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Geothermal power

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Content objective:

What are we learning? Why are we learning this?

content, procedures, skills

Vocabulary objective

Tier II: High frequency words used across content areas. Key to understanding directions, understanding relationships, and for making inferences.

Tier III: Low frequency, domain specific terms

Building on what we already know

What vocabulary & concepts were learned in earlier grades?
Make connections to prior lessons from this year.
This is where we start building from.

There is a tremendous amount of heat inside the Earth. Over time, this heat is slowly moving from high energy regions (inside the Earth) towards low energy regions (through the Earth’s surface, out into space.)

This creates a heat gradient.

We can use this heat energy as it is moving outwards.


Dry steam power plant

“Dry steam plants are the most common types of geothermal power plants, accounting for about half of the installed geothermal plants. They work by piping hot steam from underground reservoirs directly into turbines from geothermal reservoirs, which power the generators to provide electricity. After powering the turbines, the steam condenses into water and is piped back into the earth via the injection well.”

Dry steam geothermal

Flash Steam power

“Flash steam plants differ from dry steam because they pump hot water, rather than steam, directly to the surface. These flash steam plants pump hot water at a high pressure from below the earth into a “flash tank” on the surface.

The flash tank is at a much lower temperature, causing the fluid to quickly “flash” into steam. The steam produced powers the turbines. The steam is cooled and condenses into water, where it is pumped back into the ground through the injection well.”

Flash Steam geothermal

Closed loop systems


Closed loop system geothermal power

Open loop systems


Open Loop Systems geothermal power

Binary cycle power plant


Binary cycle geothermal power plant

More animations



What is the potential for geothermal energy use in the USA?

Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS)

energy renewable geothermal resource USA


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