Squid(x3) Group

Hi Squid(x3) Group. Think about the potential uses of geothermal energy - we haven't even begun to think about how to use the energy under the ocean. ‍‍‍‍‍As we continue with this work, I'll comment to you in red.‍‍‍‍‍

RMS answers to my questions:
Dear Mr. Bernabei,
It turns out that the due date for our project is approaching fast, so my project teammates and I have decided to just ask you our questions via email. So if you would respond to these few questions that would be great:
  1. 1. Why did you decide to use geothermal energy for the middle school?
RTSD investigated the use of geothermal heating and cooling when planning for Radnor Elementary School around 1998. Based on research and tours of schools and other facilities that were using geothermal, the district decided to use this technology in the new school. Costs savings for use were anticipated to be around 15 to 30 percent over conventional heating and cooling systems using fossil fuels (oil or gas). In terms of environmental effectiveness, the new system would also not have emissions from fossil fuels generated on site (no smoke stacks) and we would not need to have oil tanks/lines or large gas lines for heating the building. We installed the first system at Radnor Elementary School and opened the building in 2001. The cost for installation was the same as a conventional system at that time and we saw that we immediately saved money as compared to our conventionally heated and cooled buildings. We were also able to house the geothermal heat pumps in closets, outside of the classrooms, which improved our ability to maintain the units without disrupting classes and also took any noise associated with the units out of the learning spaces. RES has 60 wells, approximately 500 feet deep.
Based upon that experience and having a few years of savings in the range of 20 percent, we decided to install a similar system for the new Radnor Middle School. RMS has 144 wells, approximately 500 feet deep. Operationally, they are very similar systems and we again located the heating and cooling units in sound insolated closets outside of the classrooms.
We have also installed a 77 well system at Ithan Elementary School and we are now finishing a similar system at Wayne Elementary School, having 66 wells. All wells of similar depths.
  1. 2. Pros and cons of geothermal energy?
Pros – Using the common temperature of around 55 degrees at 500 feet deep, the earth provides us with a very efficient start to heating and cooling year round. During the winter, the heat from the earth’s core is use to heat our buildings and during the summer, the earth acts as a heat sink to remove heat from our buildings. The wells have closed piping networks running through them that transfer this heat year round. Since we start heating and cooling with the earth’s core temperature of 55 degrees, we need electricity to raise the heat inside of our buildings to 72 degrees in the winter and to lower to 74 degrees in the summer. Although this electricity costs money, it is far less expensive than using outside air temperatures of, for example, 20 degrees in the winter and 80 degrees in the summer. We also do not need to use fossil fuels, which helps to protect the environment, both locally and globally.
Cons – Relies solely on electricity to bring heating and cooling to comfortable temperatures. Takes a large area of ground to install the wells.
  1. 3. Was and is it expensive, or does it actually save money?
Although many people state that it is more expensive to install upfront, we have found that on systems of our size, the costs are similar to conventional systems to construct and we begin saving money immediately upon use. We also don’t need to have large boiler rooms, which saves the cost of construction of large mechanical rooms. We find our savings to be about 20 percent on average to operate. That equates to a few hundred thousand dollars district-wide.
  1. 4. Would the district like to use geothermal energy for the other schools in Radnor?
All schools are now geothermal except for Radnor High School. Since the high school’s heating and cooling system (based on using oil and gas for heating and electricity for cooling) was installed in 1997, the system is not old enough yet to justify replacement. When the system ages and needs to be replaced, I am sure the district will consider using geothermal if it can be designed and utilized efficiently at Radnor High.

Geo= from the earth and thermal= heat, this energy is found under the earth

Ease of delivery?
  • Doesn’t need to be transported

Past history and use of the energy source
  • The first geothermal power station was built at Landrello, in Italy, and the second was at Wairekei in New Zealand
  • There are also some in Iceland, Japan, the Philippines, and the United States
  • In 1864, a hotel in Oregon heated rooms using geothermal energy from underground hot springs.
  • The first geothermal power plant opened in California in 1921.
  • A professor at Ohio State University invented the first geothermal heating system in 1948.
  • Were does the heat come from?
  • Heat flows outward from the Earth’s interior and the outer crust of the Earth insulate us from the interior heat.
  • The Crust of the Earth is broken into many plates that move constantly creating friction and heat. This is called the Plate Tectonic Process. When the plates meet on slides above and the other slides under. This point allows magma to rise from the edges of sinking plates. The magma that reaches the surface is known as lava, but the magma that doesn’t reach the surface heats large zones of underground rock.
  • Water sometimes seeps into the ground and becomes heated, then returns to the surface as steam or hot water. This sometimes forms hot springs, mud pots, etc.
    • Geothermal reservoirs; when hot water and steam is trapped under the surface.
      • Can reach temperatures of 700*F
  • Geothermal Energy Comes from the Earth’s Interior?
  • Earth’s interior is warm due to radioactive decay and gravitational pressures.
  • We see this heat as lava when it comes from a volcano or as steam from a geyser
  • Hydrothermal Energy- produced by pumping naturally occurring hot water or steam from the ground.
    • Predominant form of geothermal energy now used for commercial electricity
    • Hot dry Rock Energy- using hydraulic pressure to open up a large reservoir deep underground.
      • Liquid water is injected into the reservoir, heated by the hot rock and then brought back to the surface as steam to generate electricity.
      • Geopressured Brine- extracted warm subterranean brine water that is high in dissolved methane.
      • Disadvantages: pollutants that are emitted into the air, water from inside the earth is much more salty than ocean water.
Current uses and practices
  • Used to generate electricity and as a natural means of heating and cooling homes and buildings
  • A “heat exchanger’ takes the heat from the liquid and uses it to heat the air inside the home
  • Heat:
    • To heat homes a geothermal heating system uses pipes buried more than four feet deep in the earth
  • The liquid is pumped through the pipes to absorb the heat and bring it indoor
  • Works in reverse for cold air:
    • Absorbing the heat from the air inside your home and moves it back into the earth.
  • Technologies used to produce electricity: dry steam power plants, flash steam power plants, and binary cycle power plants
  • Direct heating: this process involves installing heat pumps: whether into natural hot springs or into wells that tap into heat from the earth’s mantle
  • Alternative uses: heat greenhouses, de-ice roads, improve oil recovery processes, in spas and health clinics
  • Right now, the best options are geothermal heat pumps, which can be used just about anywhere in the world because the temperature beneath the ground always remains constant
  • Types of Power Plants [SLIDE 49]
    • Dry Steam: The steam shoots up the wells and is passed through a rock catcher and then directly into the turbine. NO WATER IS USED. *RARE*
      • [SLIDE 50] FIRST GEOTHERMAL POWER PLANT, 1904, LARDERELLO, ITALYit was also a dry steam field.
        • Today over 90 years later, the Lardello field is still producing energy.
        • This is where the first modern plant was also built, but it was destroyed during WWII and then rebuilt
    • First geothermal power plants in the U.S. were built in 1962 at the Geysers dry steam field in northern California. [largest producing geothermal field in the world]
    • Flash Steam: Use hot water reservoirs. As the hot water is released from the high pressure reservoirs from underground it goes into a flash tank. Some of it turns into steam which will ultimately move a turbine that generates electricity.
      • Invented in New Zealand.
      • The unused geothermal water and condensed steam are injected back into the periphery of the reservoir to sustain the life of the reservoir.
      • Binary Cycle: (binary means two) heat from geothermal water is used to vaporize a “working fluid” in separate adjacent pipes. The vapor then powers the turbine generator.
        • [SLIDE 60] heat exchanger, the geothermal water is never exposed to the air and is injected back into the plant.
        • Enables the use of lower temperature reservoirs, enabling the number of reservoirs to increase.
        • Are able to run on their own, and if a problem is detected the plant radios an operator to come to the site.

  • Geothermal Heat Pumps
    • Heat is collected from the building, then transferred to the ground
    • Benefits
      • Can be used almost everywhere
      • Energy and cost efficient
      • Conserve fossil fuels
      • Provide clean heating and cooling
    Pros and cons of the use of this energy source
  • Year round
  • Clean, and doesn’t burn fossil fuels like others, release essentially no emissions
  • Everything brought up by the water is returned back into the ground
  • Environment Friendly
  • Does not lead to any major mining activity
  • Does not lead to significant GHG emissions
  • Does not lead to health hazards like thermal power
  • No Fuel Cost
  • Does not require any fuel like most other sources of energy, where as in other fossil fuels whose costs keep increasing at a drastic rate
  • Electricity prices are increasingly rapidly in most parts of the world much faster than general inflation.
  • Price shocks due to high fuel costs are a big risk with fossil fuel energy these days
  • Predictable, produces power 24/7, 365 days a year making it an electricity supply that is much more uniform and reliable.
  • It does not lead to pollution disasters like the BP Oil Spill and Coal Deaths, which are directly related to Dirty Energy Production.
  • Geothermal power is made in the US, which reduces are dependence on foreign oil
  • Clean and safe energy using little land
  • Renewable and sustainable
  • Continuous and reliable power
  • Conserves fossil fuels
  • Avoids importing and benefits local economies
  • Open geothermal systems emit air pollutants, such as hydrogen sulfide, arsenic, and some toxic minerals (many are closed systems)
  • Mineral build-ups are frequently deposited in landfills
  • Heat pumps have very high up-front costs, equipment and installation are both very expensive, few professionals know how to handle the process, installation can be destructive, requires a lot of digging around and beneath a building’s structure
  • Takes 5-7 years to develop a geothermal energy field, unlike the 6 months for a small wind farm or 3 months for a Solar PV plant
  • Technology improvements have been slow with many setbacks, making financing especially difficult for small project developers, and there are few big geothermal developers
  • Regulations
  • Many issues come in the way of drilling for new geothermal energy fields and the buying of geothermal companies in foreign geographies
  • There’s apposition towards the companies and this effects them from growing to a critical scale
  • Limited Locations- It can only be built in places, which have the correct geological characteristics correct to generate geothermal power.
‍Cons are currently winning over the Pros as big geothermal companies are looking to diversify into other energy fields.

A prediction of future uses and practices
  • Good outlook in the future, with the production suppose to triple in the next 5 years
  • It looks unlikely that Geothermal will challenge the dominance of Solar and Wind Energy.
  • Were able to produce a lot in the US, but we're still not using nearly as much geothermal energy as is available.

A rudimentary plan for implementation for the next 50 years

Sustainable? Renewable?
  • The heat that produces the steam and water that power geothermal systems is eternally renewable and sustainable
  • The heat is continually replaced, unlike other energy types and the water that is removed is put right back into the ground after its heat is used.
  • The volume taken out of the earth can be reinjected, making it a sustainable energy source, and this prolongs the reservoir while recycling the treated wastewater
  • The source is the almost unlimited amount of heat generated by the Earth's core.

Easy to use, store, and capture?

Ease of implementation (a change in infrastructure)?
  • The systems used such as district heating systems and geothermal heat pumps are easily put into communities with almost no real visual impact.
  • Geothermal power plants use very small amounts of land, and don't require storage, transportation, or combustion of fuels.
  • There is also no emissions or if something is given off its steam.
  • What makes a site good for geothermal electric development?
  • Hot geothermal fluid with low mineral and gas content, shallow aquifers for producing and reinjecting the fluid, location on private land to simplify permitting, proximity to existing transmission lines or load, and availability of make-up water for evaporative cooling.
Generation of Electricity
  • [SLIDE 37/38] Good picture; Natural steam from the production wells power the turbine generator. The steam is condensed by evaporation in the cooling tower and pumped down an injection well to sustain production.
    • Steam force->spin turbine blades->spin generator=produces electricity.
    • No fuels are being burned during this project it is all water vapor (steam).
      • Plants can be built/have been built:
        • In the middle of crops; providing salable byproducts like silica and zinc.
        • In forested recreation areas
        • In fragile deserts
        • In tropical forests
  • There is a limited availability
  • Areas with the highest underground temperatures are more likely to tap into geothermal energy, both for electricity and with heat pumps for home climate control
  • Includes regions near active volcanoes, and places where the earth’s crust is thin
  • “Hot spots” are tectonic plate boundaries, where underground and undersea volcanoes abound
  • Map with dots of hot spots http://www.ecosphericblog.com/1236/the-pros-and-cons-of-geothermal-energy/
  • Reservoirs of steam or hot water - are available primarily in the western states, Alaska, and Hawaii.
  • Volcanoes and geysers are examples of geothermal energy.

US Growth of Geothermal Power
  • 1980-1990 the fastest growth period of US geothermal capacity
  • Over 2,800 megawatts of geothermal electricity are supplying about 4 million people in the US
  • Direct Uses (slide 72)
    • Balneology (hot springs used for bathing)
    • Agriculture
    • Aquaculture (used to grow fish and speed up the process)
    • Industrial uses ( drying lumber or food)
    • Residential and District Heating ( SLIDE 88 IS WHAT THE MIDDLE SCHOOL USES )
      • How water is piped through a heat exchanger plant to heat city water in separate pipes. This water is then piped to heat exchangers in building to warm the building air.
      • District heating in Western US
        • There are 18 districts
        • Over 270 cities in the western part of the United States are located close enough to reservoirs to use district heating.
  • Slide 107-108
Worldwide Geothermal Power
  • Across the world, geothermal power plants are producing 8200 megawatts of geothermal electricity across 21 countries. This electricity is supplying about 60 million people, primarily in developing countries.
  • [SLIDE 69-70]
  • Direct Uses
    • Geothermal water supplies over 11000 thermal megawatts in over 40 countries
    • 35 other countries use hot springs for bathing but have not obtained a geothermal reservoir yet.
Exploration and Drilling
  • Countries that have the best access to geothermal energy are the ones on the meetings of tectonic plates. This is very evident on the “Ring of Fire”. [SLIDE 15]
  • Exploration
    • Begins with satellite images and aerial photographs.
    • Volcanological studies
      • Obtain information from volcanoes
      • Geologic and structural mapping
        • Draw out what areas are key for drilling
        • Geochemical survey
          • Obtain information from electrical, magnetic, chemical and seismic surveys.
          • Geophysical surveys
            • Geologists and drillers and study the data to decide whether to recommend drilling.
            • Temperature gradient hole drilling
              • A small “temperature gradient hole” is drilled to determine how hot it is under ground and the types of rocks underground.
              • Rock samples are brought up while digging, and temperatures are measured.
                • Once drilling has been decided, a drill rig is created to start drilling, in some cases up to 2 miles deep. [VERY EXPENSIVE]
                • If a reservoir is discovered, the well is then tested and if it passes then a wellhead is put on with valves and control equipment.
Meet the needs of consumers?
  • ‍‍Geothermal plants are also considered to be more reliable than coal or nuclear plants because they can run consistently, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year‍‍.

Environmental impact? Pollution?
  • Less destructive than energy sources such as oil and coal (doesn’t need to be mine, refined, or transported)
  • Clean because it can be generated without burning fossil fuels.
  • Geothermal plants release a fraction of the carbon dioxide produced by fossil fuel plants, and they create very little nitrous oxide or sulfur gases
  • Emissions are low, for some plants only extra steam is given off and for others there are no air emission or liquids given off at all
  • Salts and dissolved minerals that are used are then usually reinjected with excess water back into the reservoir, which recycles the geothermal water and replenishes the reservoir.
  • Some geothermal plants do produce some solid materials, or sludges, that require disposal in approved sites, making it more environmentally friendly

  • Because the energy doesn’t need to be mine or refined, and is generated right near the plant, it saves on processing and transportation costs compared to other types of fuel.
  • The initial costs of geothermal energy are high -- wells can cost $1 to $4 million each to drill, and installation of a home geothermal pump system can run as much as $30,000 but is worth it for some since a home geothermal energy pump can cut energy bills by 30 to 40 percent and will pay for itself within 5 to 10 years
  • It will become more accessible and cheaper though as more advanced techniques are being developed that could allow for deeper drilling, potentially bringing geothermal energy to more people in more places.
  • Costs of a geothermal plant are more early expense, rather than fuel to keep them running
  • Heat pumps can save a typical home hundreds of dollars in energy costs per year, and they pay for themselves within 8-12 years

How does it work?
  • Produced from heat pulled from the melted mantle, or magma, beneath earth’s crust
  • Heat is formed from: naturally radioactive materials such as potassium and uranium, and volcanic activity and solar absorption
  • Can be accessed by: tapping directly into the ground beneath earth’s crust or installing wells and pumps into the steam and water of geysers and hot springs
  • Hot rocks underground heat water to produce steam
  • Holes are drilled down to the hot region, steam comes up, is purified and used to drive turbine, which drive electric generators
  • In some areas there are natural “groundwater’ in the hot rocks, but some places more holes are drilled and water is pumped down to them
  • http://www.alliantenergykids.com/energyandtheenvironment/renewableenergy/022403 2 pictures of geothermal heat exchanger and indoor pipes and underground geothermal pipes

Right now?

Compared to others?
  • Can produce much more energy, is more efficient, is more cost-effective, and cleaner than gas, oil, and coal resources
  • Better than burning fossil fuels, and it can reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
  • Geothermal plants are considered to be more reliable than coal or nuclear plants because they can run consistently, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Contains interactive quiz

‍‍‍Notes on geothermal energy‍‍‍
  • Comes from heat in the earth- below earth’s crust there is layer of hot molten rock called magma.
  • Heat is continually produced there (never runs out)- mostly from the decay of radioactive materials
  • The amount of heat within 10,000 meters (about 33,000 feet) of Earth's surface contains 50,000 times more energy than all the oil and natural gas resources in the world.
  • The most common current way of capturing the energy from geothermal sources is to tap into naturally occurring "hydrothermal convection" systems where cooler water seeps into Earth's crust, is heated up, and then rises to the surface
  • When heated water is forced to the surface, it is a relatively simple matter to capture that steam and use it to drive electric generators.
  • We can generate geothermal energy by drilling deep holes into the earth’s crust pumping cold water through one end and then by the time it rises back to the surface the water can be hundreds of degrees Celsius which we then use as steam to drive a turbine which drives a generator creating power. Geothermal energy is one of the best natural energies around.
Cost and pricing-
  • According to Geothermal Energy association, the two types are cheaper than all other main energy sources
  • Factors that influence cost-
    • Size of the plant
    • Power plant technology
    • Knowledge of the resource
    • Temperature of the resource
    • Chemistry of the geothermal water
    • Resource depth and permeability
    • Environmental policies
    • Tax incentives
    • Markets
    • Financing options and cost
    • Time delays
  • Price won’t fluctuate like oil and gas. Geothermal energy offsets U.S. dependence upon highly volatile fossil fuel power markets. This is because geothermal power does not need outside fuel to operate—geothermal relies on a constant source of free fuel. However, once the power project is built, most of its power production costs are known and few market parameters can modify them.

Possible Bad effects
  • Depletion of resources
  • Damage to natural geothermal features
  • Polluting waterways-Geothermal fluids contain elevated levels of arsenic, mercury, lithium and boron because of the underground contact between hot fluids and rocks.

oAir emissions- Geothermal fluids contain dissolved gases which are released into the atmosphere. The main toxic gases are carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S).

oIn 1904, Italy's Prince Piero Ginori Conti- first to use thermal energy from the earth to turn on lights.

oMore than a century later- 24 countries use geothermal energy

General Info

oGood for any size homes

ohttp://www.consumerenergycenter.org/home/heating_cooling/geothermal.html - VERY GOOD SIMPLE DIAGRAM

oEach system uses about 10 horizontal loops that are 200 feet long and 15 feet deep in the ground to pull heat from the earth. Fluid goes through ¾ inch diameter pipes and take it to a heat pumps that give heat in the warehouse.

http://consumersenergy.greentouchscreen.com/ - another GREAT diagram.

Good Pictures that didnt copy:


Bari's sources:
^^^over view of everything
^^^over view of everything
^^^over view of everything

Jordyn's sources:
graphics and good diagrams
5 advantages and 5 disadvantages
How Does Geothermal Compare to Other Energy Sources?
clear answers to 10 questions: renewable resources,environment impacts, availability,cost
includes interactive quiz
fun fact about geotherma: history, how works, for heat and cold
history timeline
Drs. Margolis, Margolis, and Thomson: At this point you need to pull your resources together and each of you comment on the work. It would be helpful to see the information on this page and to see your panel's comments to the work. Remember we need to think about the criteria involved and the future planning of potential use of geothermal energy.