Wednesday, March 9, 2011

CCRES Geothermal Stories


Why not in Croatia ?

So how does a geothermal heat pump work?

It simply takes advantage of the earth's ability to store heat. Water circulates through a loop of pipe buried in the ground and draws off the free heat from the earth. The heat is then concentrated by the geothermal heat pump through the refrigeration process and is released into your home through the blower or radiant floor heat system. In the summer, the process is reversed and heat is removed from your home and put back into the earth.


The loop that collects the heat from the earth can take a variety of shapes depending on the location. All of these loop types serve one purpose: To collect free heat from the earth and deliver it to the heat pump.


Aesthetically pleasing too, ground source heat pumps require no fuel storage tanks, no external vents or chimney, and no noisy condenser to disturb your neighbors or detract from the appearance of your home.



How do you get heat out of 50 degree ground water?

You have a heat pump in your house right now! Your refrigerator takes heat out of the food and releases the heat to the outside. (Feel how warm it is behind your refrigerator.) A heat pump works in much the same way. It removes heat from the water that is circulated through the loop field and concentrates it before releasing it into your home.

How much does it cost?

Of course, the costs vary depending on the size and complexity of the system you choose. Generally speaking, a geothermal system will be more expensive than a conventional system up front, but its low operating costs more than offset the initial expense.

Just how efficient are these systems?

Here is where geo systems excel! While gas furnaces compete with each other over 92% or 96% efficiencies, geo systems are upwards of 300% efficiencies. That's not bragging. That is ARI certified test data.

How can any system be more than 100% efficient?

Geothermal systems don't make heat: they simply move it from the earth into your home. In essence, you are just paying for the transportation. In fact, for every BTU of energy you use, you will get back 3 BTU's of heat making geothermal heating 300% efficient!

Are geothermal systems safe?

They are the safest heating system you can put in your home. They use no combustion gasses or fossil fuels of any kind nor do they produce carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide. There is no risk of explosion since there is no flame at all!

What about the environmental impact of removing heat from the earth?

The EPA has called geothermal heat systems the "most environmentally friendly system you can put in your home". They burn no fuel and therefore, they produce no byproducts. The little heat that is borrowed from the earth over the winter is put back in the summer making the cycle complete.

Is a ground source heat pump worth the extra initial cost?

Almost always, yes. Let's look at an example of a 1700 sq ft house and compare the cost of operation of a Geosource heat pump using a heat pump rate of $.05/Kwh with a 92% efficient LP furnace using $1.25/gal fuel prices. Assume the heat pump costs $15,000 installed and the furnace and A/C costs $6000 (not counting ductwork in either case). Assume also that your electric rate is increasing by 2%/year and LP is going up 5%/year and you finance your house for 20 years at 6% interest. The annual cost of operation of the heat pump combined with loan costs is $1927 ($1289 loan cost and $638 operating cost) and the annual cost of the conventional system is $2609 ($515 loan cost and $2054 operating cost). You save $647 your first year of operation. After 10 years, you save $11,231: More than enough to pay back the difference in cost. The bigger the house, the more you save.

What about efficiency? Is more always better?

To a point, but when efficiency comes at the price of comfort, ECONAR believes that is a bad trade off. That is why ECONAR pioneered ColdClimate technology to deliver the highest heating output and highest discharge air temperatures of any heat pump on the market. Our ColdClimate technology allows us to design for the heat load of the house instead of the air conditioning load like the competition. ECONAR heat pumps are made in Minnesota, designed for heating in the cold temperatures of the North country.

Do utility companies offer rebates on ground source heat pumps?

Many of them do but the purchase of a ground source heat pump should make sense without rebates. If they offer rebates, that is the icing on the cake but the real value is in your monthly savings on your energy bill. Contact your local utility company for their rebate program.

Why should I buy an ECONAR heat pump?

As you might guess, we can give you many reasons but we are going to list just one: ColdClimate technology. We have the highest heating output and temperature output of any heat pump on the market. Our heat pumps are designed to cover the entire heating load of the house making backup heat optional. That means that, on the coldest day of the year, you can get the 300% plus efficiency from your heat pump instead of relying on 92% efficient fossil fuels or resistance heating. In the summer, our ColdClimate design will provide you with the best dehumidification of any system on the market.

How does geothermal compare with other renewable energy technologies?

A geothermal system will give you the quickest return on investment of any form of renewable energy. Often, the price difference between a conventional heating system and a geothermal system can be paid back in 5-7 years. In fact, the savings realized on your energy bills from your geothermal system can be used to finance additional renewable energy technologies for your home if you choose.

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