Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Geothermal heat pumps

The energy obtained from the deep core of the earth is called earth energy or geothermal energy. Geothermal energy can be put to a number of uses. One of the most common applications of geothermal energy resources is a device called geothermal heat pump.

The upper ten feet of the earth’s surface remain at a constant temperature. In winters, this constant temperature is warmer than the air above it and in summers, this temperature is cooler than the air above it. The geothermal heat pumps are devices that take into consideration this fact and operate to heat and cool buildings.

A geothermal heat pump has three components namely heat exchanger, heat pump unit and air delivery system. The heat exchanger has a system of pipes which is called a loop. The heat exchanger is buried in the ground near the building to be used. A fluid flows through the pipes or loop and this fluid then absorbs or releases heat within the ground.

The geothermal heat pump removes the heat from the heat exchanger and pumps it into the air delivery system to keep the buildings warm in winters. In summers, the geothermal heat pump moves the heat from the air delivery system into the heat exchanger thus cooling the building.

Geothermal heat pumps use less energy than the conventional heating systems because the energy is drawn from the ground which is used as a renewable energy source. These devices that use earth energy are not very expensive. They are also easy to use, install and maintain.

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