Geothermal Heating And Cooling – Harnessing The Earth's Energy

Imagine an HVAC and water heating system that can save twenty% to 50% on a building’s energy prices whereas minimizing CO2 and carbon emissions. Imagine a system that’s a lot of reliable, is 2.five to 4 times additional economical, provides the bottom life cycle cost, and a high degree of design flexibility.

Where will you discover such a system? You would like look no any than right under your feet. The world is a huge energy storage device that absorbs 47% of the sun’s energy. When combined with the constant upward flow of heat from the planet’s red hot interior, the result’s geothermal energy. Geo = earth, Thermal = heat. This clean, renewable energy is stored in lots of rock in the upper six miles of the earth’s crust. In nearly every state of the Union, there’s sufficient geothermal energy to heat, cool and provide hot water for all sorts and sizes of buildings.

Temperatures near the planet’s surface stay comparatively constant all year spherical – hotter than outside air in the winter, and cooler than outside air within the summer. Geoexchange systems (or ground coupled heat pumps) extract the earth’s heat throughout the winter and unleash it to the building interior. Within the summer the method is reversed, drawing the recent air from inside the building and transferring to the earth. Nearly all geoexchange systems out there can also give low value hot water – more increasing their operational potency

In step with the EPA and DOE, geoexhange systems are the most energy efficient, environmentally clean and cost-effective house conditioning systems available. They rate the systems 40% more efficient than air supply heat pumps forty eight% bigger than gas furnaces and 75% bigger than oil furnaces. Though geoexchange units do require an influence source, they have a much bigger energy potency ratio. In heating mode, the system will move a minimum of 3 units of solar energy from the ground for every unit of electricity used.

There are three principal components during a geoexchange system: The ground loop, the warmth pump unit and the warmth distribution channel

Ground Loop

For many buildings, the connection to the geothermal heat supply is created via a ‘closed’ loop configuration. A series of versatile, high-density polyethylene pipes are installed beneath the bottom in horizontal trenches or vertical holes. A fluid (water or a mix of water and environmentally benign antifreeze) is circulated through the loops, absorbing the planet’s heat as it passes through the pipes and transporting it to the geoexchange unit within the building. In cooling mode, the building’s interior hot air is absorbed by the unit, transported back through the loops and absorbed into the encircling earth. Post-installation the holes or trenches are backfilled, then coated with native landscaping, grass or even parking lots.

Horizontal trenching is usually the foremost price effective configuration when adequate area is out there and trenches are straightforward to dig Vertical drilling is employed when the land space is limited, or where the soil is too shallow for horizontal trenching. The loops ought to be installed by professionals who follow procedures established by the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA), and are either certified by IGSHPA or will prove equivalent training by manufacturers or other recognized authorities.

Geoexchange Heat Pump

The most commonly used unit is the single package water-to-air heat pump, that combines heat exchanger, refrigerant piping, control valve, compressor, air coil, and fan, in one single enclosure concerning the scale of a tiny gas furnace. The single package style may be a major advantage over the “split” system used for air- source heat pumps. There are numerous manufacturers, brands and models of warmth pumps available. They are rated by the Air Conditioning and Refrigerant Institute in line with their respective Coefficient of Performance (heating) and Energy Efficiency Ratio (cooling). ENERGY STAR qualified geoexchange pumps consume forty-sixty p.c less energy than a standard heat pump.

Heat Distribution Channel

Conventional ductwork is mostly used to distribute heated or cooled air from the geothermal heat pump throughout the building. A well-designed geoexchange system allows building occupants precise temperature management by area or by zone, with ideal humidity levels. The system needs no flue or chimney. There is no rooftop equipment or chilling towers that add weight to the structure or limit various roof styles like vegetated roofing. Their compact size requires significantly less interior storage space. The heated water coursing through the system can be utilised for extra building uses, like heating swimming pools and spas, melting sidewalk and parking ton ice and snow- even providing water for a car wash!

The biggest business geoexchange system in the planet is the Waterfront Office and Galt East Hotel complicated in Louisville, Kentucky. This 1.7 million and sq. foot complicated is fitted with a two,700 ton capability geoexchange system, at a price of $one,500 per ton. The project manager estimates that a conventional HVAC system with centrifugal chillers, cooling towers and insulated pipes would have price from $two,000 to $three,000 per ton. Using Geoexchange technology freed up about twenty five,000 square feet of additional business area that would otherwise are used for conventional equipment rooms. Energy savings are estimated at $25,000 per month whereas permitting individual temperature control to each room or suite. Annual maintenance costs are concerning 5 cents per sq. foot versus much higher average prices with standard HVAC systems.

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