When most people think of geothermal energy they envision mega-structures, financed by substantial investments, so that they can penetrate deep into the earth’s interior and tap into the bubbling energy that lies underneath the surface.
Sustainable engineers have found a way to scale down these huge geothermal operations with a geoexchange heat system, which dives into the ground around a homeowner’s property to create a highway of energy transportation between a house and the ground.
Ranging from $5,000 to $20,000, depending on the size and installation demands of particular buildings, consumers around the world are being introduced to the highly efficient system, which warms a facility in the winter and cools it in the summer.
The system’s fundamental operating principle hinges on the fact that the temperature in the ground below us consistently ranges between ten and sixteen degrees Celsius. This narrow range, coupled with the wider scope of temperatures found on the surface, serves as a depository for excess heat in the warm summers and a bank of heat supply in cold winters. Unlike other renewable energy sources which face the challenge of inconsistent energy supplies, geoexchange is a method that provides a dependable flow of energy at any location across the globe.
The financial benefit of running a 2,000 square foot home in the North American Pacific Northwest with geoexchange heat would save over $1,000, not to mention the 6 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions that are kept out of our atmosphere thanks to the system.
Bigger buildings derive an even higher level of efficiency from these systems allowing investors to pay off the initial installation costs in as little as three years. While some sites may be more challenging than others to dig down in to, engineers are able to accommodate the geological and geometric constraints of each situation to find a way to access the energy below the crust.
The efficiency of geoexchange heating systems pays off to owners in their pocket and their contribution to their environment, which ensures that it will become a pillar of energy supply for years to come.
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