Geothermal energy

�? High Temperature Resources: Electricity

Posted on December 24, 2011 at 12:15 AM

ƒ High Temperature Resources: Electricity

Hydrothermal resources at high temperatures (300 to 700 degrees

Fahrenheit) can be used to make electricity.

These high-temperature resources may come from either dry

steam wells or hot water wells. We can use these resources by

drilling wells into the Earth and piping the steam or hot water to

the surface. Geothermal wells are one to two miles deep.

In a dry steam power plant, the steam from the geothermal

reservoir is piped directly from a well to a turbine generator to

make electricity. In a hot water plant, some of the hot water is

turned into steam. The steam powers a turbine generator just like a

dry steam plant. When the steam cools, it condenses to water and

is injected back into the ground to be used over and over again.

Geothermal energy produces only a small percentage of U.S.

electricity. Today, it produces about 15 billion kilowatt-hours, or

less than one percent of the electricity produced in this country

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