When we think of energy for running the home we automatically think of oil, gas, electricity and fossil fuel, but we have all of the free energy we need from the earth, we just have to know how to convert it for our own use. There are other options like Solar energy , Wind Energy , Water Energy , Air Source / Air to Water Heat Pumps and one that most people have not heard of or do not understand called Geo-thermal energy.
Basically, “Geo” means earth and “thermal” means heat. so when we talk about Geo- Thermal energy we mean earth heat.
In most ground the first ten feet below ground level stays at a constant temperature of between 10 and 16 degrees F. If you choose to use a ground source heat pump you can convert this energy to heat your home. Pipes are buried in the ground near the house. Inside the pipes is a fluid like anti freeze, like in a car radiator, this gets circulated around the pipes by a pump. In the winter the heat from the warm ground goes through the heat exchanger of the heat pump which sends warm air into the house. During hot weather the process is reversed, hot air from the inside of the building goes through the heat exchanger and the heat passes into relatively cooler ground.
* The following information is provided by Sustainable Energy Ireland through their publications.
Free heat from the garden?
Heat is widely available in the ground, air and water around your house. These natural sources of heat are constantly replenished by the sun, wind and rain. A heat pump system will harness these free and renewable energy source for heating your house and supply hot water at a very low cost. The role of the heat pump is to ‘pump up’ heat from a low temperature source, for example the ground under your lawn and release it at a higher temperature into your central heating system.
Ok. But why is it so economical?
Because at least 70% of your heat will come from a free source. For every unit of electricity used to drive the heat pump, 3 to 5 units of useful heat will be generated. Manufacturers generally refer to the ratio between the useful heat produced and the electricity used as the coefficient of performance. With an overall energy efficiency in excess of 400%, compared to 70 to 85% efficiency for a good oil or gas boiler, no wonder a heat pump is so economical.
And good for the environment
When driven with conventional electricity, a heat pump system emits 40% less CO2 emissions than a boiler. That’s a great contribution to the fight against climate change. But if you can operate your heat pump with green electricity (e.g wind farm) then your central heating system becomes 100% renewable and totally free of greenhouse gases emissions.
So, is it really worth it?
Absolutely. While they are more expensive initially to install compared to a conventional oil system, their frugality in electricity will save you 20,000 Euro over its lifetime.
In effect you only have to use a small amount of electricity to bring this energy out of the ground. This could be supplied by battery back up energy which has been captured by either Solar energy , Wind Energy, Water Energy,which means no heating or electricity bills once the initial outlay has been made.