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What is a Ground Source Heat Pump?

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  • Written By: Jason C. Chavis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 19 November 2016
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By utilizing the natural features of the Earth, a ground source heat pump can control the ability to heat and cool an area. A ground source heat pump uses the concept of geothermal energy. To utilize geothermal power as a heating system, the heat pump is placed somewhere within the upper 10 feet (3.05 m) of the Earth's surface where the temperature remains stabilized between 50&deg to 61°F (about 10&deg to 16°C) year round. This means that the system will heat one's house or building during the winter and cool it during the summer by acting as a heat sink.

To build a ground source heat pump, a system of copper or polyethylene piping must be placed under the ground and filled with a refrigerant. As the pump moves the fluid through the piping, it is cooled or warmed by the ground, ultimately bringing the temperature stabilization forces into the room. This concept is known as direct exchange.

Companies that build geothermal energy heating systems design the process in one of two ways: water-to-air or water-to-water transfer. Water-to-air pumps are reminiscent of standard air conditioning units, using the cooling and heating components of the ground source heat pump to adjust the temperature of the air through ventilation. Water-to-water systems, on the other hand, work more like a traditional boiler, heating water pipes that run throughout the building.

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One of the greatest potentials for ground source heat pump technology is the fact that it is considered one of the modern green heating systems available to consumers. Since the systems do not use any fuel or chemicals to heat or cool, the environmental impact is basically negligible. Traditional forms of heating and cooling use combustion to heat the water and air, while cooling mechanisms commonly use freon, a compound dangerous to the atmosphere. Ground source heat pump systems are estimated to save the average home 5,500 tons of carbon emissions according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The first use of geothermal energy in the form of ground pumps came in the 1940s, but were relatively expensive. As of the early 21st century, the costs of each unit had dropped to roughly $2,500 US Dollars (USD) per ton of capacity. This factor has prompted interest in the technology throughout many sectors of the economy.

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Jasha
Post 1

Since it was necessary to plan the budget for the installation of heat pump, I found the cost and started managing my finances accordingly.

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