Geothermal

GEO-THERMAL HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS

A geothermal heat pump system is a heating and an air conditioning system that uses the Earth’s ability to store heat in the ground and water thermal masses. This system will take advantage of a land mass as a heat exchanger to either heat or cool a building structure. These systems operate on a very simple premise: the ground below the frost line is approximately 50 °F (10 °C) year round and a water-source heat pump uses that available heat in the winter and puts heat back into the ground in the summer.

Geothermal systems differ from conventional furnaces or boilers in their ability to transfer heat versus the standard method of producing heat. As energy costs and pollution concerns continue to rise, geothermal heat pump systems provide a solution to both of these concerns. One particular advantage is that geothermal systems use electricity produced from renewable sources to heat space and water much more efficiently than electric heaters. This allows buildings to be heated with renewable energy without transporting and burning biomass on site, producing bio-gas for use in furnaces or relying solely upon solar heating.

Geothermal heat pump systems are surprisingly simple and do not require high tech components.

COMPONENTS

Geothermal systems require three primary components:

1. a “loop field” on the property
2. a liquid pump pack
3. a water-source heat pump

A loop field can be installed horizontally or vertically on the property. The purpose of the loop field is to transfer heat to and from the ground. The size depends on the size of the building that the system is heating or cooling. Typically, one loop has the capacity of one ton, or 12,000 British thermal units, per hour (BTU/h), or 3.5 kilowatts. An average house will range from 3 to 5 tons (10 to 18 kW) of capacity.

The second component is a liquid pump pack, which sends the water through the loop field and the water-source heat pump. An example of an installed liquid pump pack can be seen in the illustration at left.

The water-source heat pump replaces the existing furnace or boiler. Heat from the loop field is transferred to the heat pump for heating the structure. Heat pumps have the ability to capture heat at one temperature reservoir and transfer it to another temperature reservoir. Refrigerators are a type of a heat pump. Heat is transferred from the refrigerator’s compartments to the outside.

COST AND SAVINGS

The initial cost of installing a Geothermal Heat Pump system can be two to three times that of a conventional heating system in most residential applications, new construction or existing. In retrofits, the cost of installation is effected by the square footage of living area, the home’s age, insulation characteristics, the geology of the area, and location of the home property. For new construction, proper duct system design and mechanical air exchange should be considered in initial system cost. These systems can save the average family from 400-1400 $/year, reducing the average heating and cooling costs by 35-70% per household. The cost of installation may be reduced by many governmental programs which are now being offered to qualified home owners.


McBride Electric Heating & Air

Also Offers the Following Products:

HEPA Filter Systems

Combination Air Conditioning and Dehumidifying Systems

Ultra Violet Lighting

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