Monday, August 20, 2012

Geothermal Heat Pumps


Geothermal Heat Pumps

Geothermal heat pumps (sometimes referred to as GeoExchange, earth-coupled, ground-source, or water-source heat pumps) have been in use since the late 1940s. Geothermal heat pumps (GHPs) use the constant temperature of the earth as the exchange medium instead of the outside air temperature. This allows the system to reach fairly high efficiencies (300%-600%) on the coldest of winter nights, compared to 175%-250% for air-source heat pumps on cool days.
While many parts of the country experience seasonal temperature extremes—from scorching heat in the summer to sub-zero cold in the winter—a few feet below the earth's surface the ground remains at a relatively constant temperature. Depending on latitude, ground temperatures range from 45°F (7°C) to 75°F (21°C). Like a cave, this ground temperature is warmer than the air above it during the winter and cooler than the air in the summer. The GHP takes advantage of this by exchanging heat with the earth through a ground heat exchanger.
As with any heat pump, geothermal and water-source heat pumps are able to heat, cool, and, if so equipped, supply the house with hot water. Some models of geothermal systems are available with two-speed compressors and variable fans for more comfort and energy savings. Relative to air-source heat pumps, they are quieter, last longer, need little maintenance, and do not depend on the temperature of the outside air.
A dual-source heat pump combines an air-source heat pump with a geothermal heat pump. These appliances combine the best of both systems. Dual-source heat pumps have higher efficiency ratings than air-source units, but are not as efficient as geothermal units. The main advantage of dual-source systems is that they cost much less to install than a single geothermal unit, and work almost as well.
Even though the installation price of a geothermal system can be several times that of an air-source system of the same heating and cooling capacity, the additional costs are returned to you in energy savings in 5–10 years. System life is estimated at 25 years for the inside components and 50+ years for the ground loop. There are approximately 50,000 geothermal heat pumps installed in the United States each year.

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Article courtesy of Energy Savers

3 comments:

Toby Crane said...

The geothermal heat pumps have some great attributes. I personal would like to just get a firewood stove. I think that would be a very economic way of providing heat.

Mark Martin said...

Hello there! This is a good read. I will be looking forward to visit your page again and for your other posts as well. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about geothermal heating in your area. I'm glad to stop by your site and know more about geothermal heating.
Closed loop geothermal heat pumps circulate a carrier fluid (usually a water/antifreeze mix) through pipes buried in the ground. Single-home systems can be "vertical loop field" systems with bore holes 50–400 feet deep or, if adequate land is available for extensive trenches, a "horizontal loop field" is installed approximately six feet subsurface. As the fluid circulates underground it absorbs heat from the ground and, on its return, the now warmer fluid passes through the heat pump which uses electricity to extract the heat from the fluid. The re-chilled fluid is sent back into the ground thus continuing the cycle. The heat extracted and that generated by the heat pump appliance as a byproduct is used to heat the house. The addition of the ground heating loop in the energy equation means that more heat is generated than if electricity alone had been used directly for heating.
We offer plumbing integrations for Geothermal Energy Solutions.

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Global Energy Systems said...

I belong to the same industry but some points were really new to me. I would like to post this in my Facebook community . Cheers :)

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