Geothermal heat pumps use the earth as a heat source or sink by means of a circulating water loop. Mean earth temperatures are approximately 55 degrees Fahrenheit in New York City, resulting in excellent coefficients of performance. Since the heat pump supplies both heating and cooling, only one appliance is needed to satisfy both conditioning needs. No exterior equipment such as cooling towers or condensing units is needed, nor are heating plants. Each heat pump unit can heat or cool at any time, zoning is easy to accomplish and the part load performance is excellent. Maintenance is simple and less costly than conventional fossil fuel and cooling tower systems.
Where building loads can be matched with viable ground source heat exchangers such as a well system or buried loops, over all system performance will easily exceed fossil fuel heating systems and air cooled condensers or cooling tower air conditioning systems. The systems must be sized accurately, with over-sizing being avoided.
Geothermal heat pumps are available from all major manufacturers and are configured as water-to-air, water-to-water, and split equipment.
The design process must include a certified geothermal heat exchanger designer, and a hydrogeologist if ground water is to be used. These consultants should be integrated into the design process and design team in the same way the consulting engineers are.
Wells must be properly designed and developed, and periodic maintenance on the well and well pumps must be performed.
When used appropriately, geothermal heat pumps can form the cornerstone of a sustainable and high-performing building design with excellent life-cycle cost savings.
Operational & Benefit Analysis
The benefits offered by GeoExchange1 systems can be summarized as follows:
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