Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Enhanced geothermal power systems

Enhanced geothermal power systems are also called hot dry rock geothermal energy systems or hot fractured rock systems. These are geothermal power generation systems that use very high temperatures found in rocks below the earth’s surface.

These are also known as engineered geothermal power systems that extract heat from earth that consists of natural geothermal power systems with cracks or pores which are filled with hot water that is sufficient enough to generate power.

A bore or injection well is drilled into the hot rock to pump water at high pressure to generate electricity. Water travels through the fracture or cracks in rocks capturing the heat from rocks till it is forced out of the second borehole. The hot water so obtained is converted to electricity through either a turbine or a geothermal power plant.

A few enhanced geothermal power systems use supercritical carbon dioxide as a working fluid because it results in better geothermal power output.

These systems have a few advantages. One of the main advantages is that they are renewable method of power generation. Enhanced geothermal power systems do not emit carbon compounds into the atmosphere and thus do not degrade the environment. These systems are also scalable and modular and so can be handled easily. These systems are also easy and convenient to use.

The risks involved with these systems are that they may trigger earthquakes and there is unpredictability in drilling into fractured rock surfaces.

The use of these systems can power the world at a very minimal or no cost at all.

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