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Geothermal power plants

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  • What is geothermal energy and where does it come from?

  • – Enbridge Inc. Geothermal Energy 鈥?What is it, where is it, and how do we capture it? What Is It? According to the Geothermal Research Council, geothermal Energy is heat (thermal) derived from the earth (geo). It is the thermal energy contained in the rock and fluid that fills the fractures and pores within the rock of the earth’s crust.

  • What is the best way to find geothermal energy?

  • Drilling a well and testing the temperature deep underground is the most reliable method for locating a geothermal reservoir. Most of the geothermal power plants in the United States are in western states and Hawaii, where geothermal energy resources are close to the earth’s surface.

  • How does a geothermal power plant work?

  • At a geothermal power plant, wells are drilled 1 or 2 miles deep into the Earth to pump steam or hot water to the surface. You’re most likely to find one of these power plants in an area that has a lot of hot springs, geysers, or volcanic activity, because these are places where the Earth is particularly hot just below the surface.

  • What is the geothermal gradient and how does it work?

  • The geothermal gradient, which is the difference in temperature between the core of the planet and its surface, drives the continuous conduction of thermal energy in the form of heat from the core to the surface (Figure 12.1). The heat that is used for geothermal energy can be stored deep within the earth, 4000 miles down to the earth’s core.

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