Replacing Heating and Cooling Equipment with Geothermal Solutions

Renewable energy technologies are providing an increasing share of the comprehensive energy needs of modern societies. However, the potential of underground energy remains largely untapped, mainly due to high start-up costs. Companies such as Dandelion Energy are seeking to provide more geothermal solutions by reducing entry costs so that more people can experience the benefits of underground energy.

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Geothermal solutions: harnessing potential underground energy

The most effective way to get the most out of underground energy is to use the ground’s natural thermal regulation to heat and cool buildings. See the article : HVAC Field Service Software Market to Witness a Pronounce Growth During 2025.

Heating and cooling residential and commercial buildings contribute significantly to rising energy demand – second only to car ownership in terms of the demand it places on domestic energy budgets. Geothermal solutions for heating and cooling replace this energy-intensive and often highly polluting activity with an environmentally friendly alternative.

Eliminating the economic costs of heating and cooling buildings—using oil-powered heat sources, radiators and furnaces, air-conditioning units, and so on—would also remove a significant portion of a homeowner’s or commercial building owner’s total cost.

The heating and cooling equipment used in geothermal systems consists of a series of pipes buried underground and running through the building. In winter, the heat stored underground is moved through the pipes to heat the house. In summer, the heat from the home is moved underground, as the same process is reversed.

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How do geothermal solutions work?

The soil in the ground maintains constant temperatures all year round from about five feet below the surface and deeper. To see also : Automotive Hvac Market Future Development, Manufacturers and Industry Trends Analysis : Sensata Technologies Inc. Valeo S.A. Air International Thermal Systems – KSU. The temperature is warmer than the surface temperature in winter and cooler than the surface temperature in summer.

Geothermal solutions work by transferring heat between the building on the surface and the ground below ground.

A typical geothermal system includes a heat pump in the house and a piping system buried below the surface, the buried piping system is called a ground loop.

Pipes are filled with circulating fluid, which continuously moves heat through the housing and ground loop. The heat pump ensures that the entire system continues to flow in the blood, just like the heart.

In the summer, the system extracts heat from the air in the building and then draws it to the subsurface where it is released and absorbed. In winter, this process is reversed, as heat is extracted from the solid substrate and released to the building at the surface.

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Benefits of underground energy

Geothermal solutions are a much more stable way to heat and cool a building than relying on oil-based or electric systems. Read also : Automotive Hvac Market 2021 Global Trends, Market Share, Industry Size, Growth, Opportunities Analysis and Forecast : Sensata Technologies Inc. Valeo S.A. Air International Thermal Systems – KSU. The price for running the pump does not fluctuate and increases with increasing demand, and building owners who use their own geothermal heating and cooling equipment do not have to worry about sudden shortages that cause their building to freeze.

Unlike other renewable energy technologies, geothermal energy does not depend on specific types of weather. It is consistent and effective year-round in a much wider variety of climates and environments.

Geothermal solutions not only provide more energy independence for building owners, but are also generally a much more efficient way to heat and cool buildings.

The heating and cooling equipment used in geothermal systems is also much more reliable and durable than, say, air conditioners and radiators. Ground loops can last more than 50 years with minimal maintenance, and heat pumps typically last 20 years.

Another advantage of this type of system is that it provides heating and cooling in one, with one type of equipment to use and one installation to make.

Combined with the safety and convenience that comes with getting rid of furnaces and gas systems, these benefits certainly make underground energy a more attractive solution for heating and cooling needs.

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Why aren’t more people using underground energy?

Despite these many benefits, many who could reap the benefits of underground energy have yet to make the switch. The main reason for this is the high initial investment costs required.

Digging deep into the ground and installing pipes and a heat pump can cost homes up to $50,000, and clearly these costs increase significantly for commercial buildings. While for some people this large initial outlay would eventually pay for itself in energy bill savings, such costs are still a major barrier.

Dandelion Energy is trying to make geothermal solutions more affordable. The company grew out of a Google X project that aimed to reduce geothermal startup costs.

It has refined the installation process by using smaller, more efficient drills to make smaller holes in the ground outside a building. Engineers then insert U-shaped pipes into these holes to create a closed ground loop for the geothermal solution.

With this improved approach and specialist equipment, Dandelion Energy can install a new ground loop in days instead of weeks.

These improvements have enabled Dandelion Energy to offer geothermal solutions for the home for as little as $18,000.

The company also offers a no-deposit financing option to make geothermal energy accessible to even more customers.

There is still a need for greater adoption of renewable energy technologies, including geothermal solutions. In the US, heating and cooling buildings accounts for about 11% of the country’s CO2 emissions.

Replacing this activity with zero-emission technology using underground energy is a simple, impactful and cost-effective solution.

References and further reading

Soltani, M., et al. (2019). A comprehensive study of geothermal heating and cooling systems. Sustainable cities and society. [Online] https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scs.2018.09.036.

Dandelion Energy [Online] Available at: https://dandelionenergy.com/

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