American Services industrial heating equipment maintenance in Missouri knows that as energy costs continue to climb, businesses are on the lookout for options to reduce their overall expenses. One option that has withstood the test of time is geothermal heating. While this may sound like something from a science fiction movie, the technology has actually been around since the 1940s.
The way geothermal heat pumps work is by using the constant temperature of the earth as opposed to interjecting outside air into a system, which can fluctuate, to produce heat. This process is extremely efficient and makes geothermal heating a smart choice for a variety of installations.
There are several types of geothermal systems that each work in a slightly different way and are applicable to a variety of situations. The general term for a grouping of one set of these systems is called a closed loop system. In general the way closed loop systems work is to use antifreeze that is circulated through the system via a pump. The tubing is buried in the ground, and heat exchange occurs between the refrigerant in the pump and the antifreeze that is circulating within the closed loop. Depending on the geography and the terrain, a few options for a closed loop system are available.
A horizontal system is one option and uses trenches that are filled with looped piping. This type of installation doesn’t require the deep trenching those other systems might require. A vertical system is just the opposite of the horizontal placement. The vertical system uses tubing that is buried in a deep trench (100-400ft) and is in a U type design. The pond or lake based system uses a standing body of water instead of deep earth to gain heat. The coils on this system are placed in the water deep enough to prevent freezing.
Outside of the closed loop design, there is an open loop design that can also be used. The open loop system doesn’t use antifreeze, but rather incorporates fresh water into the design. The water replaces the antifreeze that is used in a closed loop system for the heat exchange to occur. While this system can be efficient, it is also dependent on there being a steady supply of fresh water, and owners should check local building codes to make sure it is allowed.
Even though there are different flavors of geothermal systems, the basic concept is the same, using the heat from the earth to warm a building. These systems can be expensive to put in, but can end up saving business owners heating costs in the future. A thorough analysis has to be done to see if a geothermal system fits the needs of your business.