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Energy Quote

The world is full of tradeoffs, and sometimes 'renewable power' activists fail to recognize that. Solar energy collectors must displace a tremendous amount of natural landscape to produce any significant amount of energy. And anything less requires a great deal of financial expenditures for very little and very inconsistent power.

Ben Lieberman

Ground Source Heat Pump

A ground source heat pump (GSHP) or geothermal heat pump is a central heating and/or cooling system that moves heat to or from the ground. It uses the earth as a heat source for heating in the winter or a heat sink for cooling in the summer. Unlike an air-source heat pump, which transfers heat to or from the outside air, a ground source heat pump exchanges heat with the ground. This is much more energy-efficient because underground temperatures are more stable than air temperatures through the year.

Ground source heat pumps must have a heat exchanger in contact with the ground or groundwater to extract or dissipate heat. This component accounts for a third to a half of the total system cost. Several major design options are available for these, which are classified by fluid and layout. Direct exchange systems circulate refrigerant underground, closed loop systems use a mixture of anti-freeze and water, and open loop systems use natural groundwater.

8 Jun 2011 20:44:31

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