Thursday, April 30, 2009

Geothermal electricity production

A power plant is used to generate electricity from various sources of energy. A hydro electric power plant uses running water to generate electricity. Wind energy operated power plants use wind turbines that convert wind energy to electricity. Most of the power plants run on steam. Steam is used to run turbines that in turn power a generator to produce electricity. Geothermal power plants use steam obtained from geothermal reservoirs in the earth to produce electricity.

There are three types of geothermal power plants that can generate electricity. A dry steam geothermal power plant uses steam that is directly pumped from underground wells into the power plant. This steam is then directed into a turbine and generator unit to produce electricity.

Flash steam geothermal power plant uses geothermal reservoirs to get geothermal energy. Hot water from the geothermal reservoirs moves upwards and a part of it condenses into steam. In the power plant, the water and steam are separated and the steam is used to run a turbine and a generator. This produces electricity. These are the most commonly used geothermal power plants.

Binary cycle geothermal power plants use water. The heat from the water is used to boil a working fluid which is usually an organic compound. The working fluid changes to steam and is used to run a turbine. The turbine powers a generator and this produces electricity.

Small scale geothermal power plants can be easily installed and used in rural areas to meet the electricity needs of the population.

The use of geothermal power plants is becoming common for electricity production.

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