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Energy

Introduction

Geothermal

Our planet constantly produces energy in the form of heat; from the deepest areas it spreads towards the surface: this is the so called flow of heat or geothermal flow. The heat of the sun heats the Earth’s surface with a flow that is almost 6,000 times greater than what is produced from inside the Earth. However the geothermal flow, that is constant and continuous, is an important source of energy, with an average of 0.06 watts per square metre; from the entire surface of the Earth, a quantity of heat, equal to approximately 30,000 billion watts is radiated. Use of geothermal energy for domestic heating, up to only a few years ago, suffered from two severe limitations which drastically prevented its diffusion: it was possible only at relatively high temperatures (60 - 80°C) and only in the direct vicinity of the geothermal fields because it was not possible to transport the heat too far away from the source, nor use it at low temperatures. Recent technological developments now enable, through the use of particular equipment known as heat pumps, to exploit the Earth’s heat also when the temperatures are not particularly high (12-.14°C). This has determined a new and very important step forward in the geothermal sector: with the new systems it is possible in any area of the Earth, in any geological or climatic condition to obtain energy that is sufficient for a normal family’s domestic heating and hot water consumption.

Specials

Renewable energy in Italy
The Italian Company GSE, Gestore dei Servizi Energetici, periodically publishes...

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An artificial geyser
Electric and thermal power produced from geothermal energy depend on the existence of underground infiltrations...

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