Geothermal Heat Pumps

Geothermal heat pumps are not like other heating or cooling system as they do not make use of electricity or fuels to generate heat. Instead of generating heat they transfer heat from one place to another this helps in reducing energy consumption.

Geo thermal heat pumps are often called as ground source heat pumps (GSHP) as they transfer heat from ground to the house. Ground absorbs heat energy from the sun GSHP works to extract this energy from the ground.

Geothermal heat pumps transfer energy at higher rate as temperature of the ground remains constant for most of the time.

Major parts

There are two major components of geothermal heat pumps

1. Heat pump: This is present inside the house mostly in the basement.

2. Pipes: pipes in the shape of loop are submerged inside the ground and are connected to the heat pump.

Working of geothermal heat pump

During winter

1. Cool flows inside the underground pipes.

2. The refrigerant collects the heat present inside the ground. This heat is then transferred to the heat pump present in the basement of your house.

3. The compressor present inside the heat pump compresses the refrigerant. When refrigerant temperature reaches 1000F it is circulated in the tubes present inside the unit and heat is absorbed from it.

4. This heat is circulated inside the house with the help of fan. The cold refrigerant is sent to the underground pipes to generate the heat again.

During summer

1. In summer season this processed is reversed. Instead of generating heat from the ground heat is extracted from the house and pumped inside the ground.

2. Compressor reduces the temperature of the refrigerant to 50oF-60oF. Cool refrigerant circulates through the air handler unit where the unwanted heat is absorbed from the house is removed and absorbed.

3. The removed heat is sent back to the earth with the help of ground loop.

4. Hot refrigerant is sent back to the compressor to repeat the process.


There are four types of ground source heat pumps

1. Horizontal closed loop

In horizontal closed loop pipes are submerged horizontally into the ground. These systems are suitable for the people having large land. Length of the pipes is between 100-400 feet.

This type of installation is less expensive than other types. In this system mostly two pipes are submerged inside the ground.

2. Vertical closed loop

Vertical closed loop systems are mostly used for large buildings and schools as they do not have land for horizontal system. In this system pipes are submerged in a vertical position inside the ground.

Pipes in the vertical loop system are 100-400 feet deep inside the ground. Pipe pairs in the hole are joined with a U-shaped cross connector at the bottom of the hole.

3. Pond lake

These systems are least expensive to install as there is no need to dig the surface. Pipes are submerged inside the nearby pond or lakes. Pipes are placed at the bottom of the water source.

4. Open loop system

In open loop system under ground water is used as the energy source. They consume less energy than other types are heat pump. Open loop systems are more expensive to install.


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