Geothermal Water is More Than Just Pumps and Pipes
Geothermal Energy is a fantastic energy source providing significant benefits to public health as well as to the environment because it is one of the least polluting and most environmentally friendly forms of energy around. We all know from our school science classes that Mother Earth has plenty of heat beneath its surface. We also know that we can convert this heat into usable electrical energy or hot water and it is this sustainable renewable energy approach that helps us to generate power using this geothermal resource.
The Earth contains a lot of energy in the form of heat. The amount of heat stored as geothermal energy within the Earth is so huge that humans could not possibly use it all up, not even in a million years, making it a truly renewable energy resource. It is this extreme heat of the Earth’s core which permeates through most of the interior of our planet that geothermal energy systems tap directly into providing an unlimited source of energy for heating our homes and our water.
Bathing in a Geothermal Water Lagoon
The geothermal heating of buildings and water is a process that has been used since Roman times. It is a way of heating buildings by utilising sources of hot water that already exist near the Earth’s surface. In places where Geothermal resources are available it is possible to distribute hot water to multiple buildings and locations.
But as well as heating our homes using geothermal heat pumps or generating electricity using superheated steam, we can also use geothermal energy to heat swimming pools, baths and spas to endorse wellness and energy for life.
Geothermically heated waters have been used for thousands of years, and maybe longer. There was a revival of heated bathing culture back in the mid-to-late 19th century that saw the creation of countless “healing water” baths and spas all advertising various spa therapies to cure numerous health related issues.
Most Victorian spas claimed the natural minerals in the hot steamy geothermal water would leave you with a refreshed and energized feeling that you won’t get at any other regular spa. These hot geothermal waters, baths, pools and spas regularly exposed bathers to water temperatures well in excess of 100 degrees F.
Today, the “Blue Lagoon” in Iceland is one of the most popular geothermal water spa’s around the world and an exciting place to swim all year round. This geothermal spa is like one huge natural outdoor swimming pool holding up to five million litres of pure geothermal seawater with temperatures ranging from between 95 to 98 degrees F. As well as being hot, the volcanically heated seawater is rich in natural minerals, including sulphur and silica and has helped many people with all kinds of skin conditions.
Mostly, when we think about geothermal energy we tend to think of geothermal heat pump technology and ground source pumps with their long coils of pipes buried deep within the Earth. But geothermal energy has many other advantages and even more uses than you might imagine especially for any processes were thermal heat or hot water is required. For example, geothermal water is being used in fish farms to spur the growth of aquatic animals ranging from shellfish, prawns, various amphibians, catfish and trout.
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Many farmers use geothermal energy to heat their greenhouses allowing them to grow vegetables and crops all year round or for the drying of fruits, vegetables and timber, as well as keeping their animals warm in winter.
Also, northern hemisphere countries like Iceland and Holland use geothermal water to heat side-walks, pavements and small pedestrian roads to prevent freezing in the winter thereby reducing accidents, just by using the heat below our feet in a positive way.
Geothermal energy has many positive advantages with the biggest one being that it is completely renewable. Since geothermal energy comes directly from the heat of the Earth, it is considered to be a truly renewable resource.
This means that you can use geothermally heated water over and over again simply by pumping cold water back into the ground. In fact, it can be considered as a lifetime energy source since the Earth itself is the one that gives off this heat producing a continuous source of geothermal water.
Geothermal energy is also considered clean. Geothermal energy is classified as one of the cleanest sources of energy because it does not burn any fossil fuels when heating the water or in producing electricity. And since it does not burn fossil fuels, no carbon dioxide emissions are released into the air.
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