13 JULY 2022

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Geothermal energy, a renewable that helps you save energy

Geothermal energy

Geothermal energy is a type of energy obtained through the heat existing inside the earth. It is an inexhaustible source of energy, which, compared to other renewable energy sources (solar energy, wind energy, etc.), is not affected by the weather conditions at any given time.

This energy is environmentally friendly and has zero environmental impact, as the heat exchangers are located in the ground or in the very foundations of the buildings. It should be noted that the uses of geothermal are not only restricted to residential air conditioning, but can also be combined with controlled ventilation systems for hot water supply. On a large scale, geothermal can be used as a powerful source of energy production for industry or for outdoor space conditioning.

One of the main advantages of using geothermal is the energy savings of up to 75% on energy bills. However, it also has disadvantages, such as the fact that its transport and storage is not so easy and that it requires very elaborate studies of the terrain.

In Spain, geothermal energy has a lot of potential, unlike other countries such as Mexico or the United States. In fact, experts confirm that, in Spain, five times more energy could be extracted from this source than is being extracted today.

And… How does a geothermal installation work? The systems that convert heat from the ground into energy are made up of three parts:

  1. The collector: this is a set of horizontal or vertical tubes through which the water circulates.
  2. The generator: this is a thermodynamic machine that adapts the energy captured to the needs of use.
  3. The emitting elements: these are usually underfloor heating or fan coils.

There are three types of geothermal, depending on the drilling depth:

Surface geothermal energy: This is found just a few metres below the earth’s crust.  This is the type of geothermal most commonly used to obtain energy for domestic use.

Deep geothermal energy: In this case, the drilling level reaches a depth of between 1 and 4 km. Geothermal  can be used for electricity production through the use of steam turbines.

Deep geothermal energy: In order to use this renewable energy source, it is necessary to drill down to a depth of 4 to 6 km. This is where the highest temperatures are achieved, which can vary from 150°C to 400°C. Geothermal can also be extracted in hot rocks that can be found in dry reservoirs between 5 and 8 kilometres deep.

Although geothermal is less known than other renewable energies, it offers many benefits and possibilities to move towards a more sustainable energy production system.

Find out more about renewable energies in our blog!

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