GSHP can potentially extract the vast reserves of geothermal energy at affordable prices, thereby accounting for a cheaper and cleaner alternative for fossil fuels.

FREMONT, CA: Geothermal energy offers massive potential for mankind to harness the earth’s heat. The technological innovations in this regard leverage the energy difference and focus on transferring energy from one source to the other. With this approach, technology can be used to leverage geothermal energy at almost any place on earth. For instance, 99 percent of Iceland’s energy is produced from renewable sources, and 30 percent of which is geothermal. The ground source heat pump (GSHP) is an essential tool for mining geothermal energy. According to EnergySage, GSHPs can offer 25 and 50 percent on heating and cooling costs as compared to traditional fossil fuel system.

A GSHP utilizes the naturally occurring difference between the surface soil temperatures and the above-ground air temperature to transfer the heat towards end uses like space cooling and space heating. For the extraction of geothermal energy, the heat pump is connected to the series of buried pipes. The heat pump circulates a heat-carrying fluid such as water through the pipelines to transfer heat from one point to another. For instance, if the subsurface temperature is higher than the ambient air temperature, heat can be transferred from the underground to the building.

The economic viability of GSHP makes it even more viable. For instance, each unit of electricity used in the operation of the heat pumps can deliver around five times the thermal energy from the ground. Typically, a heat pump uses buried pipes with a fluid flowing through them. As the fluid flows through the buried pipes, it absorbs the heat from the warmer rock, soil, or groundwater around it. The heated fluid goes back to the building where it is needed for useful purposes such as water or space heating. The building can be installed with a heat exchanger to transfer heat into the existing air handling, ventilation, and distribution system. Once the fluid gives away its heat to the building systems, it returns to the ground loop to be heated again. Thus, it results in a highly efficient system that provides a renewable source of energy for a wide range of applications.

There is a huge potential for the public sector as well as private users to use GSPH for leveraging the hidden potential of geothermal energy.

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