How it works

Even though it is characterised by very high technology and very high performance, a domestic geothermal system is very simple. It consists of three principal elements:

  • geothermal sensors or probes: these are simple pipes dug in the ground which have the task of absorbing the heat of the subsoil. So that the heat exchange with the ground is more efficient, the probes are filled with a so-called “thermovector” fluid, characterized by high thermal conductivity.
  • heat pump, or thermopump: it is the “heart” of the system, in practice a generator that uses the heat extracted from the probes so that it can be exploited by the distribution system.
  • an internal heat distribution system: this is the normal heating distribution system that is present in all the homes; however, so that the system can exploit geothermal energy in the best manner, using only a very small amount of external electricity, it is advisable that this should be a low temperature type of system (35°C), for example, radiation panels instead of normal radiators, that use water at a high temperature(60-70°C). The same system can be used for cooling in summer by simply inverting the heat pump operation. Additionally there is a reservoir to accumulate the hot water (very similar to a normal “boiler”).

Special reports

From the Multimedia section

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    Number of geothermal power plants in Italy

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    Geothermal energy production in Italy

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    Geyser in Yellowstone Park

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    energy

    Japanese macaques

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    Geothermal energy: installed capacity in 2017

    Look

    energy

    Spas

    Look
  • energy

    Geothermal power plant

    Look

    energy

    Temperature and depth

    Look
  • energy

    Geyser in Yellowstone Park

    Look
  • energy

    Japanese macaques

    Look
  • energy

    Geothermal energy: installed capacity in 2017

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Facts

  • An artificial geyser

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

    A hydrogen house

    In Settimo, a municipality close to Turin, the first Unité d’Abitation has been created...

    Hydrogen from biomass

    Hydrogen is an energy carrier that allows to generate energy in an environmentally sustainable way...

  • Hydrogen from the sugar cane

    The Centro di Ricerca Interuniversitario per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile (CIRPS) carried out a study in Peru...

    Some curiosities about methane hydrates

    The melting of the ice cells, not only brings about the release of methane gas, but it also produces another…

    Porto Marghera Hydrogen Park

    In Porto Marghera (Venice), the Hydrogen Park was created. It is the biggest centre in the world for hydrogen production...

  • The “wave-swallowing” dragon

    Wave Dragon, that swallows waves and generates electricity is a plant...

    The photovoltaic train

    In Italy the PVTRAIN project by Trenitalia (co-financed by the European Union) plans...

    The plant of Almeria

    In the Tabernas desert, 30 km north-east of the Andalusia town of Almeria (Spain)...

  • 16 May 2011

    An artificial geyser

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

    A hydrogen house

    In Settimo, a municipality close to Turin, the first Unité d’Abitation has been created...

  • Hydrogen from biomass

    Hydrogen is an energy carrier that allows to generate energy in an environmentally sustainable way...

    Hydrogen from the sugar cane

    The Centro di Ricerca Interuniversitario per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile (CIRPS) carried out a study in Peru...

  • 14 June 2011

    Some curiosities about methane hydrates

    The melting of the ice cells, not only brings about the release of methane gas, but it also produces another…

    16 May 2011

    Porto Marghera Hydrogen Park

    In Porto Marghera (Venice), the Hydrogen Park was created. It is the biggest centre in the world for hydrogen production...

  • An artificial geyser

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

  • A hydrogen house

    In Settimo, a municipality close to Turin, the first Unité d’Abitation has been created...

  • Hydrogen from biomass

    Hydrogen is an energy carrier that allows to generate energy in an environmentally sustainable way...