Category Archives: Geothermal Energy Articles

Comparing pressurized and non pressurized flow centers

geothermal_home_installationOne of the most difficult things to do is choose the right method with which to heat water in your home. This is because there are a variety of techniques to choose from which could even confuse you. From the outset, you could use heaters that use electricity to warm water. They are available in large numbers. There are other people who use propane to heat their water. That could also be an option. Apart from that, there are methods that use solar energy to heat water. Now that one sounds more effective. However, one option that is effective and is being used by many people is geothermal power. With geothermal power, there are two kinds, those that are pressurized and the non pressurized flow centers.

Even from the term geothermal, you can already guess how this system functions. Naturally, it uses heat emanating from the earth to heat water. Actually, the process is unique, simple and complex at the same time. It is simple in the sense that it employs natural resources to heat up water. One may not need to spend so much in terms of paying electricity bills or buying propane to heat water. The process begins when water flows into the earth. In other cases, it is pumped into the earth from where magma which is always molten rocks below the earth will heat up the water. The water is then transferred into your home for your personal use. You can get this water under pressure or non-pressurized. Whether you want the pressurized or the non-pressurized system installed, it is still possible. It all depends on your needs. However, it is important you understand both of them before you choose on one. One thing remains constant for these two systems. They are very efficient in use of energy.

If you decide to install the non-pressurized loop, there are several advantages attached to it. Firstly, it is less costly to fix it in comparison to the pressurized system. Furthermore, you may have all the loops installed inside your mechanical room! This may not ring a bell to you but it is very helpful. You will suffer less from blockages that come as a result of valves shutting down. The loops in this system are normally open. Again this is an advantage to you as the homeowner as you can add extra fluid without calling for experts to help you. Its design is also much simpler making it easy to modify.

Having looked at the several advantages associated with the non-pressurized system, it is now time to look the other way. Let us focus on some of the reasons you may now want to install the system in the first place. The method is prone to leaks. The first reason as to why the leaks could take place is when the pipes are made out of PVC. They are so easy to leak out which could mean constant repairs and high maintenance costs. This system may also call for constant checking of the fluid levels. This requirement is another reason that causes leaks to occur.

We all know about the hazardous chemicals. For instance, methanol and antifreeze feature among the list of dangerous chemicals. Unfortunately, they are very essential in the running of this system. This means that in case of any negligence, so much damage could occur. The system is naturally slow for the reason that there is no pressure pushing the liquids. As much as it is cost saving, it has its own disadvantages. For instance, the slow movement of fluids allows for bacteria to grow. This means that you will have to constantly clean the system. As if that is not enough, the low pressure system cannot take water in high buildings. This implies that the system is limited to some extent. Only those who live in short buildings can use it. Another disadvantage with the system is that it is not aesthetic. The picture of exposed pipes is not very appealing.

Those who advocate for the pressurized system refer to it as being more organized and being neat. The first thing about this method is that it employs a two connection system instead of three. One could think the more the connections the better the method. But that is not the case here. With two connections, there are less chances of complications coming up. In case the system gets dirty, it is very easy to clean. It has a pressurized flush system that automatically gets rid of the dirt. This means that the method is time saving since it does not require too much manual work. By reducing the amount of manual work on the system, it is less likely to have it getting destroyed. The more people handle any system, the more it gets prone to spoiling. Again, one is less exposed to methanol or antifreeze which are dangerous to humans.

However, just like any other system, it also has its own flaws. Maybe it is the reason why some people prefer its sister system. The first disadvantage with this system is that it is very costly to install. Apart from the installation costs, this system is more likely to become faulty. This time it is not due to human faulting but due to the heating. Heating results into natural expansion while cooling causes contraction. Therefore, continuous heating and cooling can cause it to falter. However, the technicality to solving that issue is re-pressurizing the entire system. Again, it is not easy to detect where a problem has occurred until an interior manifold is used.

When you are choosing the geothermal flow center to heat up water in your home, you will have two options. You may choose the non-pressurized systems since they are less costly and easier to maintain but prone to leaks and growth of bacteria on the other hand. Choosing the pressurized systems would mean you are choosing a more expensive system. However, they are organized and are not prone to complications.

A geothermal flow center for your home – geothermal heating systems

geothermal_flow_centerGeothermal heating system is a modern money-saving way to regulate home temperature. The best part about installing such a system in your house is its Eco-friendliness. Can there be anything better than combing Eco-friendliness along with in-expensiveness. Some people say that the initial cost for setting up such a system is very high. Although this is true up to some extent, there is a lot more to know in this context. The houses installing this system avail a great deal of tax credits from the governments for saving energy and participating in the Eco-friendly drive. Moreover the cost of heating is considerably lower than the other ways. This makes the initial investment worth it. Stay assured a geothermal heating system will save you a considerable sum of money. A geothermal flow center is a very important component of the whole system.

Some basic knowledge about the geothermal heating system -

These work by harnessing the earth’s heat. It keeps the house comfortable and warm without causing any kind of harm to the environment as the traditional methods did. During the warmer days of the year, the earth accumulates heat through absorption that remains there even during the colder periods. The heat absorbed by the earth is more than 500 times than that we can use.Not just the absorbed heat but the earth itself also generates a considerable amount of heat through decay of minerals, etc.

The working of the system is quite comparable to that of underground caves. It keeps the place cool during warm weather conditions and vice versa. A geothermal heating system uses a device known as the ground source heat pump that brings this heat to the house. It works at an efficiency of around 400% in the whole process which makes it quite effective. The whole installation process involves the digging of about two meters’ deep trenches around the house in which pipes are laid. The main purpose of these pipes is to let the water and antifreeze flow through them so as to absorb the heat of the ground. As soon as this water reaches the heat pump, the heat content in it is compressed which magnifies the heat produced. This heat is then circulated in the house. Usually and preferably an underground heating system is used.

Components –

There are 3 important components of this system. First – the loops of dense polyethylene pumps (pipes) that are buried underground. Second – an indoor heat compressor (motor pump) and heat exchanger that transfers the heat from the house to the ground and vice versa. Third – is a geothermal flow center that connects both of these. It is indeed one of the most important components of the whole system.There is a good heat distribution system which helps in even distribution of heat. These also act as heat absorbers during summer to transfer the heat to the ground and make the place cooler. Also, you can have some add-ons to the system to make it even more effective and efficient. These may include multiple speed compressors, variable speed blowers and so on. These two add-ons help in adjusting the time taken for house to heat or cool. Thus they function like regulators. Also, there can also be de-super-heaters installed in the system. These devices take advantage of the excess heat that is generated to heat up water in the house. This can prove to be very handy during the cold season as it helps in saving lots of fuel which is otherwise used up to heat water.

Benefits -

Taking into consideration the tax benefits that the government gives and all the fuel savings, it is a very good alternative for keeping the temperature of a house regulated. Also, it helps in preserving the vulnerable fossil fuels which are otherwise used for generating heat. The scarce electricity is also saved. Moreover, all these fuels are quite expensive. The geothermal heating is very cheap in comparison. It can save at least 75% of your energy bills that is consumed for the purpose of regulating the temperature of the house. This is indeed a great way to reduce the emission of carbon di oxide as fossil fuels are not burnt. So this is dual-benefiting cost wise and responsibility wise. It surely gives us an opportunity to contribute our part towards the environment.

One key benefit of this system is that it can be reversed and can be used to cool the home during the warmer months. Can there be anything better than this? This reduces the need for air conditioners considerably. Hence, works doubly throughout the year to save money and energy. The whole system is really very easy to maintain. It requires no annual servicing or checks. The size of the pump is very small. You can compare it with the size of a small refrigerator. Therefore not much space of your house is consumed by this system.The on-site emissions are the lowest in this case as compared to any other heating system.

Some other important facts -

There are some people who would ask – what about the energy that is required to run the motor? For them it’s worth knowing that the consumption is much lower than that which would have been used to heat up the entire house. Moreover, solar energy can be used by the installation of solar panels in the home to provide the required energy to the pump. The whole system will be much more cost-effective.

There are also questions regarding the initial investment. Yes, the initial outlay is reasonably large. However, looking at the savings that you are going to make through the installation, stay assured that this will be covered in a matter of five to seven years’ time. After this, all that you receive is just savings in your pocket. Additionally, you also get tax benefits from the government if you comply with all the regulations attached.

All-in-all

This system is a very effective one in keeping the temperature of a house regulated. It helps in saving a considerable sum of money on energy bills. Moreover, by the use of this system you can make your contribution towards a healthier environment. Also, there are not many worries with regard to its maintenance.

An Overview of Geothermal Heating and Cooling Systems

geothermal_installationPresently, most modern homes are installed with heating and cooling systems due to their ability to keep people comfortable despite the season of the year. For instance, during the summer, this system can be used to bring cool and fresh air into your house. And during winter seasons, this system can also be used to provide warmth in the house, thus keeping you warm. This is why is very essential to invest in the high quality systems which are installed by qualified and experienced professionals. However, if you want to minimize your carbon footprint as well as contributing to the preservation of the environment while still feeling comfortable, it is good to choose a high quality geothermal heating and cooling system.

If you decide to install a geothermal heating and cooling system, you will greatly benefit from it in several ways. These systems are suited for every type of a building, whether it is an office, a residential home, or even a commercial building. Because of their benefits, the geothermal type of system is rapidly growing in popularity. Unlike many years ago when this heating and cooling system was used as an alternative to various situations, but these days it is a leading and best option among many homeowners.

One of the most common and notable advantages of installing this system in your home is that it is affordable to many individuals. In addition, it is a better option than other types of systems in terms of economy. For instance, some types of heating and cooling systems use oil as their source of power, thus being expensive, particularly at the rates at which fuel prices in the market continue to rise globally.

How does a geothermal heating and cooling system work?

This system works in a simple mechanical way. A solution-filled water pipe is made and then put in the ground. This is basically to allow absorption of temperature from the ground through it. Water is then introduced into the heat exchanger to release heat towards a refrigerant in order to convert an eco-friendly gas from a liquid sent through this pipe. The gas then goes directly into a compressor to undergo the second exchange of heat, which is then released into the duct.

The design of this type of heating and cooling system plays an important role in conserving the utilization of energy and ensuring that environmental friendly procedures are properly followed and utilized in the process. The process of installation basically requires expertise and extensive knowledge to ensure that every component is placed properly and their good communication among the components in terms of working. Without a proper design and correct installation, it can be impossible to enjoy the benefits that this type of system promises to offer.

In addition to that, it is essential to determine the scope and size of the area, which the system will cover. Furthermore, the heat load needed for each room in your house must also be considered alongside the ground temperatures.

Types of geothermal heating and cooling systems

There are basically four types of these systems. Three of them are known as closed-loop systems and there is only one open-loop system. All these types of systems can be used in both commercial buildings and homes.

Basically, geothermal systems are not like conventional furnaces which burn fuel to produce heat, in their case; heat pumps get their source of power from electricity in order to move the geothermal heat from the ground to the homes or commercial buildings.

Different forms of geothermal heating and cooling systems

If you are planning to buy a geothermal system for your home, you must know that there are so many options that you can choose from in the market. However, before making your final decision to which type of geothermal system you wish to have in your home or business, it is important first to know and understand what these systems are all about. The primary concept why people use these systems is because they are cost effective, energy efficient and very much durable.

Since the whole world is affected by global warming, it is important to think of conserving as much as energy as you can. These systems are in fact different from the normal types of cooling and heating systems commonly used in the market.

Since there are so many choices to make a choice from, your selection is actually based on several different factors. These factors can be climate change, the soil condition, local expenditures and the availability of land area. You can simply start your from the section of horizontal loops that can only be selected by you especially if the surface of the land given to you is on the upper side.

When installing horizontal loop systems in your home, you don’t really need to spend huge amount of money, but since the land surface doesn’t favour you for these geothermal systems, it can be quite immense and can consume a lot of time in putting the looping system into the place. It is essential and recommendable to dig very deep trenches and to make the looping system, particularly those active acts as the most efficient geothermal system.

The vertical loop systems are the second form of geothermal heating and cooling systems. They are quite popular and highly dependable on the market. They are ideal for residential homes where a limited amount of space is available. In some cases, when laying these loops under your home, the depth of soil turns to be quite shallow and therefore these vertical loops are extremely perfect for such type of soils. In addition, the vertical looping system is good for in areas with landscapes. Normally, the lowest height of the holes basically for the digging purpose is supposed to be approximately 4 inches is all.

Last yet importantly, it is good to determine the total area or the size of the home where a vertical looping system is going to be fixed. In this regard, exactly two pipes are required. The two pipes are then directly linked with the existing holes for a smooth and free flowing of water supply.

In conclusion, since there are two main types of geothermal heating and cooling systems, the open-loop types of systems are commonly used by the majority and can be the best and ideal choice for you.

Geothermal heating and cooling system

geothermal_energy_for_homeIn the past few years, geothermal heating and cooling system have gained popularity among many people. It is estimated that more than 50,000 systems are installed every year. This is due to the fluctuation of heat waves that is witnessed after the hot seasons and cold seasons. This fluctuation of temperatures require efficient heating and cooling systems at homes. Without efficient heating and cooling systems, the electricity used rises hence the cost also rises. For building and home owners, geothermal systems provide an opportunity for cheaper and cleaner cooling and heating systems. This system lower the electricity bills and reduce the negative impact on the environment. The cost of installing these systems are higher as compared to traditional systems they are more efficient and reliable. Here are materials, tools, and steps to follow while installing a geothermal heating and cooling systems.

Steps for installing geothermal heating and cooling systems

1. Purchase a geothermal heating and cooling system

You have a couple of options to consider when purchasing your geothermal heating and cooling systems. These options include: horizontal loops, vertical loops, and water geothermal systems. In horizontal loops geothermal system, a pipe runs in a trench parallel to the ground surface. On the other hand, vertical loop geothermal systems is suitable where the land is too rocky and building of trenches is not possible. Both vertical and horizontal systems are closed loop systems. The water geothermal systems is a well drilled in to the ground to obtain water to be used by the system.

2. Dig holes

You are required to dig holes or trenches for installation of pipes or wells in either horizontal or vertical direction. You can rent a back hoe from home improvement center or tool rental store in order to allow easier digging of hole.

3. Lay pipes and hoses

The pipes for this system need to be laid in agreement to the system that you currently have. In horizontal system the pipes are laid in a trench while in vertical systems the pipes are laid directly to the ground.

4. Install the pump

Replace the pump in your old heating and cooling system. Before you commence on the installation of the system, switch off the main circuit breaker in order to stop the flow of electricity thus avoiding electrocution. Cut the wires and start connecting the wires from the geothermal pump. Make sure that the ground and green wire with ground and red wire of the geothermal pump. It should be noted that white wires are neutral.

5. Connect the loops

Ensure that the loops are connected to the geothermal system according its connection- ground and ground, live to live.

6. Start the pump

Start the pump and open the valves. The pipes for horizontal and vertical systems require a mixture of water and antifreeze in order ensure that the system is running smoothly. However, the water geothermal system will not undergo this step.

How does geothermal systems work?

There three components in a geothermal system that include heat pump, air delivery system and ground heat exchanger. This system rely on the fact that ground is much cooler than ambient air during summer and warmer in winter than ambient air during winter. Generally, the temperate of the earth is between 50 and 70 degree Fahrenheit throughout the year. Geothermal heat pumps have the same principle of operation as that of regular pumps. However, the main difference is that geothermal heat pumps utilize the heat from the ground.

When cooling is needed, a refrigerant circulates through indoor coil. As is circulates it absorbs the heat from humid and warm air passing through it. Therefore, the surrounding becomes drier and cooler and it is passed to the room by using a fan.

After this, the refrigerant goes through a compressor which pressurizes it, turning it into a warm air. This vapor then moves into the condenser which is situated beneath the ground. Since the ground is much cooler than this warmed refrigerant, heat is released by the warmed refrigerant thus becoming cooler again. Since the refrigerant is highly pressurized, it goes to expansion valve where it is depressurized and the cycle begins again.

When heating is needed, the role of underground loops and indoor coil are reversed. The underground loop serves the purpose of evaporator while the indoor coil acts as a condenser.

Are geothermal systems economic?

These systems are more economic than traditional heating and cooling systems. This is because it saves money on operating cost and maintenance. Due to the high efficiency of this systems in many people have adopted these systems in their homes and buildings. People who use these systems normally saves 30-60 percent of the total energy as compared to traditional heating and cooling systems.

Typically, the cost of installing a geothermal system is $2000-$4000 more than installing traditional heating and cooling systems, about $7000-$10000. With 30-60 percent savings on energy, all costs of installation of these systems are recovered in period of 5-10 years. In addition, underground coils last for over 50 years hence making geothermal systems a long term investment.

Moreover, can be increased even more when desuperheater is introduced into the system. A desuperheater is a system that recovers heat that would have otherwise been lost. It captures the heat that is expelled by geothermal system and direct it back to the water supply. These heat can be used for heating water at homes during summer.

What are the environmental benefits of geothermal heating and cooling system?

It is estimated that geothermal heating and cooling system saves 14.7 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year as compared to traditional heating and cooling systems.

Greatest obstacles of the success of the geothermal systems

The cost of constructing a geothermal system are higher than those of conventional heating systems. These cost can vary depending on the rock or soil type, loop type and ground temperature.

Another major obstacle is the availability of land. Horizontal loops are more costly than vertical loop. Horizontal loops may cover an area of 100 by 500 feet hence require a big space.

In conclusion, geothermal heating and cooling systems will significantly reduce the power bills as compared to conventional systems.