Alternate Energies - Geothermal: Econar
Geothermal can be used to providing heating or cooling services. In each instance the process is similar.
In the heating mode, the water circulating in the earth loop is colder than the surrounding ground. This causes the water to absorb energy, in the form of heat, from the earth. The water carries this energy to the heat exchanger in the pump. In the heat exchanger, refrigerant absorbs the heat energy from the water. The water now leaves the heat exchanger at a colder temperature, and circulates through the earth loop to pick up more energy. After refrigerant releases its heat energy to the air, it then flows to the earth loop heat exchanger to start the cycle again.
In the cooling mode, the water circulating in the earth loop is warmer than the surrounding ground. This causes the water to release energy, in the form of heat, into the earth. The water, now cooler from traveling through the ground now flows to the heat exchanger in the heat pump. In the heat exchanger, hot refrigerant gas from the compressor releases its heat into the water. This causes the water to increase in temperature, and release the heat to the ground. When the refrigerant leaves the compressor, it then flows to the earth loop heat exchanger to start the cycle again
System cost of course will vary greatly depending on individual circumstances, but on average a typical home of 2000 square feet will cost between $14,000 - $18,000. This represents somewhere around double the costs of a conventional heating, cooling and hot water system. When it comes to payback, we at ECONAR often see a 3 – 5 year payback of these additional costs. Then it’s money in the bank from that point on.