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What is the difference between Conventional and Engineered Geothermal Systems?


Both Conventional and EGS make use of naturally occurring heat to produce power. Conventional Geothermal Systems are associated with areas of volcanicity, such as Iceland, New Zealand and USA. Characteristically these systems are defined by their high temperatures, relatively shallow depth and degree of natural permeability and flow. In contrast EGSs are located in areas where radiogenic granites have resulted in anomalously high crustal heat flows. In order to trap the heat generated a thick sedimentary sequence is required to act as an insulting blanket. Sediments such as shale and coal beds have a low thermal conductivity and as a result higher temperatures are achieved. EGS resources are typically lower temperature resources than conventional volcanic systems, and by nature, are located at deeper depths. As with conventional systems, permeability varies, but some engineering of the geothermal reservoir is usually required.

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