Water is pumped into the artificial holes drilled down to the high-temperature sub-surface layers. The water heats up and then the heated water is pumped to the surface.
Elsewhere, the thermal water, which can be found in the deeper layers of the Earth's surface, is used after treatment.
The cooled water is pumped back to the underground water reservoir.
Hot water is used for heating buildings and for their hot water supply. In special cases, if it can be extracted and kept hot enough, hot water may help driving steam turbines, thus it can be used in electricity production.



Hungary has favorable geothermal conditions. The Earth's crust is thinner than average, so the heat flow is almost twice the European average. In addition, our country is extremely rich in thermal waters.

Advantages
  • The operation of the geothermal heat pump is independent of seasons and weather.
  • Its footprint is small, which means it has only a minimal influence on its environment.
  • Its operating costs are low.
  • Power plants that are installed in the place of use have an excellent efficiency.
Disadvantages
  • Installing the geothermal heat pump is expensive.
  • Intensive use of geothermal resource may result in its depletion, and may disrupt the balance underground.
  • During the installation of the power plants, harmful gases may come up from the depths of the earth to the surface.

The Zoo has a much greater demand for heating than an average house. The function requires creating a proper environment of a rich and valuable live collection including many special tropical species. Now this need is partially satisfied with the heat of the thermal water of Széchenyi Bath, situated next to the Zoo's area. From the spa area a well-insulated district heating line brings warm water to the heat center located in the basement of the Elephant House, and then it returns cooled water. The new system supplies thermal heat to 26 buildings with a total of 80 000 cubic meters of airspace, providing a temperature that suits the needs of thousands of individuals of more than 350 animal species and nearly 500 plant species.

The Geysers are 120 kilometers north to San Francisco city. The 48-square-kilometer system is the most extensive and powerful structure ever built. The system consisting of 22 separate power plants gains steam from 350 wells.

The Yellowstone National Park's natural resources, thermal springs and geysers are fed by underground hot water systems – just like the power plant complex.

In the thermal lake of Püspökfürdő near Oradea, Romania, once lived the thermal water lily, a locally developed species with tropical relatives. Unfortunately, due to an excessive use of the thermal spring, this unique natural value extinct on its original site, so it had to be replanted in the surrounding artificial lakes. Its further survival is up to human care.

For thousands of years, heat springs bursting out of the depth of the earth offer a unique habitat for some species of fish. One of them is Scardinius racovitzai, which you can see in the House of the Waterfront Life. Some of the locally developed, so called native species represent a special natural value. These thermal springs serve as habitat also for species recently planted by humans, originally being native on the tropics. One of these habitats is the Városligeti-tó (City Park Lake), where more than ten tropical species live and reproduce.



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