Ground Source Energy, the Alternative Energy.
The O2Geothermal Ground Source System has 3 major components:
- An earth loop system that circulates a heat transfer refrigerant to exchange heat with the earth.
- A heat pump that moves heat or cool between the building and the earth via the earth loops.
- A distribution system to distribute comfort throughout the building.
O2Geothermal Alternative Energy Investment Advantages
- Most impressive energy saving results
- Environmental savings
- Hedge against future utility rate increases
- Reliable heat pump designs yield long equipment life with low maintenance
- Split Direct Exchange heat pump designs are quiet and can be installed inside or outside
- Complete heat exchanger design and installation (vertical or horizontal/lateral field loops)
- Small bore well drilling using smaller sized equipment - IGSHPA certified less disturbance below grade in the Earth or in your yard higher thermal conductivity of field loops to Earth from specialized grout procedures
Geothermal Energy FAQ's
- What is Geothermal Energy?
- How does it work?
- How efficient are geothermal systems?
- What types of properties are well suited for geothermal installations?
- What does it cost?
- How long will it last?
- When is the best time to "Go Geothermal"?
- Which system is best for me?
- How do I know what I'm saving? Why is my investment a sure thing?
- The Proof is in the Tracker
1. What is a geothermal system?
Geothermal heating and cooling is an exchange of heat with the earth. The actual soil under the typical building site has a tremendous ability to store and release the Sun's energy and heat. A geothermal heat pump system is a machine designed to tap into that energy source. A basic law of physics states; it is more efficient to move heat that already exists than to make new heat from another form of energy. A ground source heat pump is a geothermal technology, first developed several decades ago, that today offers significant benefits in terms of energy efficiencies to consumers. This sytem is premised on a renewable energy source – the Earth's stored solar energy.
2. How does a geothermal system work?
The temperature of an object can be measured in British Thermal Units (BTU’s). By removing BTU’s, the temperature is lowered. In contrast, when BTU’s are added, the temperature rises.
A geothermal ground source heat pump creates a connection between the conditioned air space inside of a building with the earth beneath it. Consumers benefit by an exchange of BTU’s between the two, keeping the inside temperature constant and comfortable.
When the temperature inside a building is too warm, the geothermal unit takes the precise number of BTU’s out of the building in order to maintain a cool and comfortable atmosphere. The BTU's are then released back into the surface of the earth. To the contrary, when the temperature inside becomes too cool, the system changes direction and gains BTU’s from the earth, providing a rise in temperature in order to maintain an ideal indoor atmosphere.
Currently, there are three ways that geothermal units connect with the earth, two of which use liquid. These are known as “Open Loop and Closed Loop”. The third way is known as Direct Exchange (DX). The Earthlinked technology is a direct exchange system, meaning it is more efficient, mechanically simpler, and less invasive to install.
3. How efficient are geothermal systems?
How energy sufficient the particular building envelope is, or will be post completion, must be considered first.
A traditional gas forced-air heating system ranges from 80% to 94% efficient. This means for every dollar spent purchasing energy; your receive 80 to 94 cents worth of energy in the form of useful heat in return. An electric heating system is considered 100% efficient (COP of 1.0). Each unit of electricity (KWh) energy intended will in fact be spent for a specific heating application. In your home this results in no energy up your flue pipe. It should be noted here that the electric energy used in your home represents approximately 30% of the fossil energy spent to deliver KWh units to your home. In other words electricity is generated using 100% fossil fuels to yield a 30% product for use in your home.
By comparison, an Earthlinked geothermal heat pump is measured with Coefficient of Performance (COP), at 4.0. A ground source heat pump, operating at COP 4.0 during the heating season provides 4 units of heat for each unit of conventional energy consumed. Using a ground source heat pump with a COP of 4.0, if an air space requires (5) units of energy to maintain comfort, (4) units will be gained from the renewable energy stored in the Earth and (1) will be used as electric to power the ground source machine.
Today, investments in ground source systems deliver impressive paybacks. With a life expectancy of 25 years, returns can be enormous, even before calculating future energy price increases.
4. Is my property suited for a geothermal installation?
Nearly every building – both residential and commercial - can be considered for a ground source heat pump system. Ground source systems can provide conditioned air, heated water, hydronic heating, and a growing number of other uses for both new and existing structures. Tax credits and other local incentives typically apply for either new construction or retrofit applications. The Earthlinked technology, because of it's small, and less invasive installation footprint, creates opportunities for retrofit application not viable with other ground source systems.
5. What does a geothermal system cost?
There are many variables to be considered in the analysis and design phase of each project that affect the final installed price. Each project, whether a single family home or a multiple story office complex begins with a feasibility study to determine if a geothermal heating and cooling system is the right choice.
With a geothermal system being a greater investment than a conventional HVAC system, naturally the initial cost will be higher. However, what your residential or commercial property will receive back from the system is so much more. A smart consumer question to ask yourself today with tomorrow in mind; what is the cost of not installing an alternative energy system?
A ground source heat pump is an investment in an energy usage that is renewable and sustainable. Justifications for ground source are premised on comparisons to today's costs of electric, gas, or propane alternatives to provide similar work. All justifications are made without anticipating escalations in energy costs, or scarcity issues associated with using a fossil-based fuel source.
With tax credits, other local incentives, and today's costs of utilities, investment returns for ground source typically result in investments showing a positive return in less than (5) years. Some applications are much improved over the (5) year time frame. Each application is considered on it's actual details and merits.
6. How long do geothermal systems last?
Ground source installations have a life expectancy of 25 years. Properly installed loop fields can last even longer. Earthlinked heat pump systems are very simple mechanically. The actual heat pump component can be placed either interior or exterior your building.
7. When is the best time to “Go Geothermal”?
As soon as possible. (1) Energy rates will continue to escalate. (2)Troubling issues associated with damaging our environment will not just go away on their own. (3)Tax credits and other incentives are now in place to make ground source systems affordable. For new construction a ground source system should be a serious consideration at the earliest planning stage. For retrofit applications, consider replacing existing with improved ground source technology before your current equipment expires. In fact, the older technology costs you unnecessary expense each day it is in service.
8. What system is best for my property?
What size and what options should I consider? How much will I need to invest? How long of a payback can I expect?
While you can buy clothing "off the rack," a geothermal system needs to be tailor-made for each property.
9. How do I know what I'm Saving?
O2Geothermal provides a system for real-time monitoring, metering, and verification purposes associated with your ground source system. Such a system can prove dramatically lower operating expenses for heating and cooling.
10. Tracking Your Investment with our Energy Tracker System
As ground source heat pump technology has progressed, many using the technology must justify their investment largely premised on a intuitive guess as to the success of their system. However, each O2 Geothermal client considering a ground source heat pump investment can benefit greatly by an accurate, real-time verification of the success of their investment.
Our interest in developing the application of this monitoring technology is to take the mystery out of your investment results, and make it obvious that an investment in ground source technologies is, in fact, a better investment choice than others that compete for your investment dollars.