Heating And Cooling Efficiency Of Geothermal Heat Pump Construction Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Heating needs of a system under or above the ground can be overwhelming, or inadequate for your needs at home. You might be running out of heat sources in winter, hence without exploring more reliable heat sources, such as the geothermal heat pumps, for your project; you will have problems handling it. However, natural sources of heat can be enough to sustain your heating or even cooling needs.

With the right mechanism provided for you, it is possible to tap from heat sources available and make utility of them in a very efficient manner. Scientific studies since the 1800s have been undertaken in the quest to develop a geothermal heat pump, and in the 1940s, there came a breakthrough that has seen a revolution in the energy sector after a more efficient source or heating and cooling, the geothermal heat pump having been introduced.

Getting the best pump for running your project units does not however, start and ends with just the name geothermal heat pump. There are various specifications you will need to know in terms of your power demand for running your project units. The efficiency of such pumps that depend on ground sourced or water sourced energy is indicated by a coefficient of performance, COP. This is specifically the heating ability of your geothermal heat pump. Its cooling efficiency is determined in terms of Energy Efficiency ratio, EER.

If you have the specific needs for your project units, then you will find it important to look for the COP and EER ratings done by Energy Star on your geothermal heat pump. Better performance energy pumps are rated in terms of COP and EER. You will find a lot of literature about the best geothermal heat pumps from the manufacturers attached information. Apart from the common knowledge that will be provided for you in this section, you will need to have some facts about your geothermal heat pump's performance index in terms of its energy generating capacity and cooling capacity.

Usually, the indices are provided to you in terms of coefficients. For a good pump, ensure that you choose one with at least 2.8 of COP, and 13.0 of EER. The COP and EER capacities of your geothermal heat pump are measured in Btu input and output, and Btu per hour respectively. With these indices taken into consideration, the efficiency of energy production and consumption should be well considered. This is because the ultimate objective of building a geothermal heat pump was to cut down the cost of producing household energy as well as the consumption of the energy.

Minimal or no energy wastage is the key consideration in the design of the geothermal heat pump. Natural energy produced by the sun is quite a lot and much of it is lost into the ground. The developments over the years in the attempt to design a heat pump were directed toward cost effective energy tapping measures, hence depending on the energy stored in the ground for domestic use. The geothermal heat pump works on this basis when producing heat for project units.

The design of the geothermal heat pump makes it reach the efficiency index that is best suited for home projects and indoor energy requirements. The technological specifics make the pump useful for both cooling and heating purposes, depending on your needs. The pump uses energy from the ground to achieve either heating or cooling purposes for the household. A geothermal heat pump has underground loop pipes which are the main units for heat exchange between the pump and the heat source. The two functions for this pump are reversible hence, making the heat pump more efficient for household heating and cooling.

The geothermal heat pump traps heat from the ground and transfers it for your domestic use such as water heating and even warming the house. When cooling is needed, the pump relies on the underground water, sourced by the pipes installed several feet under, to achieve a cooling effect.

With the mechanism of drawing heat from the ground, or depositing heat into the ground to provide heating or cooling for household needs, the geothermal heat pump is more efficient than the common electric resistance heating, or the air source heat pumps which are not as energy efficient as the geothermal ground dependent one. Even though the installation process may be a little bit expensive for the geothermal heat pump, the efficiency it has and the long life utility will be more efficient and economical for a household set up.

Evaluating a site for Your Geothermal Heat Pump

When choosing an appropriate site for your geothermal heat pump there are so many aspects about your site you should look into. The site choice needs to be done by an expert to ensure that the site is appropriate and favorable. Some of the aspects about the site will affect several things in design and suitability of your geothermal heat pump. The most important factor however, which you must consider includes geological factors, hydrological factors, as well as land availability without forgetting some spatial characteristics of your site. Each of the factors will either individually or as a cluster affect the choice and design of your geothermal heat pump.

Firstly, you should consider the geological aspects of the ground which is mainly its composition as well as the properties of the soil and rock on which you want to situate your Geothermal Heat Pump. These factors have an effect on the heat transfer rates as you make the ground loop and thus have very much importance. A point in case is soil which has excellent heat transfer characteristics that will need smaller amount of piping to collect a certain amount of heat as opposed to soil which has inferior heat transfer properties. This will greatly affect the design of your geothermal heat pump.

In addition to that, the geothermal heat pump building and designing will be affected by the amount of soil that is available. When working on grounds that have soils that are too shallow to be trenched or with extensively hard rock, you will require ground loops that are designed vertically as these will affect the overall design of your geothermal heat pump. Vertical designs will be easier on such grounds. On the other hand, the loops will be made horizontal if the soil is deep and has no rock outcrop which is an easier design to make for your geothermal heat pump.

Another important factor you should consider when choosing a geothermal heat pump site is hydrology. Availability of surface or ground water plays a very important role in deciding the loop type to use. Look at depth, volume and water quality as surface water bodies could provide a source of water for the open loop system of a geothermal heat pump. Alternatively it would be used as a storehouse for coils for closed loop piping system. If the water quality is favorable, ground water could be a source of water for open loop system for your geothermal heat pump though all regulations regarding discharge of ground water are met.

Still on the hydrological aspect, ensure that the supplier or installer of the open loop system of your geothermal heat pump has seen and studied the sites hydrology. This is to ensure that that the operation of the geothermal heat pump does not exhaust the reservoir or contaminate the ground water. There are little thing to smile about the ant freezing fluids circulated in the closed loop system as they hardly any environmental impact or hazard. So before you choose a site for a geothermal heat pump, carefully get an expert to do a good assessment of the water characteristics of the site

The location for your geothermal heat pump might be meeting every other requirement and very important also is the presence of adequate land on which to build it. Geothermal heat pump location will also be affected by the layout of your land, the landscape. Nonetheless, where underground utilities are located or even the sprinkler system will have an effect on the design of the geothermal heat pump. Generally the horizontal ground loops are used where there is adequate land as they are very economical are commonly used for new building constructions. On the other hand when you have insufficient land or where buildings are already present, vertical constructions which are more compact are used. This works to ensure minimal interference on the landscape.

In view of the above discussed issues it is important to know that the site for a geothermal heat pump should be chosen carefully. You cannot make one in an already developed city as it may not have space and the correct utilities to support it. Experts who will be involved in the design and installation of your geothermal heat pump must be involved in choosing the site for it. This is done to ensure that safety operation as well as it being economically viable especially where some utilities may not be readily available. Geothermal heat pump sites should also have very little impact on the environment especially contamination of he underground waters.

Geothermal Heat Pumps

Economics of geothermal heat pumps

Of all the renewable and energy saving sources discovered by man geothermal is the most therapeutic and salutary offering a haven of benefits and remedies to those who want to save the extra coin. By using an electric powered system geothermal heat pumps are able to tap the enormous amount of energy stored underground thus providing a constant source of heat that you can use in your residential or even commercial premises for heating and cooling.

These electric powered systems can either have an open or closed loop system which work almost always in similar way and providing equal benefits that will ensure you save the extra energy during any season. Alternatively, one can opt to install a Geothermal heat pump that uses horizontal ground loops instead of using one that utilizes a vertical loop. This ensures that you save some extra coin since the former cost less than the latter.

By utilizing water pipes buried beneath the earth's surface the Geothermal heat pumps are able to harness heat from the earth during winter and carry it through the electric system into you building. These systems work the other way round during summer by drawing heat from your building into the ground where it is stored for later use. This is not just a heating and cooling procedure for your building. There are other benefits accrued to the use of the Geothermal heat pumps. For example, the heat collected during summer can be used to provide hot water for use in the house while the extra is saved for use in winter. Absolutely amazing! By saving this extra energy that could otherwise have been wasted you save up to 50% of normal energy consumption.

There are economic incentives and policies aiming to encourage these energy efficient applications. For instance, the government and affiliated organization in the energy sector are committed to providing financial incentives in form of tax incentives, building incentives, rebates, installation incentives and so on. Currently, there is a 30% tax credit of the total cost of geothermal heat pumps installation placed in service after December 31, 2008.

This means that for all system placed after 2008 the taxpayer will not be required to settle the minimum credit for Geothermal heat pumps. In essence, these save you, the taxpayer the maximum credit of $2000. The economic incentives run to on or before the December 31, 2016. You will also be thrilled by the fact that for you to rip the benefit of such incentives the system does not necessarily need to be in the taxpayer's residential home. So go ahead and place your project while the usual limitations are removed and you are sure to save on the initial cost of project acquisition.

Other special incentives available to make sure you rip the economics of geothermal heat pumps include energy efficient mortgage loans from banks, mortgage companies and power providers. By saving the energy cost for each month, the extra amount of repayment to your mortgage will easily be paid or even exceeded over the course of the year.

With the earth providing almost all the energy requirements for both heating and cooling this energy source is not just economical it is perpetual. You are assured of a constant heat source through all season. With attractive utilities and incentives being offered for the purchase and acquisition of these heat pumps you are sure to save on the initial cost. The fact that the pipes are placed underground also add to the pudding and icing on the cake by ensuring that you are saved of the extra cost of vandalism and other cost units that you would have incurred if on the surface. You can now kiss the expensive boiler and coolant goodbye. The Geothermal heat pumps are not just durable they are also free of maintenance expenses.

Geothermal heat pumps do not just lower energy consumptions, operation and maintenance costs; they also provide quality air conditioning exactly when and where you require them. For example, they allow you to heat and cool various part of the same building at the same time with individual room control. They are also environmentally friendly. The use of the underground pipes and sealed cooling systems minimizes air pollution and destruction of the ozone layer. The fact that geothermal utilizes ground heat also allow for the conservation of other non renewable energy resources while at the same time ensuring you are saved from high operating cost that are usually associated with high peak demands.

Installing Geothermal Heat Pumps

Geothermal Heat Pumps may be more costly to install than other conventional water heating systems but you should put in mind that properly installed Geothermal Heat Pumps deliver more energy than conventional systems. Geothermal Heat Pumps work well in constant underground temperatures and if you live in such areas, it will give you excellent service as an effective water heater for domestic and other uses. Your installer has to determine the best type of ground to install the system depending on the geological and hydrological characteristics of your land.

He should consider the land's underground composition and properties for installation of the system in a rocky ground is different from the installation in a ground with deep and non-rocky soil. Note that in a rocky or where the soil is too shallow, the best ground loop is the vertical ground loop rather than horizontal ground loop for the piping and your installer should take this into consideration. Soil with good heat conductivity properties requires less piping to gather a certain amount of heat than soil with poor heat conductivity.

While installing it's also very important to consider the hydrological characteristics of your land. Soil water content and availability of water plays a part in deciding the type of ground loop to be used for there is the open-loop and closed-loop systems. You should note, as an important point, that, underground water and surface water bodies come in handy with the open-loop system as they are a good source of water for the system.

Therefore your Geothermal Heat Pump installer should put into consideration factors such as depth, volume and water quality of the ground where the system is to be installed for it to work efficiently. The ground water is useful for piping in a closed-loop system and, also important is the quality of the water for it to be used in the open-loop system as a source of water; it should meet the ground water discharge regulations.

Therefore before purchasing your Geothermal Heat Pump, especially the open loop system, your installer should properly investigate the drainage system of your land as well as the availability of ground water to prevent environmental hazards such as water contamination. However, the closed-loop system poses little or no danger to the environment.

The Geothermal Heat Pump designer, that is, installer should be aware of your land's layout, the landscaping and the location of underground utilities for they contribute to a large extent in the design of your system. In a newly developed land or land where new buildings are being set up, horizontal ground loop systems are the best since enough land can be set up for installation of the system. Vertical ground loop system is better where there are existing buildings because it minimizes the disturbance of landscape since you don't have to set up more land for the system. There is also the compact horizontal ground loop system which can be installed as the vertical ground loop system.

With your Geothermal Heat Pump comes the ground heat exchanger system made up of a closed or open loop pipe system. The most common is the closed loop, in which high density polythene pipes are buried at specified depths in the ground which are then filled with water that acts as a heat exchanger. This water, however, does not freeze even at very low temperatures-antifreeze water solution-and has no danger to the environment, thus, non hazardous to you. During winter, the fluid in the pipe extracts heat from the ground and through conduction the heat is carried into your building. In the summer the heat is taken from your building and is carried to the cooler ground. This ensures that in every season, whether winter or summer, the system meets your domestic needs.

The air delivery ductwork distributes the heated or cooled air through your house's duct work, just like conventional systems. The box that contains the indoor coil and fan is sometimes called the air handler because it moves the air in your house through the heat pump for heating or cooling. The air handler contains a large blower and a filter just like conventional air conditioners. You should find a qualified installer for your system for proper installation of the system because of the technical knowledge and equipment needed for the installation. To get a qualified installer you should contact your system provider who will get you a qualified installer or do it himself. The installers should be certified and experienced. Providers of the Geothermal Heat Pump who have been several years in the business are the best suppliers both for the system and the installation services.