Geothermal home heating systems, also known as ground source heat pumps, is a system that transfers the temperature from the ground to your home.
It uses stored solar energy from the ground beneath to provide energy for heating and hot water. Though the term Geothermal heating, as it is frequently referred to, sounds as though it uses hot rock energy it is, in most cases, stored solar energy.
In winter the heat pump collects the Earth’s natural heat through pipes, called a loop, and installed below the surface of the ground or submersed in a pond or lake. Fluid circulating through the loop carries the heat to your home. There, a compressor and a heat exchanger, driven by electricity, concentrate the Earth’s heat and release it inside the home at a higher temperature. The heat is carried to different rooms by ductwork.
The process is reversed in the summer. The underground loop draws excess heat from your home so it can be absorbed by the Earth, using it as a heat sink. The system cools your home just as a refrigerator keeps your food cool – by pulling heat from the interior, not by blowing in cold air.
Your geothermal heat pump can be either vertical or horizontal. In a vertical system the pipes may go to a depth of up to 650 feet.. this will minimize the amount of land surface required and keep disruption to a minimum.
Vertical coils are ideal for installation where space is limited, fitted to a depth of up to 200 metres minimising the land required on the surface, keeping disruption to a minimum.
The loop can be closed or open and horizontal or vertical.
An open loop system uses two wells. It draws water from one, passes it through the heat exchanger and then discharges the water into the second well. It takes about two or three gallons a minute per ton of capacity for effective heat exchange.
A closed loop system uses water, or a water/antifreeze solution to collect or distribute the heat.
A closed loop horizontal geothermal heat installation involves burying pipes in trenches. A closed loop vertical system uses a U-tube installed in a well drilled 100 to 400 feet deep
A third closed loop type is a pond closed loop. Closed loop coils can be placed on the bottom of a pond or stream with enough depth and flow. Fluid is pumped in the same way as a closed loop ground system. The economics of This geothermal heat system is very economical, and without impact on the pond.
A geothermal home heating system makes sense because:
- It uses a completely free and renewable source of energy
- It works with and not against nature and has virtually no environmental impact
- CO2 emissions are reduces
- Low maintenance costs are low
- Geothermal home heating systems add value to property
- Compatible with most modern heating systems – ideal for under floor heating
- You get up to 70% fuel bill savings
- Easy to use