.  Heat is leaking towards the surface of the earth from the molten interior in a slow cooling process which will continue for millions of years.  In areas where the earth's crust is fractured and faulted we are sometimes made dramatically aware of the potential power and heat that lies beneath our feet.  An active volcano is not recommended as the site for a power station, but in less unpredictable situations it is possible to exploit this heat as a source of power.

In several other parts of the world, boreholes have been sunk into "hot rock" areas to tap into geothermal steam reservoirs.  Pipes carry a mixture of pressurized hot water and steam from the wellhead to a power plant.  The water is separated out and the hot steam led into a turbine.  Steam pressure turns the turbine, which then turns a generator and produces electricity.  The steam is condensed into cooling towers and some of this water is then re-injected into the ground to replenish the steam reservoir.

 

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