Career Attributes

  • $42,500
  • 175,800
  • 8.2%
  • High school diploma
More Attributes

What is a Geothermal Technician?

Also known as: Geothermal Energy Technician.

Geothermal energy is energy that is created in the earth in the form of heat. It is produced in the deep layers of our planet and is released on the surface. However, in certain places such as geothermal wells or geysers, the amount of released geothermal energy is especially high. Steam or hot water can be harnessed and used to produce electricity or as a commercial or residential heating source, which provides an excellent environmentally friendly alternative to burning fossil fuels. In the places where geothermal energy may be collected and transformed into useful energy, there are less costs to heat industrial facilities or homes, and there is a lower level of air pollution and lower emission of greenhouse gases.

Geothermal technicians are individuals who operate, maintain or repair geothermal power plants and commercial and residential geothermal heating installations. Their task is to monitor the processes that lead to electricity and heat production and intervene when adjustments of parameters or equipment repair is necessary. They participate in the initial installation, testing and maintenance of geothermal equipment and make sure that safety regulations are followed properly. If used appropriately, geothermal energy utilization can lead to significant savings by reducing the reliance on burning fuel.

What does a Geothermal Technician do?

Geothermal technicians operate, maintain or repair geothermal power plants and commercial and residential geothermal heating installations.

Geothermal power plants have the capacity to transform hot water or steam from geothermal wells of geysers into electricity without burning coal, gas or other fuels. Where steam and very hot water from deep ground sources is available, it is directly used to move turbines that produce electricity. However, in places where water temperature is lower, production of electricity requires the construction of more complex power plants, known as binary cycle power plants. This advanced technology can use water with temperature as low as 135 degrees F (57 degrees celsius).

The hot water is used to heat tanks with liquid that has a lower boiling point, which creates steam that will put the turbines into action. Geothermal technicians who work at geothermal power plants must operate and maintain the advanced equipment used in technological processes that lead to production of electricity from hot water or steam collected from geothermal wells. Because modern power plants have computer-guided equipment, but also multiple electrical components and switches, geothermal technicians must be able to perform emergency repairs to ensure continuous operation of the power plant.

Geothermal energy derived from underground hot water or steam can also be used to heat homes and commercial facilities by directly pumping hot water into home heating installations. This is a cost-effective and "green" alternative to traditional heating options that involve burning fuels. Geothermal technicians must evaluate the integrity of water pipes, switches, electrical equipment, help with installation and regularly test the equipment. However, geothermal energy from wells is available only in certain regions with significant geothermal activity.

Advanced technology allows the usage of earth's natural energy even in areas where there are no hot springs. Geothermal heat pumps take advantage of the earth's natural property to maintain a certain temperature even when the air on the surface is significantly cooler. A network of pipes with water, or water and antifreeze solution may be installed under the ground around the house and connected to a heat pump. When the temperature of the air is low, the water in the pipes is heated by the ground, and the energy is transferred into the heating system of the house. During summer, when the air is hot, the water in the geothermal system collects excess heat and transfers it into the ground, which effectively cools the house.

Geothermal technicians are responsible for the installation and maintenance of geothermal heating systems by making regular checks and performing small repairs when necessary.

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What is the workplace of a Geothermal Technician like?

Geothermal technicians may work on geothermal power plants where they operate and maintain equipment involved in the production of electrical energy from geothermal sources. Technicians may also work in communities, where they install residential and commercial geothermal heating pumps.

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Career Attributes

  • $42,500
  • 175,800
  • 8.2%
  • High school diploma
More Attributes