This episode is an updated version of a story we covered in 2011. Alex Sifford is a private consultant with Sifford Energy Services. Toni Boyd is the Assistant Director for the Geo Heat Center at Oregon Institute of Technology. Alex and Toni explain what geothermal energy is, where it comes from, and how it is used. Direct sources which use hot water from underground are district heating, electric power and other applications such as onion dehydration are described. In addition geothermal heat pumps transfer heat from the ground to a heat exchanger for home use are mentioned.
We also paid a visit to the campus of Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls, Oregon. OIT sits on top of an active geothermal zone. The university has installed the first geothermal electric power plant in the state. We visit the plant, learn how it works, and take a look at the educational programs that are developed out of the plant and other applications OIT enjoys due to it’s location near a geothermal water source. Then we'll show you how to go geothermal right in your own back yard with geothermal heat pumps. We'll take you to several installations to show what goes into a heat pump system, tax incentives and efficiencies.