Heat Cold Storage

A ground-source heat pump (GSHP) system has three major components: the earth connection, a heat pump, and the heating or cooling distribution system. The earth connection is where heat transfer occurs. One common type of earth connection comprises tubing buried in horizontal trenches or vertical boreholes, or alternatively, submerged in a lake or pond. An antifreeze mixture, water or another heat-transfer fluid is circulated from the heat pump, through the tubing, and back to the heat pump in a “closed loop.” “Open loop” earth connections draw water from a well or a body of water, transfer heat to or from the water, and then return it to the ground (e.g. a second well) or the body of water.

Since the energy extracted from the ground exceeds the energy used to run the heat pump, GSHP “efficiencies” can exceed 100%, and routinely average 200 to 500% over a season. Due to the stable, moderate temperature of the ground, GSHP systems are more efficient than air-source heat pumps, which exchange heat with the outside air. GSHP systems are also more efficient than conventional heating and air-conditioning technologies, and typically have lower maintenance costs. They require less space, especially when a liquid building loop replaces voluminous air ducts, and, since the tubing is located underground, are not prone to vandalism like conventional rooftop units. Peak electricity consumption during cooling season is lower than with conventional air-conditioning, so utility demand charges may be reduced.

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