The Solar Power Expert Blog

Is Geothermal Heating and Geothermal Power the Same?

by GuestPoster - September 7th, 2011.
Filed under: Guest Posts. Tagged as: , , , .

Both geothermal heating and geothermal power are methods that exploit the heat under the earth’s surface. Some of this energy stems from the earth’s core, where temperatures can become incredibly high. So what exactly is the difference between the two?

Geothermal Heating

Geothermal heating (and cooling) is exploiting the stable temperatures that can be found just a couple of meters below the surface. During the winter, when outside temperatures are low, we can use this temperature difference to heat a building. Remember that energy floats from higher to lower temperature, meaning the heat underground can easily be delivered to your house.

Geothermal Power

Steam Vents Formed by Geothermal Heating in Iceland. Photo by Óli Jón

Geothermal Power

By geothermal power, we mean the method that converts the heat underground into electricity. This is a fairly complicated process, but the basic gist of it is this: Heat is used to boil water into steam that is sent through a steam turbine. We are now left with mechanical energy that makes the turbine turn, generating electricity through the principles of induction.

Some countries such as Iceland have the majority of electricity production from geothermal power. Iceland has massive geothermal reservoirs and volcanic activity, letting their entire power system rely heavily on the heat that can be harnessed from the Earth’s depths.

If you want to read more on the subject, we recommend visiting the following article: Geothermal Energy Pros and Cons

Hopefully by now, you have a clear model in your head of the obvious differences of these two methods of using geothermal energy. Both of them can be incredible beneficial, especially in terms of the non-polluting aspects. Geothermal energy is pure green and in addition to this also renewable. This is exactly the kind of energy methods we need to pay attention to at the current situation we face. The climate crisis is rapidly getting worse, but hopefully by using energy sources such as geothermal, we will be able to correct it before it’s too late.

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