Heating and air conditioning systems have two tasks: keep us warm in winter and cool in summer. And geothermal offers 2 distinct advantages: free thermal energy from the earth and dramatically improved environmental impact.
How does it work?
Heat or correctly thermal energy is pumped, from the earth to the house for heating, and from the house to the earth for cooling. The heat pump equipment accomplishes that by bringing energy to a temperatur level where the heat exchange can naturally occur. Thermal energy flows naturally from higher temperatur level to lower temperatur level. Therefore the heat exchanger or radiator in the house is hot in winter and cold in summer. Consequently the heat exchanger in the earth is cold in winter and hot in summer to collect heat from the earth or dissipate heat to the earth respectively. And yes, geothermal heat pumps are revesable and pump thermal energy to the house in winter and from the house to the earth in summer.
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Benefits of Geothermal Heating and Cooling:
- Thermal energy is available in abundance and is free! Consequently, only the power to move the energy from or to the earth needs to be paid for.
- The temperature level of the earth is constant and therefore more favorable for drawing and dumping energy than the temperature of the surrounding air, which is the opposite of what we need, hot in summer when we need to cool and cold in winter when we need to heat. The earth has a constant temperatur of about 40 – 70 degree Fahrenheit depending on location and depth below the surface.
- Not burning fossil fuels, geothermal systems contribute positively to reduce environmental pollution.
- Check out our Geothermal Investment/Cost Savings page for that important aspect!
Geothermal system for heating and air conditioning are composed of three distinct components:
- Inhouse air distribution, typically forced air systems with air handler and duct work as we know them from traditional heating and air conditioning systems.
- The geothermal heat pump, reversable for heating and cooling. These units are offered as ‘All-In-One’ units, or as ‘Split’ units known from traditional heating and air systems with an outsite compressor unit and inside evaporator coil unit
- The geothermal or ground loop or earthside heat exchangers collects or disposes of thermal energy.
Contact our Geo Experts for a solution of your geothermal heating and air conditioning project!
Ground Loop Configurations:
To collect or dispose of heat in the surrounding ground, water is used as means to transport the heat. The water is pumped through PVC piping what is burried in the ground depending on the local sitiuation:
The horizontal loop is realized with multiple trenches of burried PVC pipe or a wide trench
where the same length of pipe is laid out as a slinky.
The vertical loop is used where the surrounding geography does not allow for long trenches to
hold the PVC pipes. Vertical loops are placed in drilled holes similar to well drilling.
The pond loop uses the thermal properties of a pond to collect or dispose of heat.
Here the piping is place to the bottom of a pond.
The open loop design utilizes ground water directly as transport media for heat.
Fresh ground water is pumped to the geo heat pump and disposed of into the ground.