Geoexchange Systems: Next Steps
WHILE GEOEXCHANGE SYSTEMS HAVE MANY ECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL ADVANTAGES, THINGS CAN GO WRONG. A GROUP IN B.C. IS UNDERTAKING TO STUDY THEIR PERFORMANCE AND GUIDE THEIR DESIGN
Thursday, 1 May 2014
by Ruben Arellano, P.Eng
Geoexchange and heat pump technology is long established, with the first systems developed and implemented in the 1950s. With increasing awareness, improved equipment and industry expertise, and the rising cost of energy in recent years, the technology has experienced a resurgence. It is estimated that there are now over 100,000 geoexchange systems installed in Canada, and in the past 10 years the industry has experienced double-digit growth in most markets across the country.
Geoexchange systems use a readily available source of renewable energy to heat and cool a building. This energy is essentially solar radiation stored within the upper crust of the earth, and it can be tapped wherever you have access to the earth, ground water, a lake, or the ocean.
Although some electricity is required to drive the heat pump and circulation pumps, well designed geoexchange systems can deliver 75% of the total heating energy from renewable energy stored in the ground. The systems are a proven and reliable solution to boost energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions, and they have attracted significant attention.
Seems simple: needs design rigour
Although geoexchange technology appears simple, this is deceiving. It relies on the integration of mechanical components and has to adapt to complex site-specific earth and building thermodynamic processes...
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