Geothermal Heat Pump for Efficient Cooling and Heating

Geothermal Heat Pump

Geothermal Heat Pump

A geothermal heat pump is an alternative to the more expensive heating and cooling system used in homes. It is a system that could pump heat from the ground during days of very low temperature, and a system that could pump heat to the ground during hot days.

The earth was created so that men, women, animals, plants and other living things may survive. That is, against everything that nature could throw in its kindest and worst times and even during wrath. The earth has everything that a person needs, from the most readily available to those that need discovering and some technical works. Included in the latter is the geothermal heat pump.

The geothermal heat pump is a heating and cooling system. It regulates the temperature through a system that is used in order to move heat from the ground and up, or vice versa.

Parts Of The Geothermal Heat Pump System And Their Functions

This type of equipment has a condenser and an evaporator coil. The condenser is the outdoor unit. The evaporator coil is the one for the indoor. The refrigerant is the substance that transports the heat that comes from one area, like the ground, to another area. The key to change the temperature is either to compress the heat or to expand the same.

Compressing it will make the temperature higher and turn it into high-pressure liquid. Expanding it will lower the temperature and change it into a low-pressure gas. This gas is the one that absorbs the heat. To understand this better, one must know that even during winter, when the air is cold, such air still contains heat. The temperature must be below -200 degrees in the measure of Fahrenheit for it not to be able to carry heat. But there is no record of such temperature in the 48 states in the US. So anything higher than this temperature still carries heat.

Applying the function of the geothermal heat pump in real life, this heat pump can make the worst winter tolerable and bearable. What a geothermal heat pump does is to extract heat from the air in the ground and to transfer this inside the house. The purpose of this is to serve as a centralized heat system that will regulate the temperature inside the house.

The geothermal heat pump¸ as mentioned above does not only work to bring in heat from the ground and up, to warm a freezing house. It also works the other way around.

In the United States, summer could really be hot. If the temperature drops to way below the freezing point during winter, the temperature during summer also rises up to uncomfortable heat. But even when the surface of the earth is scorching hot, several feet below the ground still has almost the same temperature. It can be easily concluded that this is because the heat of the sun, which is closest to the surface during summer, does not reach the inner ground of the earth. This is what a geothermal heat pump counts on when cooling down a blistering heat inside a house.

To understand this better, one may compare it with a cave. For those who have gone to caves anywhere in the world, they would know that the temperature inside of it is always warmer during winter compared to the air above or outside of it. And during summer, it is cooler. That is because the factors that influence the air temperature, like the sun, ice, etc., do not reach the inner cave so much. Same goes with the inner grounds of the earth. The geothermal heat pump exchanges the heat on earth to that underneath using a ground heat exchanger.

Kinds Of Geothermal Heat Pumps

There are at least three types of a geothermal heat pump, depending on how it is assembled or installed. The first uses the closed-loop system. This kind of system, the horizontal kind) is commonly used in residential establishments. This is the most cost-effective of all, and thus, houses can afford it easier. This system is good when there is big enough land available for installation.

For commercial establishments, the same system, but vertical, is more commonly used. In commercial places, the land is not so much available as compared to residential places. Thus, the horizontal closed-loop system is practically not used.

If, however, there is a body of water nearby, the pond or lake closed-loop system is the best system of geothermal heat pump to use because this is the most cost-effective.

The second system used in installing a geothermal heat pump is the open-loop system. In this system, the heat exchange fluid that is used is the surface body water. This is responsible for the direct circulation through the system of geothermal heat pump. The material used here, as mentioned, is water. Thus, this can only be feasible if there is enough supply of clean water and when all the requisites for groundwater discharge are satisfied.

The third kind of system used to operate a geothermal heat pump is the hybrid system. This kind of system is not limited to sources underground. It combines the latter and other geothermal resources, like an outdoor air. This system is used when the place needs more cooling than heating.

The counterpart of the geothermal heat pump is the solar power released and generated through the heat of the sun. Both are similar in a way that geothermal energy and solar energy are both natural sources that will enable running of a heating and a cooling system. They are both widely available. They can also be an unlimited source. But as some say, the solution to the problem of expensive energy cost is not up, but down. The latter, through a geothermal heat pump, can cut one’s electric bill to a whopping 70%.

The geothermal heat pump is very efficient and provides clean heating and cooling to a house or establishment, and is quiet unlike conventional air conditioning units or heaters.

Ground Source Heat Pump: An Overview

Ground Source Heat Pump

Ground Source Heat Pump

As the awareness about green energy is increasing, more and more people are turning towards renewable sources of energy, including solar panels, wind panels, or geothermal heat pumps to power their homes. A ground source heat pump extracts the geothermal energy accumulated in the ground or earth to produce large amount of heat. A water source heat pump provides a better alternative to combustible fuels which cause greenhouse gas emissions and global warming.

A water source heat pump utilizes pipes that are installed deep in your outdoor space to extract the stored heat energy in the ground. This advanced technology is used in radiators, heating water and home heating. By circulating a mixture of water and antifreeze in the ground loop, the heat stored deep in the ground is transferred into the fluid, which is then passed into the heat pump. This highly efficient renewable energy technology is gaining popularity in both residential as well as commercial settings. Apart from its environmental benefits, geothermal heat pumps are cost-effective and sustainable solution to the increasing energy demands.

What is a water source heat pump?

Awater source or ground source heat pump is a unit that utilizes earth or ground as source of heat to deliver both heating and cooling effect in the homes, and also for heating water. It can be used in winters as well as summers. It works in the same way as refrigerator or air conditioning, but in a reverse fashion and with greater power.

How does it work?

The earth is the centre of many chemical reactions, which produce large amount of heat that can be converted in to energy form. Geothermal heat pump works on the principle that the constant heat energy retained by the earth can be transferred in to the building or home to provide a total solution for domestic hot water and all heating needs.

The collecting of this ground source heat is done by installing a series of pipes or loops in the ground several feet down, where the temperature is more constant. The ground loop contains antifreeze (mixture of water and glycol). The ground heat source increases the temperature of water running in the pipes and the returning warm liquid is fed into a heat exchanger. This energy is used for heating purpose. The steam and the hot water can be brought to the surface and utilized for providing power to residential areas.

What are the benefits of using geothermal heat pumps?

The major benefit of using ground-source heat pump is energy savings. Geothermal systems will automatically drop your electricity requirements and will cut down your heating and cooling costs. They require less maintenance and usually have longer life than the combustion boilers. Due to reduced carbon emissions, ground source heat pumps are green alternative to traditional sources of energy.

The ground source heat pump prices vary according to the size of the geothermal pump, which in turn is calculated keeping in mind the size of the home, insulation and required amount of heating & cooling in the home. Get your residential heat pump installed by International Ground Source Heat Pump Association accredited trainers and installers.

The Basics: Geothermal Heat Pump Manufacturers

Spectrum Geothermal Heat Pump

Spectrum Geothermal Heat Pump

In a nutshell, all geothermal heat pump manufacturers work around the following principle they produce a pump that can take in heat from the steam or supersaturated water from underneath the surface of the earth. This kind of heating mechanism proved to be truly useful and tested ever since the Roman era, so there is no reason to doubt its effectiveness. The mechanism that has been tested through the years works to the advantage of the geothermal heat pump manufacturers.

To further qualify, all heating mechanisms or energy source that make use of underground heating sources. Years back, it only refers to heat source that is situated close to the surface of the earth, but now, with the advancement of technology, geothermal heat pump manufacturers are able to find a way to get heat from greater distances even without relying on the naturally occurring steam or water stream from the surface. The following is the mechanism:

1.      Coiled pipes buried underneath the ground surface. This serves as mechanism for heat transmission with the ground. The liquid refrigerant is supplied through these coiled pipes.

2.      The liquid refrigerant is driven into the coiled pipes by a high-energy pump. This is important because the refrigerant will not naturally flow into the coiled pipes.

3.      Usually, geothermal heat pump manufacturers include air handlers which serves as the air conditioner so that it will have the acceptable properties before entering the house and before running the turbine.

General Expectations from Geothermal Heat Pump Manufacturers

Expectations should be set early on. Usually, a geothermal system should be efficient enough to keep a building warm during the coldest of winter days or in maintaining a bearable and cool temperature during the summer. There are other conventional ways of doing these – using equipment for air heating and conditioning that rely on electricity or fossil fuels as energy source. Geothermal heat pump manufacturers know for a fact that geothermal systems brag of savings of up to 70 percent that can be derived from the use of geothermal pumps.

Aside from the savings and the usual comfort being promised, other aspects should also be included in choosing geothermal heat pump manufacturers. First, it should be remembered that no combustion reactions should be involved in the process. Also, the best geothermal heat pump manufacturers would offer extended warranties due to the fact that most systems are known for the durability. Lastly, the system should require minimal maintenance, too.

Setting the Criteria: Choosing the Best Geothermal Heat Pump Manufacturers

In choosing the best heat pump manufacturers, take note of the following considerations:

1.      It is better to choose flexible geothermal heat pumps. Some manufacturers will offer a mechanism that specializes only either in heating or in cooling. It is always better to choose a mechanism that can do both.

2.      Always look at the track record of the geothermal heat pump manufacturers. Go for manufacturers that give hands-on service with a reliable professional assistance in installing and designing of the heat pumps because this process can be intricate. Proper design and expert installation can assure you of large margin of savings.

3.      Internal assessment should be done by the geothermal heat pump manufacturers. They should make an ocular inspection to point out or determine the highest and lowest temperature being experienced inside the structure. This will assure that they will install a geothermal system that has enough capacity to handle the temperature inside the building. Proper capacity is important in addressing issues directly related to efficiency of the system.

4.      The ground from which the geothermal energy is going to be derived should also be inspected by the geothermal heat pump manufacturers. Properties like stability of temperature or capability to conduct heat should be determined. Several ocular inspections may be required in order to determine the system’s feasibility and appropriateness. The manufacturer should have the most sophisticated instruments to gauge these properties accordingly.

Common Geothermal Heat Pump Disadvantages

Geothermal Water-to-Water Heat Pump

Geothermal Water-to-Water Heat Pump

First things first – it will no longer come as a surprise that the first of the many geothermal heat pump disadvantages is actually directly connected to the installation cost. Many manufacturers, designers, and installation units promise efficiency, reliability, low maintenance cost and several other advantages that geothermal systems can bring you in the long run. In addition, warranties are given despite the fact that an average geothermal system can last up two half a century on the average. These are actually part of the marketing pitch due to the fact that one has to prepare a fortune just to avail of a geothermal heat pump system.

In the United States, it is considered to be one of the most costly heating a cooling system. The usual range for an average sized home falls within $ 10,000 to $ 25,000. However, estimates may vary. Usually, labor, design, and planning are not yet included in the estimates. Just like all other geothermal heat pump disadvantages, this can be remedied by scaling down or installing a smaller heating or cooling unit.

Installation – What’s the Commotion? Geothermal Heat Pump Disadvantages

Imagine digging a hole that is 150 to 250 feet deep just to install coiled pipes. This bears one of the usual geothermal heat pump disadvantages. For one, the process cannot be done overnight. And for sure, in the course of installation, it will cause disturbance not just to the community of human beings – it also alters the natural processes in ecosystems surrounding it.

Much has been said about the cost effectiveness and efficiency of geothermal systems. However, no one can deny the geothermal heat pump disadvantages because of the required degree of disturbance within and around the vicinity of the structure being considered. In the process, some trees have to be removed and several organisms have to perish or deprived of their natural habitat during the course of installation.

Environmental Setbacks – Geothermal Heat Pump Disadvantages

Usually, geothermal systems rely on refrigerants for the efficient transfer of energy and heat from the ground to the indoor facility. This is where one of the geothermal heat pump disadvantages factors in. The coiled pipes that are buried underground are used to handle the refrigerants, mainly. In the process of conveying these refrigerants, the pipes are exposed to damage because it is mainly composed of metals like copper. These corrode easily when exposed to refrigerants. Therefore, alternate materials of construction should be considered in the process. Corroded metals have further implications – one, they are impossible to remedy due to the fact that they are buried deep, and two, the corroded metals can contaminate the ground.

One of the geothermal heat pump disadvantages is irreversible and has bigger implications. The use of refrigerants in the process of heating and cooling entails the production of more chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). These CFCs are the main cause of destruction of the ozone layer. CFCs have been phased out in ordinary refrigerators and air conditioners. However, for geothermal systems, an alternative is yet to be discovered.

Emission of Carbon Dioxide – Geothermal Heat Pump Disadvantages

In general, it is said that geothermal systems are clean, reliable, and dwells on renewable sources of energy. However, there are geothermal heat pump disadvantages that are directly connected to emissions, too. For one, it is not solely driven by heat that is originating from underneath the ground. In the course of operation, there is still a need to tap electrical energy. It is of general knowledge that electricity is mainly derived from the burning of fossil fuels and coal. The dependence on electricity may be less, but still, it uses electricity just like any ordinary or conventional water heater or air conditioner.

Mainly, the list of geothermal heat pump disadvantages is actually way shorter than the conventional indoor heating or cooling mechanism. But still, the fact remains that there is still a certain degree of dependence to fossil fuels and coal fired energy. For one, there is a significant amount of energy that is only dissipated as heat without even reaching the structure that needs to be warmed or cooled.

It is only a matter of choice. In the process of selecting the heating mechanism, one should carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages.

Geothermal Heat Pump Cost – General Definitions

Geocomfort Geothermal Heat Pumps

Geocomfort Geothermal Heat Pumps

Savings that can be derived from geothermal systems will readily cover up for the geothermal heat pump cost entailed by the installation. This is due to the fact that this sophisticated technology derives the power generated from a green and renewable energy source. Geothermal energy is also known to be reliable, clean, maintenance-free, and durable.

Aside from the materials needed for the installation, geothermal heat pump cost may also include the mechanism for extraction of heat from the ground. This mechanism involves the concentrating the heat energy so that it can provide the necessary heating that is required within the structure. Usually, efficiency can be truly high considering the geothermal heat pump cost. Oftentimes, the heat generated is 400 percent of the original energy input. The heating cost from the operations can be reduced by up to fifty percent.

One good thing from investing in the geothermal heat pump is the fact that it is truly versatile. It can be used in heating cold winter days. By simply reversing the usual process, without any additional geothermal heat pump cost, the same system installed can actually be efficient enough to cool the hottest summer days.

Expectations and Projections – Geothermal Heat Pump Cost

Geothermal energy systems rely mostly of ground source or exchange of heat and energy with the ground. Underground pipes are usually run by electricity. The system for heating or cooling follows a simple mechanism – transfer of heat between the ground and the internal structure or building. Despite the geothermal heat pump cost, this proves to be truly practical since the ground temperature is very stable and reliable in maintaining the comfortable temperature range year in and year out.

To make matters simple to understand, the heat within the system is not really created. As stated in one of the laws of thermodynamics, energy, which in this case is heat, is only transferred or circulated within the system. This is facilitated by a refrigerant or a kind of substance that is highly sensitive to temperature change, which makes it truly efficient in conveying or transferring heat. Even if one has to really invest in terms of geothermal heat pump cost it can be assured that the investment is truly worth it due to the fact that it is identified as one of the most efficient ways of transferring heat and this can be reflected in terms of savings.

It must be noted that initial cost of investment can be truly stunning. A heat pump’s value today is at $ 7,500 at the maximum, depending on the chosen model. On the other hand, digging and installing of mechanism can be up to $ 25,000. This excludes the ocular inspections, planning, and design stages of the operation. Despite the geothermal heat pump cost, this system is undeniably one of the best.

Coverage – Geothermal Heat Pump Cost

In choosing the best service provider for geothermal systems installations, one must take note of the usual coverage of geothermal heat pump cost. Usually, the following are commonly included in the overall expenses:

  • The equipment to be installed can be usually housed in one indoor structure. This includes all pumps, pipes, and all moving parts necessary. Usually, there is no need to come up with an outdoor structure because the operation is generally noiseless and emission free. It is also important to note that the unit does not even take too much space.
  • Also, geothermal heat pump cost will have to cover the digging operations. The coiled pipes that should be installed will have to be buried underground and the depth should approximately be 150 to 250 feet. This should be strategically positioned so as to maximize potentials. It might help if the pipes are near any naturally occurring water source. Usually, this part of the operation will entail professional intervention.