The Coolest Hot Topic in Energy
With geothermal energy, your home, business, school district and whole town can benefit from the best available onsite source of free and clean energy. Imagine using efficient and sustainable energy to keep your occupants comfortable all year long from a source that is closer than you think.
Where can this energy be found?
Ground temperatures vary greatly between locations with Alaska averaging 37 °F and Florida averaging 77 °F. However, at any given locale, the ground temperature at 30-feet remains consistently stable. So, whether it’s cold or hot outside, the constant temperature beneath the earth’s surface can generate sufficient source energy to heat and cool buildings.
The two main components that make up a closed-loop geothermal system are underground pipes and a heat pump. The underground pipes absorb heat from or reject heat to, the ground by transferring the energy to the fluid in the pipes. The heat pump then raises or lowers this source energy temperature to meet the heating and cooling requirements for the building.
How does a geothermal system work?
During colder months, heat exchanger fluid is circulated through underground pipes to absorb the earth’s energy. This fluid then passes through a heat exchanger in the heat pump, where the energy is transferred to a closed-loop refrigerant circuit. The refrigerant is converted into a low-temperature vapor. A reversing valve directs this low-temperature vapor to the compressor where it is heated and directed to the condenser coil. Air is then blown across the condenser coil absorbing the heat and allowing this hot air to be circulated through a duct system or this heat is directed to a water-to-water heat exchanger for hydronic systems. The vapor finally passes through an expansion device where its temperature and pressure are reduced and it returns to the heat exchanger where the cycle repeats itself.
During warmer months, the process is simply reversed. Specifically, warm air from the building is absorbed and transferred to the heat exchange fluid. This heat is then transferred into the underground piping where it is rejected to the cooler ground.
Why choose geothermal?
Geothermal energy is the most sustainable and cost-efficient heating and cooling method available today. It provides a variety of functions including heat generation, air conditioning (cooling), domestic hot water production and humidity control. Geothermal systems are becoming the heating and cooling method of choice to more and more consumers.
One of the main advantages of geothermal heat pump systems is that they consume 20-50% less energy than conventional heating or cooling systems. On average, geothermal heat pumps reduce energy consumption by over 40% compared to air source heat pumps and by up to 60% compared to traditional air conditioning.
What’s the latest news on geothermal?
In recent years, the geothermal industry has made significant advances in equipment and technology that have eliminated the historical fears, costs, and land limitations that prevented universal acceptance of geothermal energy.
Today, there are different types of ground source heat exchangers and geothermal systems. These new types of heat exchangers and geothermal systems, combined with additional technological innovations, make geothermal the preferred heating and cooling option for almost every location and building.
A properly designed geothermal system provides the following benefits:
Free and clean onsite energy sources can lower expenses and reduce the negative effects on the environment. Plus, with a geothermal system, a building’s aesthetics are not significantly impacted while working to achieve “green” goals.
Geothermal is the coolest hot topic in energy!