Geothermal power plants draw fluids from underground reservoirs to the surface to produce steam. This steam then drives turbines that generate electricity. There are three main types of geothermal power plant technologies: dry steam, flash steam, and binary cycle.
How Is Geothermal Energy Generated?
Geothermal energy is an increasingly popular form of renewable energy that harnesses the immense power of the Earth’s internal heat. Although geothermal energy is relatively new as an energy source, it is an incredibly efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable way to generate energy. In this article, we explore how geothermal energy is generated, its various uses, and the many benefits it offers.
The Earth’s internal heat is generated from the radioactive decay of elements such as uranium, thorium, and potassium, and from the primordial energy left over from the formation of the planet. This heat is stored in rocks, fluids, and gases deep below the Earth’s surface. To access this energy, geothermal power plants are built near areas of high heat, such as volcanoes and hot springs.
The most common type of geothermal energy generation is binary-cycle power plants. These plants use the Earth’s heat to heat a working fluid, such as isobutane, that has a lower boiling point than water. The heated working fluid is then used to turn a turbine and generate electricity.
Another type of geothermal energy generation is direct-use geothermal systems. These systems use the Earth’