What are the basics of the "Geothermal Process"?
- The simple premise that below frost line, usually about 6 feet deep, the earth is at constant temperature of about 50℉.
- The Geothermal heat pumps have the ability to heat or cool your comfort areas.
- The ground offers an ideal provision for storing energy. During the winter the heat pump absorbs heat from the ground and uses it to warm the air inside the home/business. In the warmer summer months, the process is reversed, taking heat from the comfort structure and transferring it back into the ground.
- Loops of piping are buried in the ground near the home/business, either vertically or horizontally. The ground loop is connected to a pumping module inside the structure.
- The pump circulates a mixture of water and antifreeze through the ground loop, where it absorbs heat from the earth.
Why is a Geothermal systems operating costs projected to be 300 to 400 percent less than conventional heating and cooling systems? Both use electricity?
- Using the standard gas furnace/boiler as an example, these appliances cannot exceed 100% efficiency. Manufactures have gotten close, some at or near 99.7%.
- A Coefficient of Performance (CoP) is a ratio of useful heating or cooling provided to work required.
- A geothermal heat pump can achieve a Coefficient of Performance (CoP) of 300 to 400% meaning that it is 3 to 4 times less expensive to operate than the conventional furnaces or boilers.
- According to the EPA, commercial geothermal systems can reduce energy consumption—and corresponding emissions—up to 44% compared to air source heat pumps and up to 72% compared to electric resistance heating with standard air conditioning equipment
What are some of the other advantages of the Geothermal Systems?
- Overall external building aesthetics are improved by eliminating outdoor equipment. Geothermal systems require no outdoor equipment thus eliminating space and noise issues.
- Because geothermal systems have relatively few moving parts and because those parts are sheltered inside a building, they are durable and highly reliable. The underground piping is usually rated at 50 years and the heat pumps normally exceed nearly twice the life of conventional systems
The basic elements of a geothermal system include:
- Underground loops of plastic piping
- A liquid antifreeze solution
- A heat pump
- An air distribution system.
In large commercial buildings, the use of multiple geothermal systems allows commercial users to control the climate of each indoor area or zone of a building individually.
The biggest benefit of a commercial geothermal system is that they use 25%–50% less electricity than conventional heating or cooling systems.
According to the EPA, commercial geothermal systems can reduce energy consumption—and corresponding emissions—up to 44% compared to air-source heat pumps and up to 72% compared to electric resistance heating with standard air-conditioning equipment.
Overall external building aesthetics are improved by eliminating outdoor equipment and additional space is gained in scenarios where a boiler and supporting equipment are eliminated.
Because commercial geothermal systems have relatively few moving parts, and because those parts are sheltered inside a building, they are durable and highly reliable. The underground piping is often good for 25–50 years, and the heat pumps often last 20 years or more.
Geothermal benefits over traditional heating and cooling systems:
- Lower operating costs: A geothermal system can cut utility bills by 30 to 50 percent compared to conventional heating and cooling systems.
- Environmental impact: Ground-source heat is naturally renewable and non-polluting.
- Lower maintenance costs: All equipment is protected indoors or underground.
- Life span: A geothermal system can have a life expectancy of up to 30 years; ground loops are often manufacturer warranted for up to 50 years.
- Single system: Geothermal equipment provides both heating and cooling in one system.
- Indoor comfort: Geothermal systems eliminate the drafts common with conventional forced-air systems.
- Design flexibility: Geothermal systems can be easily and inexpensively subdivided or expanded to fit building remodeling or additions.
- Energy efficiency: A geothermal heat pump can move more than three units of heat energy for every one unit of electrical energy used to power the system.
- Safety: No dangers of gas leaks or carbon monoxide poisoning.