Speed’s offers the latest in Geothermal technology. As members of the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA) since 2006, we are familiar with many types and size installations. We are also well versed in the multiple incentives currently available for geothermal. If you are interested in the most energy efficient way to heat and cool your home contact us today, or get started by filling out the perspective geothermal customer survey.
How does geothermal work?
A geothermal or “ground-source” heat pump is an electrically powered device that uses the natural heat storage ability of the earth and/or the earth’s groundwater to heat and cool your home or business. A heat pump, simply moves heat energy from one place to another. A refrigerator works using the same scientific principle. The geothermal heat pump removes heat energy stored in the earth and transfers it to the home. The earth has the ability to absorb and store heat energy.
There are two main types of loop systems that are used to collect the earth’s heat: open and closed. Open loops or “pump and dump systems” simply pump ground water directly through the heat pump unit. Typically, the water comes from a well, passes through the heat pump and is dumped back into the ground. Closed loops require long lengths of strong durable pipe to be buried underground. Closed loops can be installed either horizontally or vertically. Determining what type of loop system is most appropriate can depend on several factors and is decided on only after consultation.
Geothermal units are efficient for many reasons, mostly because they are not creating heat energy, they simply move heat energy from one place to another.
What equipment do I need?
Heat pump: The heat pump unit is located in the building either in a crawl space or mechanical room. Heat pump units are similar in size to traditional furnaces. Both hot water and forced air units are available. Traditional duct work and radiant floor piping are standard delivery systems used in conjunction with the heat pump. A 5 or 10 year warranty is available for the units.
Loopfield: An open or closed loop can be used to collect the ground temperature. Open loops require a well, well pump, and dump system. The well and well pump can be the same system used for the domestic water or it can be a separate system. The dump system could be another well or an infiltration system. The dump method is usually decided by the soil conditions and the size of the unit. Closed loop systems require large lengths of geothermal pipe. Horizontal installations typically require an area at least as large as the footprint of the building. Loopfields cannot be located under permanent structures. Vertical installations are 250 feet deep on average and require multiple bore holes. For this reason vertical applications are typically more expensive.
Pumps and controls: A circulation pump will generally be needed to circulate the antifreeze solution through the closed loops, Thermostats and boiler controls are used to operate the heat pump units.
How much will geothermal cost?
The initial investment for a geothermal system is greater than that of a conventional system. However, considering the lower operating costs of a geothermal heating and cooling system, energy savings can quickly offset the initial difference in purchase price. Typical installations have a payback between 5 and 7 years.
Speed’s Heating and Cooling supplies the loopfield, heat pump, controls, and delivery systems.
Approximate costs as of Nov 2010, based on the square footage of the building:
- Closed loop horizontal 9-11$/sqft
- Closed loop vertical (drill) 12-14$.sqft
- Open loop (pump and dump) 8-10$/sqft
Currently Federal incentives do exist that reduce the cost of the system by 30%. Other incentives may also be available through the state of WY or your local power company.