This chapter covers the fundamental knowledge (terms and concepts) related to geothermal energy that is essential to be able to follow and understand the upcoming chapters of the course. In addition it introduces those many aspects of geothermal energy that will be detailed in the following chapters.
The following slides will intorduce the most typical geothermal resources and reservoirs with special attention to their definitions, classification and geological settings which significantly determine their qualities.
Chapter 3 will detail the basic concepts of geothermal reservoir engineering, covering the exploration of geothermal resources, explaining a number of different exploration methods (geochemical, geophysical) on the way. It also covers the drilling and heat extraction aspects of geothermal exploration and production.
These slides introduce the basic chemical composition, features and characteristics of the thermal fluids (primary and secondary alike) and their negative effects on theproduction equipment (corrosion and scaling). In addition at the end a number of slides are dedicated to the topic of mineral recovery from geothermal fluids and other miscellanious byproducts.
Chapter 5 is all about shallow geothermal systems and about the related engineering solutions (geotheraml heat pumps, ground source heat pumps etc) that are available to effectively harness this resource. Furthermore a numbe of limiting factors are covered that influenc the efficiency of such technologies such as climate, geology and technical limitations.
One of the longest chapters of this e-learning course will cover exhaustively the direct use of geothermal energy, which provided the basics for the GEOCOM project. The corresponting engineering aspects are thoroughly covered such as drilling, piping, heat exchangers etc) while a wide range of application areas will be discussed including spas, space heating, district heating, agriculture, aquaculture and other industrial applications.
This chapter will detail the main ideas, concepts and technologies that allow power generation from a geothermal source. It introduces the various plant types based on their opreational principles (flash, binary etc) and it also features the concept and technology background of co-generation of electricity and thermal energy.
As most industry activities, geothermal energy utilisation has its own environmental EFFECTS. Chapter 8 discusses these issues, such as emmissions, solid and liquid waste, noise, water quality, land use, induced seismicity in case of EGS operations, thermal pollution as well as impact on wild life and vegetation.
Currently the most significant hurdle that prevents a large number of potential geothermal initiatives from happening is the costs and financial risks that are associated with geothermal projects. Chapter 9 discusses briefly these concerns such as cost influencing factors, categories of geothermal development costs and the impact of different factors on the costs and the financial risks at each of the development stages.
Closely linked with Chapter 8 this chapter will discuss intensively the environmental IMPACTS of geothermal energy utilisation covering LCA analysis and plant by plan comparison while detailing more on the topics already mentioned in Chapter 8.