Friday, 30 March 2012 THE GREEN SEARCH ENGINE

Did you know that searching the internet can cause carbon dioxide emissions? This is because search engines run on huge generators which can emit more carbon dioxide than the aviation industry! 

A single google search consumes as much energy as an 11-watt light bulb in one hour. 2% of global CO2 emissions come from information and communication technology.

Imagine if you could help the environment just by searching the internet!

Ecosia is an internet search engine powered by Bing and Yahoo dedicated to environmental sustainability.

Ecosia donates 80% of their advertising revenue to the rain forest protection program run by the WWF (World Wildlife Fund). Every time you use Ecosiato search the internet, it helps in the protection of the rainforests! All you have to do is set Ecosia as a search engine on your computer which only takes a minute to do. Simply click on to get started.

Simple lifestyle changes like this can make a big difference to helping the environment! So far, over a million dollars has been donated to support work in the Rain Forest.

Use Ecosia today!

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about renewable energy - Knowledge Is Power! For more information go to or write to us at if you have questions or want to get involved. Have a green day!


Wednesday, 28 March 2012

African Solar Lanterns

"Evans Wadongo holds up one of his solar-powered LED lamps at his workshop in a Nairobi suburb. Not yet 25, Evans has already changed the lives of tens of thousands of his fellow Kenyans living in poor rural communities by supplying them with some 15,000 lamps since producing the first one from pieces of fabricated scrap metal and discarded solar equipment in 2004."

Africa spends roughly $10.5 billion on kerosene and candles for lighting purposes yearly - 70% of people are not connected to the power grid. Constant exposure to any type of fuel can be hazardous to a person's health, especially in developing countries where options are limited. Solar lanterns do not use kerosene, instead they utilize the energy from the sun which is plentiful in areas like Africa. The lanterns are environmentally friendly, provide 2 times the amount of light compared to kerosene lamps, and are designed to be used in a variety of environments. Read the full story of these amazing solar lanterns below or at


"As a child growing up in west Kenya, Wadongo struggled to do his homework by kerosene lamp. He was caned at school if his family ran out of fuel for the lamp, and he permanently damaged his eyesight by sitting over the smoky fumes when they did have kerosene.

But his father, whom he describes as a teacher who was "very strict" and "my greatest inspiration", saw that he completed his studies and made it into university.

Once there, Wadongo started wondering how to improve conditions for children in communities similar to his home village -- and there are many. Though Kenya is one of the richest countries in east Africa, more than half the population lives on less than a dollar a day.

The young man had always wanted to help people but did not have the stomach to go into medicine, so he opted for engineering. He was only 19 when he invented his first solar lamp after using part of his student loan to buy what he needed.

"Then, I never thought it would take off on this scale. I just wanted to take one to my grandma," he recalled.

Some 15,000 lamps have been turned out since production started in 2004, and Wadongo says his goal is to hit 100,000 by 2015.

"I started in the village where I grew up and I saw kids going from primary into high school," he told AFP.

He has no time for Kenya's political class, accusing them of "wanting people to remain poor so that they can stay in power".

For Wadongo, the lamps are not an end in themselves, but rather "a way to lift people out of poverty."

He and his team from the "Use Solar, Save Lives" project start by identifying impoverished communities that rely for lighting on kerosene lamps -- when they can afford the fuel. They hand out 30 lamps to a community association, often a women's group, and encourage the locality to pool the money each family has saved by no longer buying kerosene.

When the fund accumulates the group can use it for a project, such as fish farming or rabbit breeding. Nomadic communities get a special model of lamp for easier transport.

Typical is Chumbi village, some 50 kilometres (31 miles) outside Nairobi where Wadongo gets an enthusiastic welcome.

"They all want lamps," smiles Agnes Muthengi, a representative from a local association, the Kalima Kathei Women's Fellowship, who accompanied him to the village.

Jennifer David, 47, lives in a mud-brick house flanked by outbuildings made largely from scrap metal. Next door, a field of maize wilts for lack of water. David's husband is a casual day labourer and work is hard to come by. Her only other source of income is a fledgling rabbit breeding business. But with one rabbit only fetching the equivalent of one euro ($1.3) locally and one of the five children sick and in a home, life is a struggle.

A slogan painted on rusted corrugated iron informs the visitor that the inhabitants "trust in Jesus". Hanging on a post in the yard, one of Wadongo's lamps is charging.

"Since I got this lamp things have changed," David told AFP. "Before I was using kerosene. It smelled and gave off a lot of smoke and I was using a lot of money to buy the kerosene." Now, her children can read and study in the evening, without cost or nuisance.

Wadongo plans to extend his project to neighbouring countries -- Uganda is next on the list. He is already training interns, not only from Kenya and elsewhere in Africa but also from US universities. He also aims to decentralise production of the lamps, thus providing work for unemployed youths.

The young engineer is also planning a "model" village at Nyaobe in the west of this country, which straddles the equator. Residents will be hooked up to a local solar-powered grid and will have access to Internet.

"If every one of us started thinking about others before thinking about ourselves the world would be better," he says. 

Jennifer David, 47, hangs her solar-lamp outside her mud-brick house to get some sunlight at Chumbi village, some 50 kilometres southeast of Nairobi. David says the lamp has changed her family's life. Now, her children can read and study in the evening, without cost or nuisance.

A villager at Chumbi village, some 50 kilometres southeast of Nairobi, reads with the aid of a solar-powered lamp in her house. She is among the villagers in the east African country who have benfited from solar-powered LED lamps innovated by Kenyan Evans Wadongo.

(c) 2011 AFP"

To learn more about the advantages of solar lanterns watch this short video on our YouTube channel!

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about renewable energy - Knowledge Is Power! For more information go to or write to us at if you have questions or want to get involved. Have a green day! 

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Friday, 16 March 2012

Sun in the Forecast for the Developing World’s Alternative Energy

Green energy for all

Green Launches
The developed world, once thought to be the dominant employer of green technology, is slowly being met in renewable energy investment by the developing world. Thanks to the emerging middle classes in the densely populated regions of China and India, a desperate need for expansive power networks is bringing alternative energy into the picture. In addition, many of the world’s impoverished citizens live outside the reach of urban grids forcing them to rely on inefficient and hazardous energy sources like coal and kerosene. Thankfully, renewable energy’s capability to provide localized, safe, reliable, and inexpensive power is catapulting it to the front of charitable agendas worldwide.

Green Alliance
Additionally, extensions of government initiatives for renewable energy investments and international campaigns, such as the UN’s dedication to making 2012 “The International Year of Sustainable Energy for All”, promise to surge investment in renewable projects in the developing world for years to come. While the significant investments in green technology undertaken by major developing nations have provided a beacon of hope for our planet and its residents’ viability, a spotlight must shine in the coming years on the poverty ridden nations of our globe.

Declining prices

Economies of scale and the technological improvement of solar panels have given renewable energy comparable advantages in key characteristics with the leaders of its industry. Thanks to the plunging prices of photovoltaic (PV) units, which have dipped more than 60% in the past three years, solar energy is providing some of the highest returns on energy investment in the world’s sunny regions.

Why rural

Since an ample supply of solar energy is commonly found in the poverty stricken regions in Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America, PV technology is a logical candidate in eliminating global energy poverty. Besides the geographical fit solar panels have with impoverished nations, PV units also boast advantages of being small-scale, remotely implemented, and completely emission free. Whereas other renewables like hydro or biomass require substantial financing, strategic placing, and minimization of the environmental impact, solar panels face little, if any, of these obstacles. As over 80% of those without electricity are in the rural areas of our planet, the assets provided by PV technology in bringing remote, cost-effective energy directly to people, will help shed light on global poverty.


The most promising project in the Africa/Eastern European region is being offered by the blossoming renewable energy group Desertec, which is devoted to completely satiating energy needs with the immense power of the sun. Using solar panels in an expansive network stretching across the Saharan Desert from Saudi Arabia to Morocco, the projects aim is to source enough electricity to supply the entire region with enough left over to supply 15% of the continental European demand. The first solar farm in the Desertec project will be installed in Morocco later in 2012, with many more to follow.

Micro-financing enables low income investment

Aside from Africa, there is a pulsating need for affordable, reliable electricity in Asian and Latin American nations living below the poverty line. Whether it’s the over 400 million people living without electricity in booming India or the 20 million living off the grid in war torn Afghanistan, the need for energy is pressing. Micro-financing has opened an entire world of possibility to the poor through social enterprises like Kiva, an interest free collection of first world lenders who donate funds to third world lenders via the Internet.

The benefit of renewable energy is so promising that entrepreneurs are investing in third world projects not just for the humanitarian benefit, but for the reliable return garnered from their investment. For example, the Cambodian based company Kamworks offers rental prices on alternative energy units that match the daily cost of kerosene. This makes the investment in renewables affordable for those living in poverty and rewards investors with increasing returns, as their start-up costs are paid off with rental fees. Over the next decade, the expansion of micro-financing options that bring individual renewable energy units, particularly solar, to remote locations will provide light in every corner of the globe.

Opportunity for growth

Beyond Profit
Despite record levels of financial growth in 2011 to Africa’s green energy sector, which more than tripled its 2009 level of financial investment, the renewable abundance of energy in Africa remains largely untapped and dramatically lagging behind the rest of the world. Over $3.6 billion was invested across the sun-baked continent in 2009, with most of it shelled out to northern and southern African nations. Contrast this figure with the $211 billion posted by the market as a whole and it becomes evident that Africa is tragically under serviced in its renewable potential. The encouraging news is that over the past three calendar years, African investment continues to reach new record levels, inspiring confidence in investors to get behind life-changing alternative energy projects.

Renewable Energy Law
The advantage provided by lacking infrastructure in developing nations has been reflected in the steady growth of the developing world’s investment in renewable technologies in the early 2000s. With options like micro-financing becoming a practical option for some of the poorest people on the earth, the basic right to electricity has been given a vehicle for mass delivery. Furthermore, collective widespread investments in far-reaching green projects will whittle away the dependence on fossil fuels while providing much needed employment and income opportunities for our poorest nations. The coming years will be prosperous ones for the green industry in the developing world, as all of the steam built up by the previous decades investment will propel change throughout the third world.

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about renewable energy - Knowledge Is Power! For more information go to or write to us at if you have questions or want to get involved. Have a green day! 

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Easy ways to get your kids thinking about the environment early

1. If your children are old enough to use scissors, teach them to cut the rings of all plastic beverage holders. Even if you dispose of plastic in a place you don't think animals will get to, the items can still be exposed by accident or on purpose through transport, destruction, or naturally breaking down.  These plastic rings can be harmful and even deadly to small animals that can get their heads or bodies stuck between them. Cutting the loops ensures the animals can free themselves if they wind up getting tangled in the first place.

Learn more about the problems with marine litter here.

2. Sow and grow a tree, bush, flower, or plant together. The act of choosing, planting, and caring for a seedling can give children the much needed connection to the Earth as well as teach them important lessons about responsibility. Much like a pet or assisting with the care of another child, having a plant will give your child the opportunity to be a part of something and earn the reward in its growth (and in the case of pets and children, good behaviour). Be sure to choose the seedling carefully and provide the proper care, temperature, and amount of sunlight and water as these will all be necessary for its success.

Check out this link for tips on gardening with kids, including the top 10 crops for children.

3. Get them involved in Earth Day and other green activities. Spending time with other kids doing eco activities is a great way for children to learn about the environment, develop their interactive skills, and have lots of fun. The group aspect of festivals and classes can help show them how many other people care about the environment too, as well as teach them some things they, or even you, may not know.

Visit this link for EcoKids Earth Day 2012 activities and more.

4. Learn about where things come from. A common misunderstanding in children is that items just appear; teaching them the who, when, where, why, and how of their everyday lives can help expand their vision past their home and town and begin an understanding of how big the world is.

Check out these books about where food comes from and visit your local library for more.

5. Teach them the 4Rs - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rethink. While children often learn about recycling at school it's important to reinforce these lessons at home. Daily examples of reducing waste and making proper choices will help your kids do the same as they grow up.

Visit for helpful facts and activities or try these suggestions below and more:

- save energy by turning off lights when you leave a room
- save water by turning taps on only as much as you need and turning taps off in between use
- reduce food waste by using properly sealed containers
- reuse of food waste by applying it to compost
- save plastic bags by using cloth bags
- recycle papers, plastics, and metals in their appropriate containers
- use eco-friendly products for cleaning and more

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about renewable energy - Knowledge Is Power! For more information go to or write to us at if you have questions or want to get involved. Have a green day! 

Sources Seagrant FishEarth EasyEarth DayMunchkin FoodKids Be GreenInspire Your EnvironmentFive HiveEco MiiBordersMom Goes Green

Monday, 12 March 2012

Solar Success: How Companies Are Making Solar Power Affordable

Of all the available renewable energies solar power is currently one of the easiest to harness on an individual level, you can even by solar chargers and lights at places like Home Depot! Solar panels can be utilized even under cloudy skies, although energy production generally dips down to 50%, and can produce as little as 10% on an extremely overcast day. Naturally, it is most efficient in areas where there are the large amounts of direct sunlight. With companies like Eight19 finding ways to keep costs low and develop efficient off-grid modules, solar power is shaping up to be a conceivable way of bringing electricity to many rural areas.

Rural Solar

Eight19 takes its name from the time it takes sunlight to reach the earth - 8 minutes and 19 seconds. Its mission is to develop the technologies and manufacturing processes that will bring off-grid solar power to a new generation of users, transforming lives and accelerating economic development. Today, there are 1.6Bn people in the world without electricity. The majority live in the world’s most economically deprived communities, where the up-front cost of solar power is unaffordable. Eight19’s printed plastic solar technology is designed to deliver flexible, lightweight, robust and lower cost solar cells for a variety of solar-powered applications.
Eight19 is able to keep manufacturing costs down by using printed plastic, a technology originally developed at Cambridge University. This produces affordable, lightweight, and durable solar cells.

For under-developed countries such as Africa, it is important to utilize technology that does not require significant infrastructure like electrical grids. Eight19 developed IndiGo, a solar lighting and battery-charging system that works like a pay-as-you-go mobile account.

The company recently completed a trial run among a approximately 200 rural Kenyan families. For a $10 deposit, Eight19 loaned to a family a solar cell that generates 2.5 watts of electricity. According to Eight19, when fully activated, this is enough power to light two small rooms and charge a cell phone for seven hours.

To use the module the families had to buy scratch cards, for approximately one dollar, which have specific PINs that must be texted to Eight19. Once families have bought approximately $80 worth of scratch cards, they have paid off the solar cell and now own it. After this initial investment, the families are free to use the solar cells forever.

$10 deposit = 1 solar cell generating 2.5 watts electricity
(fully activated = 2 small rooms and 1 cell phone for 7 hours)

+ (80 x $1 scratch cards) = $90
= solar power for life

Eight19 also offers an option to trade in for a larger cell through the IndiGo Energy Escalator.

See more solar success stories here at Restoring the Power.

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about renewable energy - Knowledge Is Power! For more information go to or write to us at if you have questions or want to get involved. Have a green day! 

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Renewable Energy in Sports

As the green movement evolves it seems renewable energy can be found just about everywhere, but did you know how prominent it can be in sports? Here's a look at just some of what the national football, hockey, and soccer leagues are doing to go green!

A typical NFL stadium uses enough electricity in a year to power about 1,000 average U.S. homes, leaving some football teams with annual power bills of more than a million dollars.

FedEx Field, the home of the Washington Redskins, now receives 20% of its electricity on game days, 100% on other days, from a new solar array in the stadiums parking lot. In Seattle, the Seahawks installed the NFL’s first stadium solar array which consists of 4,000 tube-shaped panels on top of a building next to CenturyLink Field. The team uses the solar array and a centralized control system that allows for the control of every light and scoreboard in the stadium and also use energy more efficiently, cutting annual usage by more than 20%.

Watch this video to learn more! 

In addition to renewable energy for its stadiums, the NFL looks to be environmentally-friendly in all areas of its business including resource efficiency and waste minimization. The Super Bowl in particular has five main initiatives (solid waste management, material reuse, food recovery, sports equipment and book donations, and greenhouse gas reduction), and various NFL clubs have their own sustainability movements:

One team that is not just green uniform but also in its business practices is the Philadelphia Eagles. The SportsBusiness Journal called the Eagles Go Green initiative "the most comprehensive greening effort of any major sports team." Since launching Go Green in 2003, the Eagles have recycled thousands of tons of waste; greened their entire supply chain; and created Eagles Forest, a 6.5 acre area in Neshaminy State Park, PA where the Eagles have funded the purchase of more than 4,000 trees and shrubs. 
In November of 2010 the Eagles announced a groundbreaking plan to power its stadium, Lincoln Financial Field, exclusively from renewable energy (onsite wind, solar, and bio-fuel). This transformative initiative will be the first of its kind among sports facilities worldwide. The project will not only eliminate the use of fossil fuels at Lincoln Financial Field, but it is also projected to save the Eagles $60M in energy costs over the next 20 years. The Eagles have proven that going green is both good for the environment and good business.

The NHL's Green program reaches out to the younger generation by promoting the importance of being connected and aware of how our actions impact the world around us. In 2007, the NHL Player's Association partnered up with the David Suzuki FoundationDavid Suzuki commented on the importance of this by saying that "environmentalists would kill to get this type of attention," said jokingly, as he pointed to a line of cameras. "Let's face it, an old crusty guy like me, an environmentalist, who is going to listen to me? But these guys connect directly with our youth and it's all about the future."

NHL Green also promotes reduce water usage, food recovery, and equipment recycling. Visit their website to learn more about what they are doing and how you can participate.

A group of students at Harvard have come up with a revolutionary idea that could change the lives of many people in developing countries. They have developed an energy harvesting soccer ball called sOccket that is able to produce electric energy when being kicked around. When the soccer ball is kicked, it captures the energy from impact that is normally lost to the environment, storing this energy for later use. The electricity from this ball can then be used to charge a cell phone battery or to light an LED lamp for several hours.

Watch this video to learn more! 

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about renewable energy - Knowledge Is Power! For more information go to or write to us at if you have questions or want to get involved. Have a green day! 

Sources: SoccketClean TechnicaEnergy BoomEnergy BoomGreen OptimisticInhabitatNFL NewsNHL Green

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Geothermal Energy in the Home

Geothermal energy means energy derived from the heat within the earth. People have made use of geothermal energy in the form of hot springs for centuries (i.e. the ancient romans used geothermal energy to heat their baths), however, the first attempt to generate electricity from this energy source did not occur until the 20th century.

The production of electricity from geothermal energy sources can be a highly efficient means of delivering clean and renewable electricity to many people. Location is of key importance for the development of an efficient geothermal power station and therefore, economically viable levels of electricity can only be generated in certain areas of the world. Currently geothermal power heats 89% of the houses in Iceland and over 54% of the primary energy used in Iceland comes from geothermal sources. However, there are only a handful of locations across the world that are capable of producing viable and efficient levels of electricity from geothermal energy sources and as a result of this, in 2007, less than 1% of the world's electricity supply was produced from geothermal sources.

Generating electricity from geothermal energy requires an industrial system which is by no means suitable for a home. An alternative means of harnessing geothermal energy in a bid to receive a source of clean and renewable energy is through a ground source heat pump. This is a environmentally friendly way to heat your home and heat water.

Heat pumps

Throughout the year, almost 50% of the sun’s energy is absorbed into the earth where it maintains a consistent temperature just a few feet below the ground’s surface. Geothermal heat pumps consist of two parts: a circuit of underground piping outside the house, and a heat pump unit inside the house. These systems can either be an open loop system or a closed loop system.

Closed loop systems are when the same fluid (usually water and anti-freeze) always flows through the collector pipes. In a closed-loop system, a loop is buried horizontally or drilled vertically in the earth around the home, or laid in a nearby lake or pond.

Open loop systems draw well water for use as the heat source or heat sink, and after use, return the well water to a drainage field or another well. New water is always being pumped through the system when it is in operation. It is called an open-loop system because the ground water is open to the environment.

A ground-source heat pump uses the earth or ground water or both as the sources of heat in the winter, and as the "sink" for heat removed from the home in the summer. This combination of high performance technology allows us to tap into the earth’s natural heating and cooling properties to consistently and evenly distribute warm or cool air in your home throughout each season. 

Using a heat pump alone to may not meet your full heating / cooling needs.  Unlike gas and oil boilers, heat pumps deliver heat at lower temperatures over much longer periods. You will notice that radiators won't feel as hot to the touch as they might do when you are using a gas or oil boiler. During the winter they may need to be on constantly to heat your home efficiently. However, used in conjunction with a supplementary form of heating, such as an oil, gas or electric furnace, a heat pump can provide reliable and economic heating in winter and cooling in summer.

If you already have an oil or electric heating system, installing a heat pump may be an effective way to reduce your energy costs. Heat pump systems can also be used in conjunction with under floor heating. Under floor heating is an ideal distribution system because high temperatures are not required (the larger the surface area discharging heat, the lower the temperature needs to be). Under floor heating uses a large mass of concrete (your floor) to store the heat, and this storage effect means the heat pump will not cycle (frequently switch on and off) which can shorten the life of the unit. 

The main advantage of geothermal ground source heat pumps is that they can be used in many locations. Even ground source heat pumps installed in colder regions such as Norway and Sweden see significant results. A geothermal heat pump system can be highly effective at reducing the energy you require to heat water and therefore reducing your energy bills. While residential geothermal heat pump systems are usually more expensive initially to install than other heating and cooling systems, their greater efficiency means the investment can be recouped in two to seven years. After that, energy and maintenance costs are much less than conventional heating and air-conditioning systems.

How it works

Heat pump systems are typically made up of the following main components: 

Collector (system used to collect heat from the surroundings)
Heat pump unit and associated components
Heat distribution system (under floor heating or equivalent low temperature distribution system)
Control system (weather compensation, thermostats, timers etc.)

Heat pumps don’t make electricity but reduce the need for electricity for heating and cooling. They move hot water from the ground outside into the house.

A heat pump is an electrical device that extracts heat from one place and transfers it to another. The heat pump is not a new technology; it has been used in Canada and around the world for decades. Refrigerators and air conditioners are both common examples of this technology. 

The geothermal heat pumps consist of two heat exchanger coils. A substance called a refrigerant carries the heat from one area to another. When compressed, it is a high temperature, high pressure liquid. If it is allowed to expand, it turns into a low temperature, low pressure gas. The gas then absorbs the heat. In one coil, the refrigerant is evaporated at low pressure and absorbs heat from its surroundings. The refrigerant is then compressed en route to the other coil, where it condenses at high pressure. At this point, it releases the heat it absorbed earlier in the cycle. This is how we heat the home and heat water for showers etc. All heat pumps have an outdoor unit (called the condenser) and an indoor unit (an evaporator coil).

The heating cycle
Heat from the ground is absorbed at low temperatures into a fluid inside a loop of pipe (a ground loop) buried underground. The fluid then passes through a compressor that raises it to a higher temperature, which can then heat water for the heating and hot water circuits (showers) of the house. The cooled ground-loop fluid passes back into the ground where it absorbs further energy from the ground in a continuous process as long as heating is required.

The cooling cycle

The cooling cycle is basically the reverse of the heating cycle. The direction of the refrigerant flow is changed by the reversing valve. The refrigerant picks up heat from the house air and transfers it directly, in DX systems, or to the ground water or antifreeze mixture. The heat is then pumped outside, into a water body or return well (in an open system) or into the underground piping (in a closed loop system). Refrigerators and air conditioners are both examples of heat pumps operating only in the cooling mode.

Different types of geothermal pumps

Geothermal heat pump systems are usually not do-it-yourself projects. To ensure good results, the piping should be installed by professionals who follow procedures established by the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA). Designing the system also calls for professional expertise: the length of the loop depends upon a number of factors, including the type of loop configuration used; your home’s heating and air conditioning load; local soil conditions and landscaping; and the severity of your climate. Larger homes requiring more heating or air conditioning generally need larger loops than smaller homes. Homes in climates where temperatures are extreme also generally require larger loops. The type of soil around your home is also an important factor. The following are a list of the different geothermal pump options.

Closed loop systems

Horizontal Loops
Horizontal loops are the most common type of loop system, and are commonly used in home where an adequate land surface is available     (rural areas). An excavator will dig several trenches about six feet deep in the ground, each one up to 300 feet long. Our green geothermal pipe is placed in the trenches which are then backfilled with soil.

Vertical Loops
Vertical loops are primarily used in areas with a limited land surface area (urban areas). A specially designed geothermal drilling rig bores vertical holes into the ground each ranging from 180 to 540 feet deep. Our green geothermal pipe is inserted into each vertical bore and then the holes are filled with bentonite grout.

Pond or Lake Loops
On properties that have a nearby lake or pond that is appropriate in size and eight feet deep, a loop system can be submerged at the bottom of the body of water. A single trench is excavated from the home to the water and typically two pipes are inserted into it. These two pipes connect to several green geothermal pipes that are submerged at the bottom of the lake or pond. This type of loop design may be the most economical when a home is near a body of water such as a shallow pond or lake. Fluid circulates underwater through polyethylene piping in a closed system, just as it does through ground loops. The pipes may be coiled in a slinky shape to fit more of it into a given amount of space. Since it is a closed system, it results in no adverse impacts on the aquatic system.

Open loop systems

Open Loops
Open loops are most commonly used on rural properties that have existing high capacity water wells. Ground water is withdrawn from an aquifer through a supply well and pumped into the heat pump, while discharged water from the heat pump is redirected into a second well and back into the same aquifer.

Could geothermal work for you

In 2010 Maurice Stanley wrote a thesis titled “An analysis of the viability of geothermal heating in residential housing in Ireland” and as part of his research he conducted a literature review, case study, and also sent out a questionnaire to 11 people who use geothermal energy in their homes.
He discovered from his research that the average cost for using geothermal heating for one year averaged under half of the price of oil heating. His case study suggests a payback period of just over 7.5 years, while his questionnaire responses suggest an average payback period of 10 years; with some systems having a life span of nearly 25 years the savings which can be made are very reassuring.

Over all the results from the questionnaire were very positive with a massive 82% of geothermal heat users were happy with their systems. 46% of the users would not even consider switching from their geothermal system. This positive result points out that the majority of people who rely on ground source heat pumps for their heating needs are pleased with the chosen method of heating.

He also discovered that out of the eleven users questioned, only two use complementary heating systems namely in the form of a gas boiler and a wood pellet stove. This result demonstrates that the majority of users of geothermal heating systems do not require any additional heat source. According to this, the ground source heat pumps seem to be a sufficient way of heating a home in Ireland.
From the primary sources of information gathered by the author it is clear that such heating systems are economically viable and an excellent solution for domestic home heating in Ireland, and potentially many other locations as well!

For information about other renewable energies in your home please visit our articles on Solar Energy, Wind Energyand stay tuned for more!

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about renewable energy - Knowledge Is Power! For more information go to or write to us at if you have questions or want to get involved. Have a green day! 

Sources: Geosmart EnergyEnergy Saving TrustGeothermal-heat-pump-resourceSEAIConsumer Energy CenterNRCANClean-energy-ideasCANGEAGeothermal_energyRenewable_energy_in_IcelandGeothermal Int“An analysis of the viability of geothermal heating in residential housing in Ireland” by Maurice Stanley, BSc (Hons) Quantity Surveying, Edinburgh Napier University