Thursday, March 17, 2016

Education: Andrés Ruzo - Geothermal Educator Extraordinaire!

Geothermal energy 'never turns off' (StraitsTimes)

While many are looking up at the sun for clean, renewable energy to stem the emission of greenhouse gases, one scientist has suggested looking underground instead.

Geothermal energy, says National Geographic explorer, GRC Member and geothermal scientist Andrés Ruzo, 28, is another source of clean energy.

"Compared to wind and solar energy resources, which are intermittent, geothermal energy is a resource that never turns off," he said.

There are two types of geothermal energy systems, active and passive. 

Active systems are large power plants that harness heat from the Earth to produce electricity, and are often associated with volcanoes.

Passive systems, on the other hand, do not require large plants. They help to conserve energy by tapping stable underground temperatures to regulate temperatures above ground. Such systems usually consist only of an indoor handling unit and a buried system of pipes, which help to conduct heat away from a building when it is hot, and vice versa when it is cold.

"There is very limited research on this, but my expectation is that passive geothermal cooling systems will be a more exciting and realistic option in Singapore," he told The Straits Times while in Singapore late last year for the Green Carpet Awards - an initiative organised by Singapore's World EduCorp, a social enterprise to promote green causes.