Geothermal Energy

Geothermal Energy

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About Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy is one of the most special sources of sustainable energy. In general, the share of sustainable energy in the total energy supply of the entire planet is about 9.5%; 7.1% of these sustainable energies are also hydropower. The remaining 2.4 percent is divided between wind energy, geothermal, and biomass. The share of geothermal energy source in the total 2.4 energy supplied by renewable and non-water energy sources is about 15% and it can not be considered a common energy source.

Due to the gradual decay and radioactivity of the elements in the Earth’s core, this part of the Earth’s body always has a temperature of about 5000 degrees Celsius. The heat flow created in the Earth’s core and mantle is constantly flowing, and this heat flow has a high thermal conductivity. Under the earth’s crust, molten mantle currents move as convective currents and contain high heat energy that needs to be extracted. The average heat flux that reaches the earth’s surface is about 16 kilowatts of heat energy per square kilometer, and over time, if not exploited, this heat is dispersed into the atmosphere and space. This heat flux flows along the boundaries of the Earth’s crustal tectonic plates more strongly than elsewhere. Volcanic activity transports hot matter to the earth’s surface, but only a small fraction of this molten material actually reaches the surface, and the rest remain at depths of 5 to 20 km below the earth’s surface. Hydrological convection can create high temperature geothermal systems at depths of 500 to 3000 meters under the ground. Companies that are active in the field of sustainable energy can exploit this sustainable energy source by using appropriate technology and equipment.

Some of the most important advantages of a geothermal energy source are:

Environmentally friendly
Resources last the life of the plant
Provides steady base load power
Relatively low cost (5 to 8 cents per kWh)

Regarding the current capacities of geothermal energy, it should be said that this resource is currently able to provide about 8000 MW of energy in 21 countries. In the United States, geothermal energy resources of 3,000 MW have been installed and about 4,000 MW are being developed and installed. Geothermal energy production can be divided into two general categories: direct use and electricity generation.

Direct use:
  • Small scale uses
  • Heating homes
  • Hot springs
  • Greenhouse heating
  • Food dehydration
  • Agriculture (crop drying and pasteurizing milk)
Electrical use:
  • Dry steam: Steam production with a temperature between 180 to 225 degrees Celsius, a pressure of 4 to 8 MPa, and a speed of 200 kilometers per hour. The generated steam is used to drive the turbo generator. Finally, the used steam is compressed again and pumped back into the ground. In this method, 1 kWh of electricity is produced for every 6.5 kg of steam.
  • Flash steam(single and double) for steam power plants: The generated steam is used to operate the turbine and can produce 5 to 100 MW of energy. This method requires 6 to 9 tons of steam per hour. In the double flash steam method, the output can be increased by about 20 to 25% with only a 5% increase in costs.
  • Combined Cycle: Steam starts the main turbine and the remaining heat is used to evaporate organic matter. Eventually, the steam will power the second turbine, and the entire plant will produce between 10 and 100 megawatts of energy. This method is more efficient than other methods and can extract more heat from geothermal sources.
  • Binary Cycle: Uses heat to evaporate organic liquids such as iso-butane and iso-pentane. The steam generated is used to power the turbine and generates 0.1 to 40 megawatts of energy. The efficiency of this power plant is between 7 to 12 percent and it is considered as a low-temperature method because the operating temperature will be between 100 and 150 degrees Celsius.

Technologies for direct use of geothermal energy sources are used to provide heat. In fact, in this method, the goal is to use the earth’s heat directly to produce energy. This method is usually used in shallow ground surfaces (less than 10 km) and its temperature of 150 ° C is exploited.

Factors determining the price of using geothermal energy source can are the temperature and depth of heat systems, type of use (steam, liquid, or mixture), the volume of available resources, resource chemistry, the permeability of rock structure, size, and technology used in power plants and surrounding infrastructure (Road, transmission lines). Zirsakht Tadbir Arian Company, using modern equipment and utilizing the mentioned effective factors, provides a suitable way for its customers to exploit this type of sustainable energy.

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