A Clean Technology Development Firm

What is Geothermal?

A geothermal heating system, or a geo-exchange system, relies on the Earth's natural thermal energy, a renewable resource, to heat and cool residential and commercial applications. By tapping into the consistent temperature of the Earth, just a few feet below the surface, a geothermal heat pump is used to move heat from a source to a sink. In the winter, the source is the Earth's natural temperature, sinking it into the residential or commercial space that is being heated. In the summer, the heat pump reverses the process by pulling the heat from the space and sinking it back into the Earth. There are several types of geothermal heating systems.

A closed loop horizontal system is typically the most cost effective for residential applications. This application requires a sufficient amount of land to lay down pipe in trenches buried several feet down. Horizontal fields can be installed in either by stretching piping out and laying it in the trench, or creating slinky systems, as shown in the picture.

A closed loop vertical system is typically the most frequently used in commercial applications, but can also be installed in residential applications. Because this system requires significantly less use of land, a smaller field of bores is used in applications where a massive horizontal field would be prohibitive of future development and growth of the property. If the site has a pond or lake available, this may be the lowest cost option. Lines are run from the building to the pond where the pipe is then left coiled. The coils are then sunk 8’ or more into the pond to prevent freezing. With this option, always make sure that you consult with your local municipality to make sure that there are not any issues with rules and zoning with the body of water.

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