Energy 101: Geothermal Heat Pumps

Energy 101: Geothermal Heat Pumps


MR. : We all want to save money heating or
cooling our house or office, right? The answer may be under your feet, literally. Much of
the heating and cooling can come from the ground, below the surface, with something
called a geothermal heat pump. You see, below the frost line about 10 feet down, the Earth
maintains a nearly constant temperature of 54 degrees. We can tap into this energy to
provide heating in the winter and cooling in the summer. OK, now, here’s how it works. Bury a loop
of pipes called a heat exchanger just below the surface, and fill them with water or a
water and antifreeze solution. During the winter months, the air is usually cooler than
the temperature below ground. The solution circulates in a loop underground and absorbs
the Earth’s heat. This heat is brought to the surface and transferred to a heat pump.
The heat pump warms the air, and then your regular heating system warms the air some
more to a comfortable temperature. Finally, ducts circulate the air to the various rooms. Now, a huge benefit is that the geothermal
system doesn’t have to work as hard to make people inside comfortably warm, and you save
lots of money on your heating bill. In the summertime, the system works in reverse. When
it’s hot outside the temperature below the surface is cooler than the summer heat. So
the fluid in the loop absorbs heat in the building and sends it underground. The ground’s
lower temperature cools it, and it’s circulated again and again. Now you’re saving money
on air conditioning. Now, this church uses a large geothermal heat
pump to heat and cool the building. It has a very big parking lot, which lets it spread
out is loop horizontally. But if you don’t have all that space, you can go straight down
and use a vertical loop system instead. Geothermal heat pumps can be used just about
anywhere in the U.S. because all areas have nearly constant shallow-ground temperatures,
although systems in different locations will have varying degrees of efficiency and cost
savings. The constant temperature of the Earth just
below our feet is a sustainable resource literally in our own backyard. It’s a clean energy
source ready for us to use to heat and cool our homes and buildings while lowering our
utility bills.

31 COMMENTS

    @rabidbigdog Most manufacturers say that 1 in 28 new homes have these pumps. This is great progress, but it is not anywhere near close to the majority of the population. The 30 percent tax credits last only until 2016, so use them ASAP! The upfront cost is a big hurdle for most people. What if two or more neighbors shared the loop cost though? I think they could really reduce the upfront cost while getting one of the best energy efficient options.

    Geothermal systems really do work now add a touch of solar energy with geothermal energy and zero out your energy costs for a much smaller investment than just using solar. I did and my 5,000sqft house with swimming pool and two hot tubs costs me less than $400 a year in all utility bills

    In what city do you live, so we know what climate you are in? And what style of system do you have–horizontal or vertical and buried at what depths? Thank you for the comment, Mr. Marlow. To anyone who posts later about their results of installing and using a geothermal system, please include the answers to my questions just asked.

    This is a ground source heat pump not a 'geothermal heat pump'. Geothermal energy is from the earths core- i.e. volcanoes etc. Iceland uses lots of geothermal energy- because it can!

    To be particular about it: Yes, it is formally called geothermal energy. But no, it's not really geothermal, but solar energy you use. With the ground as a heat storage. If the system would depend on the heat-replenishment from the interior of the earth, it would not work, because it's too less heat flow.

    Would have been nice had the DOE ref'd the church specifics (and got the facts right).  It is the Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Wheat Ridge, CO.  The narrator also screwed up on the ground loop, it is not a horizontal loop but is vertical (drilled); consists of 28 boreholes that are 400' deep under the parking lot. We did not have enough space for a horizontal or pit loop.  System has been up and running since 2009 with very low utility bills.  Major Geothermal designed it, Major Heating installed the mechanical system and designed the controls, and Major Geothermal did the functional testing.

    $1 billion invested in 15 years assures ongoing free geothermal energy of 100 Gigawatts!

    http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21628216-geothermal-power-sheds-its-hot-spring-roots-head-steam

    Поздрави на американските ни колеги от Геосолар В-63 българският производител на качествени термопомпи.Very good clip!!!

    Great video. Hope OSHA don't see the guys in the trenches with no sloping, shoring, or trench boxes being used….

    0:58 what does he mean by " your normal heating system warms the air some more"? isnt ur heat pump ur heating system only?
    if anyone can clarify this pls

    the problem by the vertical loop systems is the constant temperature changes in underground, that can worsen the quality of groundwater!!

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