Definition - What does Geothermal Energy mean?
Geothermal energy refers to the heat energy available within the earth. The word itself in Greek describes itself as geo - earth and thermal - heat. Since heat is continuously generated inside the earth, the energy derived from this heat can be used to power home appliances, heat buildings and generate electricity. Vertical drill rigs can be used to explore geothermal energy at shallow depths up to 250 meters.
A geothermal loop system can be installed to make use of this renewable source of energy available beneath the earth's surface.
Trenchlesspedia explains Geothermal Energy
The earth has four major layers, (1) an inner core of solid iron; (2) an outer core of hot molten rock called magma; (3) a mantle of magma and rock; and (4) a crust of solid rock. Heat is continuously generated below the earth's crust due to hot and molten magma. The heat derived from the sub-surface is carried to the earth's surface by water or steam which can be used to heat and cool buildings.
To generate electricity high or medium temperature resources are needed which are usually located near tectonically active regions. The geothermal loop system can be used to derive this energy.
The geothermal loop system is a heating system with underground looping pipes that are filled with a liquid such as an anti-freeze that aids the transfer of ground temperature to the geothermal heat pump. There are two types of geothermal loop systems namely the open-loop systems and closed-loop systems.
Geothermal heating systems are gaining popularity because they are environment-friendly and economical compared to other heating methods. Trenchless techniques such as horizontal directional drilling can be used to help pass the pipe under the ground without breaking open the yard or the driveway.
IGSHPA is the leading organization in setting out standards of design and practice of geothermal heat pump (GHP) systems in the United States. It actively promotes the importance and benefits of geothermal energy and makes awareness of its environmental benefits.