Q: Why will the successor to the world's cheapest car be called Sodium Nitrite?

A: Because it's NaNo2!

Geothermal energy: Harnessing the power of the planet

Wouldn't it be interesting if the earth were a rechargeable battery that we could use for all our energy needs. With geothermal energy this may just be possible.

Have you noticed that while having a hot bath the entire bathroom becomes warm? Wouldn't it be great if we could somehow use hot water or steam to keep our houses warm during winter? We can use geothermal energy, the natural heat energy within the earth to do this. It is an alternate and clean source of energy that is becoming popular. We can tap this heat energy stored within the earth in the form of steam or hot water to keep our homes warm or creating electricity. Since the earth is constantly making this energy by itself, we will never run out of this energy! This is what makes it different from traditional sources of energy.

The core of the matter

Geothermal energy is formed at the earth's core - at the heart of our planet. Here the temperatures are hotter than that of the surface of the sun! This energy is tapped from shallow ground, hot water and hot rock found a few kilometres under the surface of the earth. A place where lot of geothermal energy occurs naturally is a geothermal reservoir.

Geothermal energy can be tapped as steam or hot water.

Controlling the temperature in our house

Geothermal energy is for both heating and cooling buildings. A geothermal energy system consists of a heat pump, air delivery system and a heat-exchanger. A heat-exchanger consists of deep pipes buried in shallow ground near a building.

To warm a house in winter, the pipes of the heat-exchanger absorb heat from the ground and pump it into the building using an air delivery system. In summer, heat from within a building is absorbed by pipes which can then heat water in bathrooms.

Creating electricity from geothermal energy

To create electricity from geothermal energy a special geothermal plant is created near a geothermal reservoir. Plants use the reservoir to evaporate a liquid and create steam. This steam is used to turn turbines, which in turn are connected to generators that produce electricity.

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