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Introduction: Wind generates large ocean waves with energies that can be used to generate power. Ocean wave energy is said to be solar energy twice removed. Ocean waves vary widely with time and place on amplitude and frequency, and hence in their energies, much like the wind that causes them. Tides are primarily cause by lunar, and only secondarily by solar , gravitational forces acting together with those of the earth on the ocean waters to create tidal flows. These manifest themselves in the rise and fall of waters with ranges that vary daily and seasonally and come at different times from day

to day. They also vary widely from place to place, being as low as

few centimeters but may exceed

8 to 10 m in some parts of the

world. The potential energy of the tides can be trapped to generate power , but at extremely high capital costs.

Mechanics of tides:

Tides are produced mainly by the gravitational attraction of the sun and the moon on the water of ocean. Major part of the tides about 70% are produced due to the moon and 30% to the sun. As the earth rotates , the position of a given area to the moon changes, and so also do the tides. There are thus a periodic succession of high and low tides. A high tide will be experienced at a point which is directly under the moon. At the same time diametrically opposite point on the earth’s surface also experiences a high tide due to dynamic balancing . Thus a full moon as well as no moon produce a high tide. In a period of 24 hrs 50 minutes, there are therefore , two high tides and two low tides; These are called semi – diurnal tides. The rise and fall of the water level follows sinusoidal curve, shown with point A indicating the high tide point and point B indicating the low tide point . The difference between high and low water level is called the range of the tide.

TIDAL POWER Introduction: Wind generates large ocean waves with energies that can be used to generate

At full moon , when sun, moon and earth are approximately in a line, the tidal range is exceptionally large, the high tides are higher and low tides are lower than average. These high tides are called spring tides, on the other hand , near the first and third quarters of the moon, when sun and

moon are at right angles with respect to the earth, neap tides occur. The tidal range is then exceptionally small: the high tides are lower and low tides are higher than the average. Hence range is not constant.


moon are at right angles with respect to the earth, neap tides occur. The tidal range

The tidal ranges vary from one earth location to another.

Ocean waves mechanics:

Ocean waves are caused directly by the indirect solar energy like the wind. Wave energy at its most active, however, can be much more concentrated than the solar energy. Devices that convert energy from waves can therefore produce much higher power densities that solar devices. Up to now no major development programme has been carried out through any country .Small devices are available however , and are in limited use as power supplies for buoys and navigational aids. Some of the important stes of wave energy are Molakai and Alenihaha channels in the Hawalian islands, where 2 to 3 m high waves are typical during the normal trade wind periods, Pacific coast of north America, the Arabian sea of India and Pakistan , the north Atlantic coast of Scotland . Advantages:

1) The degree of power concentration is 10 to 100 times larger than wind energy. 2) It is free and renewable energy source.

3) Wave energy devices do not use up large ;and masses unlike solar or wind. 4) These devices are relatively pollution free. Disadvantages:

1) The construction cost is more , life time and reliability is less . 2) Wave energy converting devices must be capable of with standing severe peak stresses in storms. 3) Wave energy devices construction is relatively complicated. 4) Capital investment need is very large compared to other types of plant.

Energy and power from the waves:

A two dimensional sinusoidal progressive wave as shown in fig. is represented by the sinusoidal simple harmonic wave shown at time t = 0 and at time t. The wave may be expressed by the following relation involving some parameters

y = a sin [ 2

x /

- 2





y = height above its mean level in m, a= Amplitude in m ,

= Wave length in m, t = time in seconds ,


= [ x /

- t



= phase angle

= Periods in seconds

The relationship between wave length and periods is approximately

= 1.56



The above expression can be written as

y = a sin(mx – nt)

Where m = 2


and n = 2



= phase rate.

2a = height (From Crest to trough)

Energy and power from waves:

Total energy of wave is the sum of its potential and kinetic energies.

Potential energy:

The potential energy arises from the elevation of the water above the (y = 0) considering the differential volume ydx, it will have a mean height y/2. Thus the potential energy is dPE = mgy/2g c

= (

ydxL) gy/(2g c )


gy 2 L dx / (2g c )


Where m = mass of the liquid in y dx, Kg

g = Gravitational acceleration , m/s2 gc = Conversion factor (1.0 kg.m / ( N.s 2 ) = Water density k/m3 L = Arbitrary width of the two dimensional wave , perpendicular to the direction or wave propagation x, m Combining equations 2 and 3 we get

PE = (

ga 2 L) / (2g c )

sin 2 (mx – nt)dx




PE = (

ga 2 L) / (2g c )

[1/2 (mx ) – (1/4) sin2mx ]



= (

ga 2 L

) / (4g c )



The potential energy ensity per unit area


A =


Kinetic energy:

PE / A =


ga 2 ) / (4g c )



Kinetic energy of the wave is that of the liquid between two vertical planes perpendicular to the direction of wave propagation x and placed one wave length apart. From hydrodynamic theory it can be expressed as

KE = (

ga 2 L

) / (4g c )


Kinetic energy density = KE/A = (

ga 2 ) / (4g c )


Total energy and power density can be written as

E/A = ( P/A = (

ga 2 ) / (2g c ) ga 2 ) / (2g c )

x f


Where P is the energy per unit time , f is the frequency .

Wave energy conversion devices:

Several types of wave energy conversion devices are used some of the important devices are

1) Wave energy conversion by floats:

The wave motion is basically horizontal but the motion of water is

primarily vertical. This latter motion


made use of by

floats to

obtain mechanical power. the water, guided by four

A square float moves up and down with

vertical manifolds that are part



platform. The platform is stabilized within the water by four large


water floatation


so that




by buoyancy

forces and no significant .vertical or horizontal displacement of the

platform due to wave action occurs. Attached to the float there is

piston that moves up and down inside a cylinder that is

obtain mechanical power. the water, guided by four A square float moves up and down with




attached to













used as a reciprocating air



The movement of

the piston draws

air in to


cylinder via an

check valve.









sends it through an outlet









tanks via four manifolds. The floatation tanks serve dual purpose of

buoyancy and air

storage . The compressed air

in the buoyancy

storage tanks is in turn used to drive an air turbine that drives an

electrical generator . The electric current is transmitted via underwater cable.

to the shore

2) High level reservoir wave machine

In these machines, instead of compressing air the water itself is pressurized and stored in a high pressure accumulator or pumped to a high level reservoir, from which it flows through a water turbine - electrical generator . This is done by transforming large volumes of low pressure water wave crest into small volumes of high pressure water by the use of a composite piston. This piston composed of a large diameter main piston and a small diameter piston at its center. On the trough of the wave , the composite piston is pushed downward by the gas pressure above the main piston, Which thus

acts also as a spring. When there is peak of the wave piston pressurizes the water

acts also





there is peak of the wave piston pressurizes the








reservoir above







have to be near a shoreline, or to an artificial water reservoir. The water in the reservoir is made to flow though a turbine back to sea level . Calculation shows that a 20 m diameter generator of this type can produce 1 MW.

3) Dolphin type wave power machine

acts also as a spring. When there is peak of the wave piston pressurizes the water

connecting rod



The major components of

this system are a dolphin, a




connecting rod ,




generators. The float has

two motions









own fulcrum with

connecting rod. The other


relatively vertical or

heaving motion about the connecting rod fulcrum. It










cases, the

stationary dolphin.

movements are amplified and converted by gears in to continuous rotary motions that drive the two electrical generators. The system is envisaged to be used for electric power generation, pumping for desalination plant, or for uranium extraction from sea. Because it

completely eliminates waves, it can provide suitable sites for fish farming , port facilities etc.

4) Dam – Atoll device


It is a massive and robust device that appears to overcome some of the disadvantages of many other devices, namely, complexity and fragility in heavy seas. It is said to be strong enough to survive any ocean storm. The principle of operation is based on the observed action of waves as they approach atolls (small volcanic islands) in an ocean. The waves wraps them selves around the atolls from all the sides , ending in a spiral in the center, driving a turbine before discharging laterally outward. A module , 80m in diameter and 20 meter in high, is said to be capable of generating 1 to 1.5 MW in 7 to 10 – s period waves.

Harnessing tidal energy:

The power generation from tides involves flow between an artificially developed basin and the basic scheme can be elaborated by having two or more basins. Accordingly we can have two different types of arrangements . 1) Single basin arrangement 2) Double basin arrangement.

1) Single basin or pool system

The simple – pool tidal system has one pool or basin behind a dam that is filled from the ocean at high tide and emptied to it at low to tides. Both filling and emptying processes take place during short

periods of time: the filling when ocean is at high tide while the water in the pool is at low tide level, the emptying when the ocean is at low tide and the pool at high tide level. The flow of water in both directions is used to drive a number of reversible water turbines, each driving an electrical generator. Electric power would thus be generated during two short periods during each tidal period, of 12 h, 25 min or once every 6h, 12.5 min. The generation of power in a single basin system can be carried out either as

  • a) Single ebb – cycle system or

  • b) Single tide cycle system or

c) Double cycle system.

c) Double cycle system. a) Single ebb – cycle system. When high tide comes , the

a) Single ebb – cycle system.



tide comes

, the

sluice gates are

opened to

permit the sea water to enter the basin or reservoir, while


turbines sets are






filling while its level rises, till






reached. At the beginning of

the ebb tide the sluice gates

are closed.







place when the sea is ebbing

(Flowing back of








flows through the turbine in




level sea. The

generation of power can be





sufficient head difference between the level of water in the reservoir

and the sea. The turbines are closed






becomes same on both the sides; sluice gates are opened to repeat

the cycle.

  • b) Single tide cycle system:

In a single tide cycle system , the generation of power is carried out when sea at flood tide. The water of the sea is admitted in to the basin through the turbines. As the flood tide period is over and the sea level starts falling again, the generation is stopped. The basin is drained in to the sea through the sluice ways. This system needs large size plant, operating for short period and hence less efficient as compared to ebb tide operation.

  • c) Double cycle system

In this system power generation is carried out during both high tide as well as ebb tides. The flow of water in both the directions is used to drive a number of reversible water turbines, each driving an electrical generator. Electric power would thus be generated during two short period during each tidal period of 12 h, 25 min or once every 6h, 12.5 min


Though the double cycle system has only short duration interruptions in the turbine operation, yet a continuous generation of power is still not possible. Further the periods of power generation coincide occasionally with periods of peak demand.

2) Double basin arrangement:

In this system power generation is carried out during both high tide as well as ebb






that is much less








expense of more









inland basin is enclosed by dam A and divides into a high pool and a low pool by dam B. By proper gating in the dam A, the high pool gets periodically filled at high tide from the ocean and the low pool gets periodically emptied at low tide. Water flows from the high to the low pool through the turbines that are situated in the dam B. The power

generation thus continue simultaneously

with the filling up the high

pool The capacities of these two pools are large enough in relation to the water flow between them that the fluctuations in the head are minimized, which results in continuous and much more uniform power generation. At the end of the flood tide when high pool is full and the water level in it is maximum, its sluice gates are closed. When ebb tide level gets lower than the water level in lo pool , its sluice gates are opened whereby the water level in low pool, which was rising and reducing the operating head, starts falling with the ebb. This continues until the head and water level in high pool is sufficient to run the turbines. With the next flood tide cycle repeats. With this twin pool system , a longer and more continuous period of generation per day is possible.

Estimation of power in the single basin system:

For tidal rang R , and an intermediate head h at a given time during the emptying process, the differential work done by the water is equal to the potential energy at the tine or

h Area A Basin dh High tide level Reversible turbine and gates Ocean at low tide
Area A
High tide level
Reversible turbine and gates
Ocean at low tide
Range R

dW = dm.h g/g c



dm = -

.A. dh


So that

dW = -

.A. h dh g/g c


Where W = work done by the water g = Acceleration due to gravity

m= Mass of water flowing through the turbine Kg h = head in m = Water density , A = Basin surface area , considered

The total theoretical work during a full emptying period is obtained by integrating equation 3




W =

dW = -

.A. g/g c

h dh =

.A. g R 2 /2g c





Thus the work is proportional to the square of the tidal range. The average theoretical power delivered by the water is W divided by the total time it takes each period to repeat itself or 6 h, 12.5 min or 22,350 s thus

Pav =

.A. g R 2 /(44700g c ) .

Assuming average sea water density = 1025 kg/ m 3 , the average power per unit basin area is given by Pav /A = 9.80 x 1025 R 2 / 44700 = 0.225 R 2 The actual power generated by the real tidal system is less than the average theoretical power. The actual power generated may be about 25 to 30 percent of the theoretical power.

Estimation of power in double cycle system

Let V be the volume of the basin V = A ho


Where A is the average cross sectional area of the basin in M2 , and

ho is the difference between maximum and minimum water levels.

Average discharge Q = A ho / t


t is the total duration of generation in one filling / emptying operation. Now power generated at any instant

P =

Qh x



x 0.736 / 75



H is the available head at the instant , then the total energy




P dt =

Qh x


x 0.736 / 75






  • 0 0

Then yearly power generation




Qh x


x 0.736 x 705

/ 75

KW h / year




Advantages of tidal power:

1) Tidal power is inexhaustible in nature. 2) Tidal power generation is free from pollution. 3) The requirement of valuable land is less. 4) Peak power demand can be met if it effectively works in combination with hydroelectric or thermal system.

5) It can provide better recreational facilities to visitors and holiday makers , in addition to the possibility of fish farming in the tidal basins.


1) Generating power is always dependent on the tidal range. 2) The generating efficiency of the turbines affected by the variations in the operating head. 3) Power generation is intermittent in nature. 4) The selecting of suitable turbine operating under varying head condition is difficult. 5) Load sharing of power with the grid is very difficult due variation in power cycle. 6) Maintenance cost of the machinery is high due to the corrosive nature of sea water. 7) Construction in sea is found difficult 8) Cost of power generation is not favourable compared to other sources of energy. 9) It may affect fishing and navigation.

Ocean Thermal energy conversion (OTEC)


The concept of ocean temperature energy conversion (OTEC) is based on the utilization of the temperature difference in a heat engine to generate power. In tropics , the ocean surface temperature often exceeds 25 o c , while 1 km below the temperature is usually no

higher than 10 o C.Water density decreases with increase in temperature . Thus there will be no thermal convection currents between warmer , lighter water at the top and deep cooler heavier water so warm water stays at the top and the cool water stays at the bottom. The maximum temperature difference on the earth is in the tropics and is about 15 o C The surface temperatures vary both with latitude and season, both being maximum in tropical, subtropical, and equatorial waters i.e., between the two tropics, making these waters the most suitable for OTEC systems. In OTEC systems the average temperature difference may be 20 0 C compared to 500 0 C for modern fossil power plants. Taking the temperature difference of 20 0 C and a surface temperature of 27oC, the Carnot cycle efficiency would be

c = (T1 – T2) / T1 = 20 / (27 + 273)

= 6.67%

The extremely low efficiency of an OTEC system implies extremely large power plant heat exchangers and components. There are two basic designs of OTEC system: the open cycle , also known as the claude cycle, and the closed cycle, also known as the Anderson cycle .

Open cycle or Claude cycle.

higher than 10 C.Water density decreases with increase in temperature . Thus there will be no
The Claude plant used an open cycle in which water itself plays the multiple role of

The Claude plant used an open cycle in which water itself plays the multiple role of heat source, working fluid, coolant, and heat sink. Schematic flow and corresponding T-S diagrams are shown in fig. In the cycle warm surface water admitted into an evaporator in which pressure is maintained at a value slightly below the saturation pressure corresponding to that water temperature. Water entering the evaporator; therefore, finds itself superheated at the new pressure. The warm water at 27 0 c has saturation pressure of 0.0356 bar, point 1. The evaporator pressure is 0.0317 bar. This temporarily superheated water undergoes volume boiling causing that water to partially flash to steam to an equilibrium two phase condition at new pressure and temperature 0.0317 bar and 25 o C, point 2. Process 1-2 is throttling hence constant enthalpy process. The low pressure in the evaporator can be maintained by using vacuum pump. The steam is separated from the water as the saturated vapor at the point 3. The remaining water is saturated at 4 and is discharged as brine back to ocean. The quality of the steam at 3 is low pressure high specific volume. It expands in a specially designed turbine, condenser pressure and temperature at 5 are 0.017 bar and 15 0 C . The condenser used is direct contact type , in which the exhaust at 5 is mixed with cold water from the deep cold water pipe at 6, which results in a near saturated water at 7. That water is now discharged to ocean. Disadvantages:

1) Volume flow rates of water required are high. 2) The special types of turbines are required.

3) The size of the turbines required is very large. 4) Use of degasifiers required to remove dissolved gases in the sea water. 5) The cost of the open cycle system is more compared to closed cycle system. 6) The cost of the turbine is about half of the overall cost of power plant.

Closed or Anderson , OTEC cycle.

The closed cycle utilizes the ocean’s warm surface and cold deep waters as heat source and sink, respectively, but requires a separate working fluid that receives and rejects heat to the source and sink via heat exchangers. The working fluid may be ammonia, propane or Freon. When high pressure liquid ammonia enters the evaporator absorbs heat from the water which is circulating and converted in to high pressure vapour. This vapour expanded in to low pressure vapour in the turbine. Low pressure ammonia vapour is condensed in to low pressure liquid ammonia in condenser. In order to remove the heat from vapour in the condenser cold water from depth of sea is used. Low pressure liquid ammonia is converted in to high pressure liquid ammonia using pump and supplied back in to the evaporator for repeating the cycle. The operating pressure is much higher compared open cycle thus smaller and hence less costly . But it requires very large heat exchangers. Instead of usual heavier and more expensive shell and tube heat exchangers, In Anderson cycle thin plate heat exchangers are used.

Problems associated with OTEC 1) OTEC plants sites are always located away from the load centers

Problems associated with OTEC

1) OTEC plants sites are always located away from the load centers . 2) The availability of suitable temperature differences between surface water and deep cold water is restricted to equatorial regions. 3) The power transmission cost from the OTEC plant to load center is very high. 4) The power generation system gives less efficiency. 5) Large heat exchangers are required and hence the cost of the power generated increases. 6) The bio fouling is a major problem encountered in most power plants. 7) In the manufacture of heat exchangers costly , non corrosive materials must be used this further increases the overall cost of the plant. 8) The initial investment required is high. 9) Construction of the plant in the rough sea is very difficult.

Geothermal energy.

“Geo” means earth and “therm” means heat energy i.e. geothermal energy is heat energy from the earth. Geothermal energy is

recoverable in some form such as steam or hot water. The earth crust now averages about 20 to 40 km in thickness. Below that crust, the molten mass called magma , is still in the process of cooling. Earth tremors caused the magma to come close to the earth’s surface in certain places and crust fissures to open up . The hot magma near the surface thus causes active volcanoes ,hot springs and geysers where water exists. It also causes the steam to vent through the fissures ( fumaroles) . A typical geothermal field is shown in the figure.

recoverable in some form such as steam or hot water. The earth crust now averages about

The hot magma near the surface (A) solidifies into igneous rock (B). The heat of the magma is conducted upward to this igneous rock. The ground water that finds its way down to this rock through fissures in it will be heated by the heat of the rock or by mixing with hot gases and steam emanating from the magma . The heated water will then rise convectively upward and into a porous and permeable reservoir C above the igneous rock. This reservoir is capped by a layer of impermeable solid rock D that traps the hot water in the reservoir . The solid rock however has fissures E that acts as vent of the giant underground boiler . The vents show up at the surface as geysers, fumaroles F . or hot springs G. A well H traps steam from the fissures for use in a geothermal power plant. It can be seen that geothermal steam is of two kinds: that originating from the magma

itself , called magma tic steam , and that from the ground water heated by the magma called meteoritic steam. The latter is the largest source of geothermal steam.

There are three basic kinds geothermal sources a) Hydrothermal b) Geopressured and c) Petrothermal

a) Hydrothermal sources:

Hydrothermal sources are those in which water is heated by contact with the hot rock. Hydrothermal systems are in turn subdivided into 1) Vapor dominated and 2) Liquid dominated.

itself , called magma tic steam , and that from the ground water heated by the

1) Vapor dominated:

In these systems the water is vaporized into steam that reaches the surface in a relatively dry condition at about 205 0 C and rarely above 8 bar. This system is the most suitable for use in turboelectric power plants, with least cost. It does, however, suffer problems similar to those encountered by all geothermal systems, namely , the presence of corrosive gases and erosive material and environmental problems . Vapor dominated systems, however , are a rarity . These systems account for about 5 percent of all geothermal sources.

Vapor dominated power plant:

Vapor dominated geothermal systems are the most developed of all geothermal systems. They have the lowest cost and the least number of problems. The vapor dominated power plant is as shown in the fig. Dry steam from the well (1) at 200 0 C is used . It is nearly saturated and may have a shut off pressure up to 35 bar. Pressure drops through the well causes it to slightly superheat at the well head 2. The pressure there rarely exceeds 7 bar . It then goes through a centrifugal separator to remove particulate matter and then enters the turbine after additional pressure drop 3. Processes 1-2 and 2-3 are essentially throttling process with constant enthalpy. The steam expands through the turbine and enters the condenser at 4. The condenser used is of direct contact type. Turbine exhaust steam at 4 mixes with cooling water (7) that comes from a cooling tower. The mixture of 7 and 4 is saturated water (5) that is pumped to the cooling tower (6) . The greater part of the cooled water at 7 is recircualted to the condenser. The balance, which would normally be returned to the cycle in a conventional plant, is rejected in to the ground either before or after the cooling tower. No make up water is necessary.

2) Liquid dominated systems: In these systems the hot water circulating and trapped underground is at

2) Liquid dominated systems:

In these systems the hot water circulating and trapped underground is at a temperature range 174 to 315 0 C. When tapped by wells drilled in the right places and to the right depths, the water flows either naturally to the surface or is pumped up to it . The drop in pressure usually to 8 bar or less , causes it to partially flash to a two phase mixture of low quality , liquid dominated. It contains relatively large concentrations of dissolved solids ranging between 3000 to 25000 ppm and sometimes higher. The power production is adversely affected by these solids due to formation of scaling, reducing flow and heat transfer . The liquid dominated systems , however are much more plentiful than vapor dominated systems .

Liquid dominated power plants:

The two different methods are used for generating power

  • i) The flashed system

ii) Binary cycle system.

  • i) The flashed system:

The schematic diagram of this system is as shown in the figure. The water from the underground reservoir at 1 reaches the well head at 2 at a lower pressure. Process 1-2 is essentially a constant enthalpy throttling process that results in two phase mixture of low quality at 2. This is further throttled in flash separator resulting in a still low but slightly higher quality at 3. This mixture is now separated in to dry saturated steam at 4 and saturated brine at 5. The latter is rejected in to the ground. The dry steam usually at pressure of less than 8 bar , is expanded in a turbine to 6 and mixed with cooling water in direct contact condenser with mixture at 7 is going to a cooling tower. The greater part of the cooled water at 7 is recircualted to the condenser. Remaining portion of the mixture is rejected in the ground. In order to improve the efficiency in splashing two stage flashing is used instead of single stage flashing (double flash)

i) The flashed system ii) Binary cycle system. i) The flashed system: The schematic diagram of

ii) Binary cycle system

The figure

shows the

schematic diagram of binary










reservoir circulates through a

heat exchanger



pumped back to the ground. In

the heat exchanger it

transfers its heat to the organic fluid thus converting it to superheated vapor that is used

transfers its heat to the organic fluid thus converting it to superheated vapor that is used in a standard closed Rankine cycle . The vapor drives the turbine and is condensed in a surface condenser ; the condensate is pumped back to the heat exchanger . The condenser is cooled by the water from the natural source, if available, or a cooling tower circulation system. The blow down from the tower may be rejected to the ground with cooled brine. Makeup of the cooling tower water must be provided. In binary cycle there is no problems of corrosion or scaling . Such problems are confined to well casing and the heat exchanger . The heat exchanger is shell and tube unit so that no contact between brine and working fluid takes place.

b) Geo pressured systems

Geopressured systems are sources of water, or brine, that has been heated in a manner similar to hydrothermal water, except that geopressured water is trapped in much deeper underground acquifers, at depth between 2400 m to 9100 m . This water is relatively at low temperature(160 0 C) and under very high pressure of 1000 bar. It has relatively high salinity. In addition , it is saturated with natural gas , mostly methane CH4 . Such water is thought to have thermal and mechanical potential to generate electricity . Temperature , however is not high enough and the depth so great

that there is little economic justification of drilling for this water for its thermal potential alone. How ever it is possible to generate electricity by recovering dissolved methane.

Petrothermal systems:

Magma lying close the earth’s surface heats overlying rock . When no ground water exists, there is simply hot, dry rock(HDR) . The known temperatures of HDR vary between 150 to 290 0 C . This energy is called petrothermal energy , represents by far the largest source of geothermal energy of any type. Much of the HDR occurs at relatively moderate depths, but it is largely impermeable. In order to extract thermal energy out of it , water will have to be pumped into it and back out to the surface. It is necessary for the heat transport mechanism that a way be found to render the impermeable rock into a permeable structure with a large heat transfer surface. Rendering the rock permeable is to be done by fracturing it. Fracturing methods that have been considered involve drilling wells into the rock and then fracturing by (1) high pressure water (2) Nuclear explosives.

High pressure water method:

Fracturing by high pressure water is done by injecting water into HDR at very high pressure. This water widens existing fractures and creates new ones through rock displacement. This method is successfully used by the oil industry to facilitate the path of under ground oil.

Nuclear explosives:

Fracturing by nuclear explosives is scheme that has been considered as part of a program for using such explosives for peaceful uses, such as natural gas estimation and oil stimulation, creating cavities for large storage, canal and harbor construction and many other applications. The principal hazards associated with this are the ground shocks , the danger of radioactivity releases to the environment, and the radioactive material that would surface with heated water and steam.

Geothermal plants in the world.

Some of the important geothermal plants in the world are

1) 540MW plant at Larderello, Italy.

2) USA generating 1514 MW of power using geothermal sources (Claifornia, 50MW)

3) New Zealand , 353 MW ( Wairakei power station ,175 MW) 4) Japan, 266 MW.( 5) Mexico 180 MW 6) El Salvador 95 MW 7) Iceland 63 MW 8) USSR 211 MW ( Muntnovsky power station, 200 MW) 9) Phillipines , 665 MW ( Tiwi power station, 55MW)


Turkey , 0.5 MW


Hungary, 363 MW


France , 5 MW

Problems associated with geothermal conversion:

Environmental problems: Some effluents contain boron, fluorine and arsenic. All these are very harmful to plants and animal life in concentrations as low as two parts per million. Suitable waste treatment plants to prevent degradation of water quality will have to be installed to treat these new and increased sources of pollution. Before entry of steam in to the turbines removal of condensable gases such as CO 2 , Methane, H 2 , N 2 , NH 3 and H 2 S is necessary it requires additional equipments.

Re injection: Re injection is necessary to avoid discharging large quantities of heat into rivers , with consequent hazards to fisheries and farming activities, endanger down stream drinking water supplies. Huge quantity of underground water removal cause land subsidence.

Noise: Noise is another problem

The noise cause a serious health

.. hazard Workers on new well sites have to wear ear plugs or muff lest their hearing damaged.

Water borne poisons: The in wet fields some times contain toxic mercury , arsenic, ammonia etc, which would if discharged could contaminate water down stream.

Air borne poisons: From various points harmful substances may escape into the air at thermal sites. These may contain radioactive materials also. Systematic monitoring is advisable in this case.

Heat pollution: Geothermal power plants produce large quantity of waste heat . The proper way of discharging this heat is necessary y to avoid damage to local climate, water bodies fisheries etc.

Silica: Reinjection of the silica loaded water

could affect


permeability of the substrate thus it requires construction of

settlement ponds .

Subsidence: The withdrawal of huge quantities of underground fluids cause substantial ground subsidence, which could cause fitting and stressing of pipelines and surface structures. The remedy for this problem to some extent is the reinjection. However large extractions and reinjections also pose the possibility of seismic disturbances

Seismity: Some fears have been expressed that prolonged geothermal exploitation could trigger off earthquakes especially at the zones of high shear stress .

Escaping steam: Huge volumes of flash steam escaping into the air could cause dense fog to occur, which may drift across to nearly roads and cause traffic hazards.

Erosion: The water with sand cause scaling and erosion problems in the pipe lines.

Application of geothermal energy:

There are three main applications of the steam and hot water from

the wet geothermal reservoirs. 1) Generation of electric power 2) Industrial process heat and 3) Space heating for various kinds of buildings. The major benefit of geothermal energy is its varied application and versatility.


1) Geothermal energy is renewable source of energy.

2) Geothermal energy is least polluting compared to other conventional energy sources. 3) Geothermal plants have higher annual load factors. 4) It is cheaper compared to the energies obtained from other sources.

5) The greatest advantage of geothermal power is that it can be used in multiple uses.


1) Overall efficiency for power production is low. 2) The withdrawal of large amounts of steam or water from a

hydrothermal reservoir may result in surface subsidence. 3) The gases present in the steam must be removed by chemical action before discharging into atmosphere. 4) Drilling operation is noisy. 5) Large areas are needed for exploitation of geo thermal energy as much of it is diffused.