As a person concerned about renewable energy, we’d like to invite you to a very special house. The first thing you’ll notice as you step into it is the comfortable temperature. If you stay for some months, you’ll see the trees outside changing their colours, from green to red to white and to green again.
But you won’t feel any discomfort at all at any moment. You’ll naturally try to find the furnace responsible for that warmth, but you won’t succeed. You won’t be able to hear any noise that reveals the action of a heating system.
You will eventually come to the conclusion that the house is somehow preserved by nature, connected to the Earth itself. And you’ll be right. Would you like that house to be yours? You don’t have to wait to an idyllic future.
GreenMatch.co.uk provides you with a free of charge and with no obligation service that allows you to request quotes and compare different systems, so that you can find the most suitable for you. Just fill in the form to request offers.
The Engineering Behind the Miracle: Geothermal Energy Pumped into your Home
A ground source heat pump has a quite simple functioning. In fact, it works the same way your fridge does: it transfers heat from one space to another. The main difference relies on what those spaces are. In the case of the fridge, it carries heat from inside the fridge to the kitchen.
A ground source heat pump (GSHP) transfers heat between your house and the ground. It can work in both ways, that is, it can bring heat from the ground to the inside of your house, or extract it from the house and release it on the ground.
Of course, such a device requires a considerably complex installation. Nevertheless, the part of that installation that goes through the house is quite simple: it consists of a distribution system (composed by pipes, radiators, etc) and a compressor, that keeps the fluid that absorbs and releases the heat circulating.
The problems show up at the external part of the GSHP installation. It is necessary to excavate and to distribute an extensive net of pipes (those that will take heat to or from the ground). Fortunately, this doesn't generate major environmental issues.
Read More: Ground Source Heat Pump Facts
Being a GSHP a versatile and eco friendly heating/cooling system, it also has its disadvantages (as shown above regarding the installation). So let’s list both its pros and its cons.
Advantages of Ground Source Heat Pumps
The following list comprises what we consider are some of the most outstanding advantages of GSHP:
- Their operation costs are very low compared to those of direct electric heating systems. That is due to the fact that the only basic element of a simple GSHP that requires the use of electric energy is the compressor.
- GSHP don’t produce carbon emissions on site and don’t involve the use of any fuels. Additionally, if a sustainable source of electricity is used to power them, they don’t produce carbon emissions at all.
- GSHP can provide both cooling and heating, unlike air conditioners, which demand the use of a furnace for heating. That is achieved by means of a reversing valve that changes the direction of circulation of the fluid.
- Geothermal energy (the energy source for GSHP) is constant and inexhaustible (there are almost no fluctuations in its capability for heating and cooling), is available worldwide and has a massive potential (estimated at 2 terawatts).
- If the GSHP installation is well designed, it will increase the value of your property.
Read More: The Benefits of Ground Source Heat Pumps
Disadvantages of Ground Source Heat Pumps
The list below shows the probably most concerning disadvantages related to GSHP:
- The installation costs of a GSHP are considerably higher than the costs of installing a traditional furnace and air conditioner. That requires a quite expensive initial investment (however, it will be covered by the energy savings generated during the operation of the system).
- Geothermal energy is location specific. That means that it is not equally distributed. Besides that, its exploitation and transport systems (such as GSHP) can’t carry that energy long distances without significant energy losses.
- A closed-loop GSHP use chemical agents throughout the entire system. An open-loop, on the other hand, demands large sums of water.