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5.3.4: Geothermal Energy - Biology

5.3.4: Geothermal Energy - Biology


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Geothermal energy originates from heat rising to the surface from Earth’s molten iron core created during the formation and compression of the early Earth as well as from heat produced continuously by radioactive decay of uranium, thorium, and potassium in the Earth’s crust. Geothermal power plants harness this heat energy to produce electricity much in the same way that heat from burning coal generates energy (figure(PageIndex{a-c})). Water is injected underground and heated. The steam that emerges can be used directly, the heat can be transferred to closed system of another fluid, which then boils (figure(PageIndex{c})). Either way, the steam (or other high-pressure gas) ultimately turns a turbine and powers a generator.

Figure(PageIndex{a}): Steam is released from a geothermal power plant. Image by Open Access Government (CC-BY).

Figure(PageIndex{b}): In a geothermal power plant, geothermal fluid is injected underground and heated. It exits to the surface through production wells, where it is used to generate electricity. The geothermal fluid (water/steam) is reused. Image from Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy/U.S. Department of Energy (public domain).

Figure(PageIndex{c}): (1) In a geothermal power plant, hot water is pumped from deep underground through a well under high pressure. (2) When the water reaches the surface, the pressure is dropped, which causes the water to turn into steam. (3) The steam spins a turbine, which is connected to a generator that produces electricity. (4) The steam cools off in a cooling tower and condenses back to water. (5) The cooled water is pumped back into the Earth to begin the process again. Image and caption (modified) from EPA (public domain).

Geothermal heat pumps (ground-source heat pumps) rely on cool temperatures underground to cool or heat homes (figure(PageIndex{d})). They are sometimes considered a second type of geothermal energy, but they are also a means of energy conservation. Geothermal heat pumps use a heat-exchange system that runs in the subsurface about 20 feet (5 meters) below the surface, which is consistently cool (around 55°F, or 12.5° C). Fluid is pumped underground and then along ducts in the home. This cools the house during the summer, acting as a heat sink. During a cold winter, it warms the house to 55° F (acting as a heat source), and traditional heating systems do the rest. .This reduces the energy consumption required to generate heat from gas, steam, hot water, and conventional electric air-conditioning systems.

Figure(PageIndex{d}): A ground source heat pump (geothermal heat pump) in heating mode (during the winter; left) and in cooling mode (during the summer; right). There are four steps for heating mode (left). (1) Circulation: The above-ground heat pump moves water or another fluid through a series of buried pipes or ground loops. (2) Heat absorption: As the fluid passes through the ground loop, it absorbs heat from the warmer soil, rock, or ground water around it. (3) Heat exchange and use: The heated fluid returns to the building where it used for space or water heating. The system uses a heat exchanger to transfer heat into the building’s existing air handling, distribution, and ventilation system. (4) Recirculation: Once the fluid transfers its heat to the building, it returns at a lower temperature to the ground loop to be heated again. This process is repeated, moving heat from one point to another. The four steps for cooling mode (right) are similar: (1) heat exchange and absorption, (2) circulation, (3) heat discharge, and (4) recirculation. Images and caption (modified) from EPA (public domain).

This video explains the construction and mechanism of geothermal heat pumps.

Not only does geothermal energy have multiple applications (generating electricity, heating, and cooling), but it is reliable. While solar and wind energy are intermittent, heat is consistently radiated from deep underground. Additionally, the cool temperatures closer to the surface needed for geothermal heat pumps are present year round and at all locations. Geothermal power plants for electricity generation, however, can only be built in specific locations where hot magma is close enough to the Earth's surface. These locations are typically associated with geysers, hot springs, or volcanoes (figure(PageIndex{e})). Additionally, geothermal power plants are costly to build.


Figure(PageIndex{e}): Locations of the world's volcanoes. They are concentrated along the west coasts of North American and South America as well as just east of Asia and Australia. These regions, which wrap around the Pacific Ocean, form what is known as the Ring of Fire. Image by Salazar, S.S., Muñoz, Y. & Ospino, A. Analysis of geothermal energy as an alternative source for electricity in Colombia. Geotherm Energy 5, 27 (2017). (CC-BY)

The environmental impact of geothermal energy depends on how it is being used. The use of geothermal heat pumps has almost no negative impact on the environment. Geothermal power plants do not burn fuel to generate electricity, so they generate minimal air pollution. They release less than 1% of the carbon dioxide emissions of a fossil fuel plant. Geothermal plants plants use scrubber systems to clean the air of hydrogen sulfide that is naturally found in the steam and hot water. They emit 97% less sulfur compounds (one cause of acid deposition/acid rain) than are emitted by fossil fuel plants. After the steam and water from a geothermal reservoir have been used, they are injected back into the Earth. One environmental concern associated with geothermal power plants is geothermal drilling during their construction has caused earthquakes, similar to the effects of injection wells for fracking.


Direct uses

Probably the most widely used set of applications involves the direct use of heated water from the ground without the need for any specialized equipment. All direct-use applications make use of low-temperature geothermal resources, which range between about 50 and 150 °C (122 and 302 °F). Such low-temperature geothermal water and steam have been used to warm single buildings, as well as whole districts where numerous buildings are heated from a central supply source. In addition, many swimming pools, balneological (therapeutic) facilities at spas, greenhouses, and aquaculture ponds around the world have been heated with geothermal resources. Other direct uses of geothermal energy include cooking, industrial applications (such as drying fruit, vegetables, and timber), milk pasteurization, and large-scale snow melting. For many of those activities, hot water is often used directly in the heating system, or it may be used in conjunction with a heat exchanger, which transfers heat when there are problematic minerals and gases such as hydrogen sulfide mixed in with the fluid.


Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy is heat that is generated within the Earth. It is a renewable resource that can be harvested for human use.

Earth Science, Geology, Engineering

Geothermal energy is heat that is generated within the Earth. (Geo means &ldquoearth,&rdquo and thermal means &ldquoheat&rdquo in Greek.) It is a renewable resource that can be harvested for human use.

About 2,900 kilometers (1,800 miles) below the Earth&rsquos crust, or surface, is the hottest part of our planet: the core. A small portion of the core&rsquos heat comes from the friction and gravitational pull formed when Earth was created more than 4 billion years ago. However, the vast majority of Earth&rsquos heat is constantly generated by the decay of radioactive isotopes, such as potassium-40 and thorium-232.

Isotopes are forms of an element that have a different number of neutrons than regular versions of the element&rsquos atom.

Potassium, for instance, has 20 neutrons in its nucleus. Potassium-40, however, has 21 neutrons. As potassium-40 decays, its nucleus changes, emitting enormous amounts of energy (radiation). Potassium-40 most often decays to isotopes of calcium (calcium-40) and argon (argon-40).

Radioactive decay is a continual process in the core. Temperatures there rise to more than 5,000° Celsius (about 9,000° Fahrenheit). Heat from the core is constantly radiating outward and warming rocks, water, gas, and other geological material.

Earth&rsquos temperature rises with depth from the surface to the core. This gradual change in temperature is known as the geothermal gradient. In most parts of the world, the geothermal gradient is about 25° C per 1 kilometer of depth (1° F per 77 feet of depth).

If underground rock formations are heated to about 700-1,300° C (1,300-2,400° F), they can become magma. Magma is molten (partly melted) rock permeated by gas and gas bubbles. Magma exists in the mantle and lower crust, and sometimes bubbles to the surface as lava.

Magma heats nearby rocks and underground aquifers. Hot water can be released through geysers, hot springs, steam vents, underwater hydrothermal vents, and mud pots.


These are all sources of geothermal energy. Their heat can be captured and used directly for heat, or their steam can be used to generate electricity. Geothermal energy can be used to heat structures such as buildings, parking lots, and sidewalks.

Most of the Earth&rsquos geothermal energy does not bubble out as magma, water, or steam. It remains in the mantle, emanating outward at a slow pace and collecting as pockets of high heat. This dry geothermal heat can be accessed by drilling, and enhanced with injected water to create steam.

Many countries have developed methods of tapping into geothermal energy. Different types of geothermal energy are available in different parts of the world. In Iceland, abundant sources of hot, easily accessible underground water make it possible for most people to rely on geothermal sources as a safe, dependable, and inexpensive source of energy. Other countries, such as the U.S., must drill for geothermal energy at greater cost.

Harvesting Geothermal Energy: Heating and Cooling

Low-Temperature Geothermal Energy
Almost anywhere in the world, geothermal heat can be accessed and used immediately as a source of heat. This heat energy is called low-temperature geothermal energy. Low-temperature geothermal energy is obtained from pockets of heat about 150° C (302° F). Most pockets of low-temperature geothermal energy are found just a few meters below ground.

Low-temperature geothermal energy can be used for heating greenhouses, homes, fisheries, and industrial processes. Low-temperature energy is most efficient when used for heating, although it can sometimes be used to generate electricity.

People have long used this type of geothermal energy for engineering, comfort, healing, and cooking. Archaeological evidence shows that 10,000 years ago, groups of Native Americans gathered around naturally occurring hot springs to recuperate or take refuge from conflict. In the third century BCE, scholars and leaders warmed themselves in a hot spring fed by a stone pool near Lishan, a mountain in central China. One of the most famous hot spring spas is in the appropriately named town of Bath, England. Starting construction in about 60 CE, Roman conquerors built an elaborate system of steam rooms and pools using heat from the region&rsquos shallow pockets of low-temperature geothermal energy.

The hot springs of Chaudes Aigues, France, have provided a source of income and energy for the town since the 1300s. Tourists flock to the town for its elite spas. The low-temperature geothermal energy also supplies heat to homes and businesses.

The United States opened its first geothermal district heating system in 1892 in Boise, Idaho. This system still provides heat to about 450 homes.

Co-Produced Geothermal Energy
Co-produced geothermal energy technology relies on other energy sources. This form of geothermal energy uses water that has been heated as a byproduct in oil and gas wells.

In the United States, about 25 billion barrels of hot water are produced every year as a byproduct. In the past, this hot water was simply discarded. Recently, it has been recognized as a potential source of even more energy: Its steam can be used to generate electricity to be used immediately or sold to the grid.

One of the first co-produced geothermal energy projects was initiated at the Rocky Mountain Oilfield Testing Center in the U.S. state of Wyoming.

Newer technology has allowed co-produced geothermal energy facilities to be portable. Although still in experimental stages, mobile power plants hold tremendous potential for isolated or impoverished communities.

Geothermal Heat Pumps
Geothermal heat pumps (GHPs) take advantage of the Earth&rsquos heat, and can be used almost anywhere in the world. GHPs are drilled about 3 to 90 meters (10 to 300 feet) deep, much shallower than most oil and natural gas wells. GHPs do not require fracturing bedrock to reach their energy source.

A pipe connected to a GHP is arranged in a continuous loop&mdashcalled a "slinky loop"&mdashthat circles underground and above ground, usually throughout a building. The loop can also be contained entirely underground, to heat a parking lot or landscaped area.

In this system, water or other liquids (such as glycerol, similar to a car&rsquos antifreeze) move through the pipe. During the cold season, the liquid absorbs underground geothermal heat. It carries the heat upward through the building and gives off warmth through a duct system. These heated pipes can also run through hot water tanks and offset water-heating costs.

During the summer, the GHP system works the opposite way: The liquid in the pipes is warmed from the heat in the building or parking lot, and carries the heat to be cooled underground.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has called geothermal heating the most energy-efficient and environmentally safe heating and cooling system. The largest GHP system was completed in 2012 at Ball State University in Indiana. The system replaced a coal-fired boiler system, and experts estimate the university will save about $2 million a year in heating costs.

Harvesting Geothermal Energy: Electricity

In order to obtain enough energy to generate electricity, geothermal power plants rely on heat that exists a few kilometers below the surface of the Earth. In some areas, the heat can naturally exist underground as pockets steam or hot water. However, most areas need to be &ldquoenhanced&rdquo with injected water to create steam.

Dry-Steam Power Plants
Dry-steam power plants take advantage of natural underground sources of steam. The steam is piped directly to a power plant, where it is used to fuel turbines and generate electricity.

Dry steam is the oldest type of power plant to generate electricity using geothermal energy. The first dry-steam power plant was constructed in Larderello, Italy, in 1911. Today, the dry-steam power plants at Larderello continue to supply electricity to more than a million residents of the area.

There are only two known sources of underground steam in the United States: Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and The Geysers in California. Since Yellowstone is a protected area, The Geysers is the only place where a dry-steam power plant is in use. It is one of the largest geothermal energy complexes in the world, and provides about a fifth of all renewable energy in California.

Flash-steam power plants use naturally occurring sources of underground hot water and steam. Water that is hotter than 182° C (360° F) is pumped into a low-pressure area. Some of the water &ldquoflashes,&rdquo or evaporates rapidly into steam, and is funneled out to power a turbine and generate electricity. Any remaining water can be flashed in a separate tank to extract more energy.

Flash-steam power plants are the most common type of geothermal power plants. The volcanically active island nation of Iceland supplies nearly all its electrical needs through a series of flash-steam geothermal power plants. The steam and excess warm water produced by the flash-steam process heat icy sidewalks and parking lots in the frigid Arctic winter.

The islands of the Philippines also sit over a tectonically active area, the "Ring of Fire" that rims the Pacific Ocean. Government and industry in the Philippines have invested in flash-steam power plants, and today the nation is second only to the United States in its use of geothermal energy. In fact, the largest single geothermal power plant is a flash-steam facility in Malitbog, Philippines.

Binary Cycle Power Plants
Binary cycle power plants use a unique process to conserve water and generate heat. Water is heated underground to about 107°-182° C (225°-360° F). The hot water is contained in a pipe, which cycles above ground. The hot water heats a liquid organic compound that has a lower boiling point than water. The organic liquid creates steam, which flows through a turbine and powers a generator to create electricity. The only emission in this process is steam. The water in the pipe is recycled back to the ground, to be re-heated by the Earth and provide heat for the organic compound again.

The Beowawe Geothermal Facility in the U.S. state of Nevada uses the binary cycle to generate electricity. The organic compound used at the facility is an industrial refrigerant (tetrafluoroethane, a greenhouse gas). This refrigerant has a much lower boiling point than water, meaning it is converted into gas at low temperatures. The gas fuels the turbines, which are connected to electrical generators.

Enhanced Geothermal Systems
The Earth has virtually endless amounts of energy and heat beneath its surface. However, it is not possible to use it as energy unless the underground areas are "hydrothermal." This means the underground areas are not only hot, but also contain liquid and are permeable. Many areas do not have all three of these components. An enhanced geothermal system (EGS) uses drilling, fracturing, and injection to provide fluid and permeability in areas that have hot&mdashbut dry&mdashunderground rock.

To develop an EGS, an &ldquoinjection well&rdquo is drilled vertically into the ground. Depending on the type of rock, this can be as shallow as 1 kilometer (0.6 mile) to as deep as 4.5 kilometers (2.8 miles). High-pressure cold water is injected into the drilled space, which forces the rock to create new fractures, expand existing fractures, or dissolve. This creates a reservoir of underground fluid.

Water is pumped through the injection well and absorbs the rocks&rsquo heat as it flows through the reservoir. This hot water, called brine, is then piped back up to Earth&rsquos surface through a &ldquoproduction well.&rdquo The heated brine is contained in a pipe. It warms a secondary fluid that has a low boiling point, which evaporates to steam and powers a turbine. The brine cools off, and cycles back down through the injection well to absorb underground heat again. There are no gaseous emissions besides the water vapor from the evaporated liquid.

Pumping water into the ground for EGSs can cause seismic activity, or small earthquakes. In Basel, Switzerland, the injection process caused hundreds of tiny earthquakes that grew to more significant seismic activity even after the water injection was halted. This led to the geothermal project being canceled in 2009.

Geothermal Energy and the Environment

Geothermal energy is a renewable resource. The Earth has been emitting heat for about 4.5 billion years, and will continue to emit heat for billions of years into the future because of the ongoing radioactive decay in the Earth&rsquos core.

However, most wells that extract the heat will eventually cool, especially if heat is extracted more quickly than it is given time to replenish. Larderello, Italy, site of the world&rsquos first electrical plant supplied by geothermal energy, has seen its steam pressure fall by more than 25% since the 1950s.

Re-injecting water can sometimes help a cooling geothermal site last longer. However, this process can cause &ldquomicro-earthquakes.&rdquo Although most of these are too small to be felt by people or register on a scale of magnitude, sometimes the ground can quake at more threatening levels and cause the geothermal project to shut down, as it did in Basel, Switzerland.

Geothermal systems do not require enormous amounts of freshwater. In binary systems, water is only used as a heating agent, and is not exposed or evaporated. It can be recycled, used for other purposes, or released into the atmosphere as non-toxic steam. However, if the geothermal fluid is not contained and recycled in a pipe, it can absorb harmful substances such as arsenic, boron, and fluoride. These toxic substances can be carried to the surface and released when the water evaporates. In addition, if the fluid leaks to other underground water systems, it can contaminate clean sources of drinking water and aquatic habitats.

Advantages
There are many advantages to using geothermal energy either directly or indirectly:

  • Geothermal energy is renewable it is not a fossil fuel that will be eventually used up. The Earth is continuously radiating heat out from its core, and will continue to do so for billions of years.
  • Some form of geothermal energy can be accessed and harvested anywhere in the world.
  • Using geothermal energy is relatively clean. Most systems only emit water vapor, although some emit very small amounts of sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxides, and particulates.
  • Geothermal power plants can last for decades and possibly centuries. If a reservoir is managed properly, the amount of extracted energy can be balanced with the rock&rsquos rate of renewing its heat.
  • Unlike other renewable energy sources, geothermal systems are &ldquobaseload.&rdquo This means they can work in the summer or winter, and are not dependent on changing factors such as the presence of wind or sun. Geothermal power plants produce electricity or heat 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • The space it takes to build a geothermal facility is much more compact than other power plants. To produce a GWh (a gigawatt hour, or one million kilowatts of energy for one hour, an enormous amount of energy), a geothermal plant uses the equivalent of about 1,046 square kilometers (404 square miles) of land. To produce the same GWh, wind energy requires 3,458 square kilometers (1,335 square miles), a solar photovoltaic center requires 8,384 square kilometers (3,237 square miles), and coal plants use about 9,433 square kilometers (3,642 square miles).
  • Geothermal energy systems are adaptable to many different conditions.

They can be used to heat, cool, or power individual homes, whole districts, or industrial processes.

Disadvantages
Harvesting geothermal energy still poses many challenges:

  • The process of injecting high-pressure streams of water into the Earth can result in minor seismic activity, or small earthquakes.
  • Geothermal plants have been linked to subsidence, or the slow sinking of land. This happens as the underground fractures collapse upon themselves. This can lead to damaged pipelines, roadways, buildings, and natural drainage systems.
  • Geothermal plants can release small amounts of greenhouse gases such as hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide.
  • Water that flows through underground reservoirs can pick up trace amounts of toxic elements such as arsenic, mercury, and selenium. These harmful substances can be leaked to water sources if the geothermal system is not properly insulated.
  • Although the process requires almost no fuel to run, the initial cost of installing geothermal technology is expensive. Developing countries may not have the sophisticatedinfrastructure or start-up costs to invest in a geothermal power plant. Several facilities in the Philippines, for example, were made possible by investments from American industry and government agencies. Today, the plants are Philippine-owned and operated.

Geothermal Energy and People

Geothermal energy exists in different forms all over the Earth (by steam vents, lava, geysers, or simply dry heat), and there are different possibilities for extracting and using this heat.

In New Zealand, natural geysers and steam vents heat swimming pools, homes, greenhouses, and prawn farms. New Zealanders also use dry geothermal heat to dry timber and feedstock.

Other countries, such as Iceland, have taken advantage of molten rock and magma resources from volcanic activity to provide heat for homes and buildings. In Iceland, almost 90% of the country&rsquos people use geothermal heating resources. Iceland also relies on its natural geysers to melt snow, warm fisheries, and heat greenhouses.

The United States generates the most amount of geothermal energy of any other country. Every year, the U.S. generates at least 15 billion kilowatt-hours, or the equivalent of burning about 25 million barrels of oil. Industrial geothermal technologies have been concentrated in the western U.S. In 2012, Nevada had 59 geothermal projects either operational or in development, followed by California with 31 projects, and Oregon with 16 projects.

The cost of geothermal energy technology has gone down in the last decade, and is becoming more economically possible for individuals and companies.

Photograph by Sylvain Entressangle, My Shot

Geothermal Powers

Since 2015 the three countries with the greatest capacity for geothermal energy use have included the United States, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Turkey and Kenya have been steadily building geothermal energy capacity as well.

Balneotherapy
Balneotherapy is the treatment of disease by spa watersusually bathing and drinking. Some famous spas in the United States that offer balneotherapy include Hot Springs, Arkansas, and Warm Springs, Georgia. The most famous balneotheraputic spa in the world, Iceland's Blue Lagoon, is not a natural hot spring. It is a manmade feature where water from a local geothermal power plant is pumped over a lava bed rich in silica and sulfur. These elements react with the warm water to create a bright blue lake with alleged healing properties.

Ring of Geothermal
Geothermal energy sources are often located on plate boundaries, where the Earths crust is constantly interacting with the hot mantle below. The Pacifics so-called Ring of Fire and East Africas Rift Valley are volcanically active areas that hold enormous potential for geothermal power generation.

The Fumaroles
There are no geysers at The Geysers, one of the most productive geothermal plants in the world. The California facility sits on fumarolesvents in the Earths crust where steam and other gases (not liquids) escape from the Earths interior.


A new twist on geothermal energy

Fervo, which received funding from the Bill Gates-backed Breakthrough Energy fund in 2018, has been trying to overcome some of the challenges of older geothermal tech. The startup's idea is to build an Enhanced Geothermal System, almost as if they're creating their own reservoir to draw from deep in the Earth -- except, not quite.

The EGS pipes water down into the Earth and harvests the heated fluid after it passes through the rock, well below the surface. That helps mitigate the task of finding reservoirs closer to the surface.

With Google on board, it's a two-heads-are-better-than-one approach. Google's expertise in computing and data will help improve Fervo's geothermal energy production and facilitate rapid responses to electricity demand. "We're combining our novel AI with some drilling techniques and fiber-optic sensing," Brandt said.

The goal on the consumer side is a simple one: all Google products run on carbon-free energy.

"Every email you send through Gmail, every question that you ask Google search, every YouTube video you watch, would be supplied with clean energy every hour of every day," said Brandt.

Achieving that goal will be challenging, she concedes, noting many places still operate with "dirty energy," using fossil fuels to power the grid. That's certainly true where I am based, in Sydney, Australia, where coal dominates the energy mix. Unless there are changes in policy or procurement in my region, the products I use to access Google's services won't be running on clean energy. "That's why this is going to be hard," Brandt said.

It's not the first time Google has invested in EGS, with dollars flowing to develop different technologies back in 2008. But the strategy is a big stamp of approval for the technology moving forward. The United States already generates the most energy from geothermal power plants in the world, but it still only accounts for less than half a percent of electricity generated in the country. Beardsmore says it's unlikely Google's involvement will be "transformational" but may help spur growth in the sector.

"It's always an exciting development when another EGS project begins, because EGS is really the only way that geothermal will be able to grow exponentially as an industry," he said.


Geothermal Energy: Heating the Future

We all know the common alternative sources of energy such a wind, solar, and nuclear energy, but what about geothermal energy? According to Alternative Energy Solutions, “roughly 1.4 x 1021 joules of heat energy flows to the Earth’s surface every year”. The earth’s heat also known as geothermal energy is energy that escapes through the form of steam such as the Nevada hot springs. Geothermal energy is not only clean, but it is also sustainable and renewable as it is continually being produced.

Geothermal energy ranges from shallow hot water to very high temperatures of molten rock called magma. By utilizing heat pumps, systems can tap into this available resource to cool and heat buildings. Magma is by far the most advantageous resource of geothermal energy however, it is currently limited because we have yet to develop the technology to recover heat directly from the magma.

Specifically, in the United States, more geothermal reservoirs are found in the western states like Hawaii and Alaska. Volcanic areas are responsible for heating the rocks in certain locations that give rise to the natural release of steam and hot water. There are many ways to generate electricity from geothermal power. One option is to drill wells in underground reservoirs to produce electricity. Other geothermal power plants use the steam from a reservoir to activate turbines to generate electricity.

The list of applications due to the implementation of geothermal power are endless and include:

2.) Growing plants in greenhouses

4.) Heating water at fish farms

Geothermal energy is a powerful alternative energy source that has extensive capabilities. “As of 2013, 11,700 megawatts of large geothermal capacity was in operation globally” (GEA). Additionally, the geothermal power plants produced approximately 68 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, capable of meeting the needs of 6 million typical U.S. households (EIA).

Advantages of Geothermal Energy :

  • Environmentally Friendly
    • geothermal energy has the least impact of any other source
    • it has zero carbon emission
    • since geothermal energy is collected from the Earth’s core, as long as the earth exists geothermal energy exists
    • geothermal energy has the least impact of any other source
    • it has zero carbon emission
    • since mining or other degrading extraction processes are not used, there is no fuel needed for the production or use of energy
    • no shortages, boundless supply, reliable
    • there are estimated saving of 30-60% on heating and 25-50% on cooling within just a few years
    • most of the piping is laid underground
    • scientists and engineers are continuing to develop new techniques to extract geothermal energy
      • creating low-temperatures of ideal designs of the system

      Disadvantages of Geothermal Energy :

      • Suitable to particular regions
        • zone specific and proper location is important to generate optimal electricity production
        • costs for geothermal heat pumps for a standard home range from $10,000-$20,000
        • the system pays itself off in 5-10 years
        • geothermal pumps need a power supply to be running consistently
        • installing geothermal systems can alter the surface’s infrastructure and can trigger earthquakes
        • uses a ton of water
        • sulfur dioxide and silica discharges are released into the air due to the process
        • the site location must be able to withstand temperatures of 350 degrees Fahrenheit for the geothermal process to occur and generate desired electricity needs

        Coat, natural gas, and petroleum continue to be the leading sources of energy production in the United States however, it is essential that we continue to explore alternative energy sources to meet society’s growing energy needs. Through the implementation of increased geothermal facilities, the United States can continue to supply electricity without the high costs associated with the current modes of energy production.

        Here is some trivia: Where was the first geothermically generated electricity produced?

        1.) Davison, Alan. “Alternative Energy.” Alternative Energy – Wind, Solar, Hydro and Other Alt Energy Sources for Commercial and Home Power, 28. Mar. 2017, from www.altenergy.org/.

        2.) Geothermal Energy Association (GEA). 2013. Geothermal: International Market Overview Report.

        3.) “Geothermal Energy Pros and Cons.” Comfort Pro Heating & Air Conditioning, 7 Dec. 2016, www.comfort-pro.com/2015/06/geothermal-energy-pros-and-cons/.

        4.) “How Geothermal Energy Works.” Union of Concerned Scientists, www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/our-energy-choices/renewable-energy/how-geothermal-energy-works.html#references.

        5.) “Pros and Cons of Geothermal Energy.” Conserve Energy Future, 23 Dec. 2017, www.conserve-energy-future.com/pros-and-cons-of-geothermal-energy.php.

        6.) U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). 2012. International Energy Statistics. Renewables: Electricity Generation: Geothermal.

        Comments

        Hey Keri! I really liked this blog. You did a great job at explaining exactly how the system worked, and the graphic helped a lot. I’ve though a lot about this myself, and quite honestly, it is incredible how yet another earthly resource can be used to create emission-free energy. I had never thought about digging height, though. For example, going 200 meters down can power some things, but not for very long because the constant cooling of water will be too much for the hot earth to keep up with it will cool it down and we will have to wait years before it re-heats. Of course, going much further down like 10,000 feet deep, pressures can exceed 220 bar and the heat is over 350ºC. At this heat, we could not only harness incredible power, but we could also use it for a very long time before cooling the earth enough that we could no longer use that heat. From what I’ve read, going passed 5,000 meters can prove to be a problem because of the excessive heat. Not only does the steel for drilling become brittle, but the electronics on the drill and the pipes do not work right, and both plastic and some metals start melting that far down. I bet engineers really have to develop strong material for these machines. Dr. Lund, a researcher for geothermal energy, said, ““I believe we can develop the knowledge we need about materials to get down to 300°C in ten years time. It might take 25 years or more of research and development to get down to 500°C”. It’s really crazy how soon this technology could be powering my home, my workplace, and even universities like Penn State. Overall, great blog! I loved it, and it definitely opened my eyes to this limitless energy!

        Great post Keri! I took EGEE 102 last semester, and we spent quite a bit of time learning about geothermal energy. While it certainly has a long way to go, the technology that we have currently is excellent, and really should be used more widely. My professor for the course I mentioned earlier has a geothermal heat pump in his home, and while the upfront cost is a definite turn off for many, people would be smart to install these systems in their home because as you stated, they pay for themselves in 5-10 years and the savings after that can really add up. The other appeal is that it geothermal energy is remarkably consistent when compared to other sources of renewable energy like wind or solar. The wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine, but the middle of the earth is always hot. I think that the reason it isn’t used more widely is that many simply do not know that it is an option available to them, and are unwilling to do the research. Even a cursory google search would inform them of the key reasons to invest in geothermal for the home, but the awareness simply isn’t there. You make a strong point at the end of your post by saying that we need to be exploring a variety of alternative energy sources, because more than likely there will not be a single solution to our energy crisis, but rather a collection of smaller ones. We should be using all of the resources available to us in order to meet need. Excellent, well thought out post!


        ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2021 — Geothermal Heat Pumps

        The ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2021designation recognizes the most efficient products among those that are ENERGY STAR certified. These exceptional geothermal heat pumps represent the leading edge in energy efficient products this year. These systems are designed to provide the best comfort for the least energy with the associated thermostat, controller, or application identified below, and EPA recommends that they are installed as such. Access the full list of products recognized as ENERGY STAR Most Efficient in Excel.

        American Standard A2GC Series with Premier Control

        Features:
        The A2GC is a dual capacity geothermal heat pump that heats, cools, and provides a portion of a home’s hot water. The communicating Premier controls work in conjunction with the dual capacity compressor and 5-speed ECM blower motor to provide comfort and savings at a great price point.

        Controller:
        Auto-changeover, Programmable, Text-based, Comfort talk, Dual fuel capable, Humidity control, 8-wire 24vac, Remote temperature sensing

        American Standard A2GX Series with Premier Control

        Features:
        These American Standard models are dual capacity geothermal heat pump that heats, cools, and provides a portion of a home’s hot water. The communicating Premier controls work in conjunction with the dual capacity compressor and variable speed blower motor to provide upscale comfort and amazing savings on utility bills.

        Controller:
        Auto-changeover, Programmable, Text-based, Comfort talk, Dual fuel capable, Humidity control, 8-wire 24vac, Remote temperature sensing

        American Standard A2GY Series with Premier Control

        Features:
        These American Standard models provide forced air heating and cooling to your home while also providing radiant floor heat and domestic hot water assistance. It’s the geothermal equivalent of a boiler, furnace, and air conditioner, all in a single unit to provide significant savings on heating, cooling, and hot water bills.

        Controller:
        Auto-changeover, Programmable, Text-based, Comfort talk, Dual fuel capable, Humidity control, 8-wire 24vac, Remote temperature sensing

        American Standard AVGX Series with Aurora Control

        Features:
        These American Standard models are variable capacity geothermal heat pumps that heat, cool, and provide a portion of a home’s hot water. The communicating Aurora controls work in conjunction with the variable capacity compressor, variable speed blower motor, and variable speed loop pump to provide the utmost in comfort and savings.

        Controller:
        Auto-changeover, Programmable, Text-based, Comfort talk, Dual fuel capable, Humidity control, 8-wire 24vac, Remote temperature sensing

        Bosch Greensource CDi SM Rev A & B Series

        Features:
        -Connectivity: Connect to your HVAC equipment from anywhere.

        -Weather: Access your local forecast from your thermostat

        -5” Full-color touch screen: Large screen for ease-of-use and offline access

        -Programmable: Follows preset or user-defined schedule

        -Compatibility: Compatible with majority of HVAC systems

        Controller:
        The BCC100 Thermostat is a sleek, internet-connected thermostat that offers easy all-in-one control for heating and cooling systems. It can be controlled through the Bosch Connected Control App and is compatible with most 24VAC HVAC equipment on the market.

        Bosch Greensource CDi SM Rev C Series

        Features:
        -Connectivity: Connect to your HVAC equipment from anywhere.

        -Weather: Access your local forecast from your thermostat

        -5” Full-color touch screen: Large screen for ease-of-use and offline access

        -Programmable: Follows preset or user-defined schedule

        -Compatibility: Compatible with majority of HVAC systems

        Controller:
        The BCC100 Thermostat is a sleek, internet-connected thermostat that offers easy all-in-one control for heating and cooling systems. It can be controlled through the Bosch Connected Control App and is compatible with most 24VAC HVAC equipment on the market.

        Bosch Greensource Si CE Series

        Features:
        -Connectivity: Connect to your HVAC equipment from anywhere.

        -Weather: Access your local forecast from your thermostat

        -5” Full-color touch screen: Large screen for ease-of-use and offline access

        -Programmable: Follows preset or user-defined schedule

        -Compatibility: Compatible with majority of HVAC systems

        Controller:
        The BCC100 Thermostat is a sleek, internet-connected thermostat that offers easy all-in-one control for heating and cooling systems. It can be controlled through the Bosch Connected Control App and is compatible with most 24VAC HVAC equipment on the market.

        Bryant GC Series with Evolution Thermostat

        Features:
        For the ultimate in quiet operation and comfort, consider the versatile and feature-rich Evolution Series® GC models with two-stage compressor operation and variable-speed blower. Our top-of-the-line Evolution geothermal products deliver the highest efficiencies we offer. When installed with the Evolution® Connex™ control you’ll receive optimal summer dehumidification and even temperatures.

        Controller:
        Designed with an intuitive interface, Wi-Fi, occupancy and built-in smarts, putting you in control of your comfort and energy savings.

        Bryant GZ Series with Evolution Thermostat

        Features:
        The Bryant® GZ model offers high-efficiency geothermal cooling performance and is designed to be coupled with a gas/propane furnace or fan coil. It features a quiet, two-stage scroll compressor and, in the right combination, can allow you to enjoy the benefits of Hybrid Heat®technology to gain efficient geothermal heating before switching over to gas in colder weather.

        Controller:
        Designed with an intuitive interface, Wi-Fi, occupancy and built-in smarts, putting you in control of your comfort and energy savings.

        Carrier GC Series with Infinity Thermostat

        Features:
        The new INFINITY® series GC model combines our highest efficiency closed- or open-loop systems with the smart, powerful and intuitive Infinity Touch control. These impressive forced-air or water-to-air systems offer the quiet, comfortable benefits of two-stage and variable speed operation the versatile programming, energy tracking and wireless capabilities of Infinity Touch and the superior energy savings of geothermal.

        Controller:
        The Infinity Touch control is the key to unlocking your comfort potential. This one control can manage temperatures, humidity, ventilation, airflow, indoor air quality and up to eight zones.

        Carrier GZ Series with Infinity Thermostat

        Features:
        The INFINITY® GZ geothermal split system heat pump combines superior performance with the smart, powerful and intuitive Infinity Touch control. Utilizing a furnace or fan coil’s blower motor to move air and offers the efficiency and comfort benefits of a two-stage compressor, all tied together with the versatile programming, energy tracking and available wireless/remote operation of Infinity Touch.

        Controller:
        The Infinity Touch control is the key to unlocking your comfort potential. This one control can manage temperatures, humidity, ventilation, airflow, indoor air quality and up to eight zones.

        ClimateMaster Tranquility 22 (TZ) Series with iGate Controls

        • ClimateMaster ® Tranquility ® 22 Digital Packaged Geothermal Heat Pump
        • Game changing – FIRST in geothermal industry with Digital Communicating Controls AND “Plug and Play ” Internal Variable Speed water flow control
        • Two-stage capacity, variable-speed fan and variable water flow in compact package
        • Integrated Hot Water Generator – to pre-heat domestic hot water

        Controller:
        iGate™ – Information Gateway – 2-way communicating system that allows users to interact with their geothermal system in plain English AND delivers improved reliability and efficiency by precisely controlling smart variable speed components.

        ClimateMaster Tranquility 30 (TE) Series with iGate Controls

        • ClimateMaster Tranquility 30 Digital Packaged Geothermal Heat Pump
        • Game changing – FIRST in geothermal industry with Digital Communicating Controls AND “Plug & Play” Internal Variable Speed water flow control
        • Two-stage capacity, variable-speed fan and variable water flow
        • Integrated Hot Water Generator – to pre-heat domestic hot water

        Controller:
        iGate™ – Information Gateway – 2-way communicating system that allows users to interact with their geothermal system in plain English AND delivers improved reliability and efficiency by precisely controlling smart variable speed components.

        ClimateMaster Trilogy 45 Q-Mode Series

        • ClimateMaster Trilogy 45 Q-Mode Packaged Geothermal Heat Pump: 45 EER/5.1 COP
        • Efficiencies achieved through inverter speed compressor, blower and pump technology
        • Web-enabled configuration/diagnostics plus real-time access to system data/fault information.
        • Patent pending Q-Mode reduces operating costs with full-time water heating in all four operating modes: cooling, heating, and hot water generation while space cooling.
        • Co-developed with ORNL

        ClimateMaster Tranquility TEP Series with iGate Controls

        • ClimateMaster ® Tranquility ® 27 Digital Split Geothermal Heat Pump - 26 EER, 4.6 COP
        • Game Changing - First in geothermal industry with iGate ® Digital Communicating Controls AND vFlow™ Internal Variable water flow control.
        • Two-stage capacity and water flow (Variable air flow airhandler TAH).
        • Integrated Hot Water Generator to pre-heat domestic hot water.

        Controller:
        iGate™ – Information Gateway – 2-way communicating system that allows users to interact with their geothermal system in plain English AND delivers improved reliability and efficiency by precisely controlling smart variable speed components.

        ClimateMaster Tranquility TES Series with iGate Controls

        • ClimateMaster ® Tranquility ® 27 Digital Split Geothermal Heat Pump - 26 EER, 4.6 COP
        • Game Changing - First in geothermal industry with iGate ® Digital Communicating Controls AND vFlow™ Internal Variable water flow control.
        • Two-stage capacity and water flow (Variable air flow airhandler TAH).
        • Integrated Hot Water Generator to pre-heat domestic hot water.

        Controller:
        iGate™ – Information Gateway – 2-way communicating system that allows users to interact with their geothermal system in plain English AND delivers improved reliability and efficiency by precisely controlling smart variable speed components.

        EarthLinked Prime Series PSC with EDM Controller

        EarthLinked’s Prime Series PSC models feature a two-stage compressor, modern cabinet design, an ultra-quiet operation, Programmable Logic Controller, as well as the EarthLinked Diagnostics and Monitoring system for added reliability. The PSC provides forced air heat/cool with the perfect balance of power and efficiency for optimal comfort all year.

        Controller:
        The EDM Controller allows for zoned controlled use with the LG single-zone mini-split and Flex Multi system product lines.

        GeoComfort GWV Guide Series Variable Speed Water to Water with Core Display

        Our new GeoComfort variable-speed, variable-capacity heating and cooling system adjusts the BTUH output to match the load profile for desired comfort settings. With the help of an outdoor temperature sensor, the modulating compressor adjusts to deliver the perfect water temperatures for a radiant or hydronic system application. This is vital because the efficiency of a water-to-water geothermal unit increases significantly with lower water temperatures.

        Controller:
        The controller provides rich information for both homeowners and installers. Realtime status, flow rates, pressures, and temperatures are all readily available on the display.

        GeoSmart ECO Y with Premier Control

        Features:
        The ECO Y is a dual capacity geothermal heat pump that heats, cools, and provides a portion of a home’s hot water. The communicating Premier controls work in conjunction with the dual capacity compressor and 5-speed ECM blower motor to provide comfort and savings at a great price point.

        Controller:
        Auto-changeover, Programmable, Text-based, Comfort talk, Dual fuel capable, Humidity control, 8-wire 24vac, Remote temperature sensing

        GeoStar Aston Series with Aurora Control

        Features:
        The Aston is a dual capacity geothermal heat pump that heats, cools, and provides a portion of a home’s hot water. The communicating Aurora controls work in conjunction with the dual capacity compressor and variable speed blower motor to provide upscale comfort and amazing savings on utility bills.

        Controller:
        Auto-changeover, Programmable, Text-based, Comfort talk, Dual fuel capable, Humidity control, 8-wire 24vac, Remote temperature sensing

        GeoStar Magnolia Plus with Aurora Control

        Features:
        The Magnolia Plus is a dual capacity geothermal heat pump that heats, cools, and provides a portion of a home’s hot water. The communicating Aurora controls work in conjunction with the dual capacity compressor and 5-speed ECM blower motor to provide comfort and savings at a great price point.

        Controller:
        Auto-changeover, Programmable, Text-based, Comfort talk, Dual fuel capable, Humidity control, 8-wire 24vac, Remote temperature sensing

        GeoStar Sycamore Series with Aurora Control

        Features:
        The Sycamore is a variable capacity geothermal heat pump that heats, cools, and provides a portion of a home’s hot water. The communicating Aurora controls work in conjunction with the variable capacity compressor, variable speed blower motor, and variable speed loop pump to provide the utmost in comfort and savings.

        Controller:
        Auto-changeover, Programmable, Text-based, Comfort talk, Dual fuel capable, Humidity control, 8-wire 24vac, Remote temperature sensing

        Hydron HWV Cruise Series Variable Speed Water to Water with Core Display

        Our new Hydron variable-speed, variable-capacity heating and cooling system adjusts the BTUH output to match the load profile for desired comfort settings. With the help of an outdoor temperature sensor, the modulating compressor adjusts to deliver the perfect water temperatures for a radiant or hydronic system application. This is vital because the efficiency of a water-to-water geothermal unit increases significantly with lower water temperatures.

        Controller:
        The controller provides rich information for both homeowners and installers. Realtime status, flow rates, pressures, and temperatures are all readily available on the display.

        Hydro-Temp VStar VV(V,H,C,R,S) Series with ProtoStar Advanced Control

        • Variable speed technology gives you the highest efficiencies in the industry of up to 49.1 EER.
        • Patented Hot Water Recovery/Generation System for 100% DHW and/or 100% Radiant Applications.
        • Built-in Zoning System
        • State-of-the-Art Built-in Diagnostics
        • Variable Capacity Compressor and Variable-Speed Fan provide a whole new level of comfort control!
        • Optional Ultraviolet Sanitizer

        Controller:
        This simple and elegant communicating color touch-screen thermostat is a great addition to any new Hydro-Temp VStar unit and offers a new level of comfort control that had previously been unattainable.

        Modine GFX Series with Modine Control System

        Features:
        These water-to-air systems offer high-efficiency, eco-friendly forced-air heating and cooling solutions. They are available in 1.5 to 6 tons in both vertical and horizontal configurations to fit in any virtually any space. They now feature the reliable and proven Modine Controls System that is designed and engineered around the products, ensuring maximized performance.

        Controller:
        This control is specifically designed for robust conditions such as those found in classrooms or on a rooftop. The hand-held user interface makes troubleshooting a breeze, reduces staff time setting up the unit, reduces diagnostic time, and is easier to comprehend than flashing light controllers.

        Modine GHR Series with Modine Control System

        Features:
        These water-to-water systems offer high-efficiency, eco-friendly hydronic heating and cooling solutions. They are available in 2 to 12 ton capacities. They now feature the reliable and proven Modine Controls System that is designed and engineered around the products, ensuring maximized performance.

        Controller:
        This control is specifically designed for robust conditions such as those found in classrooms or on a rooftop. The hand-held user interface makes troubleshooting a breeze, reduces staff time setting up the unit, reduces diagnostic time, and is easier to comprehend than flashing light controllers.

        Modine GHW Series with Modine Control System

        Features:
        These water-to-water systems offer high-efficiency, eco-friendly hydronic heating solutions. They are available in 2 to 12 ton capacities. They now feature the reliable and proven Modine Controls System that is designed and engineered around the products, ensuring maximized performance.

        Controller:
        This control is specifically designed for robust conditions such as those found in classrooms or on a rooftop. The hand-held user interface makes troubleshooting a breeze, reduces staff time setting up the unit, reduces diagnostic time, and is easier to comprehend than flashing light controllers.

        Modine GPX Series with Modine Control System

        Controller:
        This control is specifically designed for robust conditions such as those found in classrooms or on a rooftop. The hand-held user interface makes troubleshooting a breeze, reduces staff time setting up the unit, reduces diagnostic time, and is easier to comprehend than flashing light controllers.

        Modine GSI Series with Modine Control System

        Features:
        These water-to-air split systems offer high-efficiency, eco-friendly forced-air heating and cooling solutions. They are available in 2 to 6 tons in both vertical and horizontal configurations to fit in any virtually any space. They now feature the reliable and proven Modine Controls System that is designed and engineered around the products, ensuring maximized performance.

        Controller:
        This control is specifically designed for robust conditions such as those found in classrooms or on a rooftop. The hand-held user interface makes troubleshooting a breeze, reduces staff time setting up the unit, reduces diagnostic time, and is easier to comprehend than flashing light controllers.

        Tetco TWV ES6 Series Variable Speed Water to Water with Core Display

        Our new Tetco variable-speed, variable-capacity heating and cooling system adjusts the BTUH output to match the load profile for desired comfort settings. With the help of an outdoor temperature sensor, the modulating compressor adjusts to deliver the perfect water temperatures for a radiant or hydronic system application. This is vital because the efficiency of a water-to-water geothermal unit increases significantly with lower water temperatures.

        Controller:
        The controller provides rich information for both homeowners and installers. Realtime status, flow rates, pressures, and temperatures are all readily available on the display.

        Trane T2GC Series with Premier Control

        Features:
        The T2GC is a dual capacity geothermal heat pump that heats, cools, and provides a portion of a home’s hot water. The communicating Premier controls work in conjunction with the dual capacity compressor and 5-speed ECM blower motor to provide comfort and savings at a great price point.

        Controller:
        Auto-changeover, Programmable, Text-based, Comfort talk, Dual fuel capable, Humidity control, 8-wire 24vac, Remote temperature sensing

        Trane T2GX Series with Aurora Control

        Features:
        These Trane models are dual capacity geothermal heat pump that heats, cools, and provides a portion of a home’s hot water. The communicating Premier controls work in conjunction with the dual capacity compressor and variable speed blower motor to provide upscale comfort and amazing savings on utility bills.

        Controller:
        Auto-changeover, Programmable, Text-based, Comfort talk, Dual fuel capable, Humidity control, 8-wire 24vac, Remote temperature sensing

        Trane T2GY Series with Premier Control

        Features:
        These Trane models provide forced air heating and cooling to your home while also providing radiant floor heat and domestic hot water assistance. It’s the geothermal equivalent of a boiler, furnace, and air conditioner, all in a single unit to provide significant savings on heating, cooling, and hot water bills.

        Controller:
        Auto-changeover, Programmable, Text-based, Comfort talk, Dual fuel capable, Humidity control, 8-wire 24vac, Remote temperature sensing

        Trane TVG Series with Aurora Control

        Features:
        These Trane models are variable capacity geothermal heat pumps that heat, cool, and provide a portion of a home’s hot water. The communicating Aurora controls work in conjunction with the variable capacity compressor, variable speed blower motor, and variable speed loop pump to provide the utmost in comfort and savings.

        Controller:
        Auto-changeover, Programmable, Text-based, Comfort talk, Dual fuel capable, Humidity control, 8-wire 24vac, Remote temperature sensing

        Waterfurnace 3 Series with Aurora Control

        Features:
        The 300A11 is a dual capacity geothermal heat pump that heats, cools, and provides a portion of a home’s hot water. The communicating Aurora controls work in conjunction with the dual capacity compressor and 5-speed ECM blower motor to provide comfort and savings at a great price point.

        Controller:
        Auto-changeover, Programmable, Text-based, Comfort talk, Dual fuel capable, Humidity control, 8-wire 24vac, Remote temperature sensing

        WaterFurnace 5 Series with Aurora Control

        Features:
        The 5 Series is a dual capacity geothermal heat pump that heats, cools, and provides a portion of a home’s hot water. The communicating Aurora controls work in conjunction with the dual capacity compressor and variable speed blower motor to provide upscale comfort and amazing savings on utility bills.

        Controller:
        Auto-changeover, Programmable, Text-based, Comfort talk, Dual fuel capable, Humidity control, 8-wire 24vac, Remote temperature sensing

        WaterFurnace 7 Series 700A11 with Aurora Control

        Features:
        The 7 Series is a variable capacity geothermal heat pump that heats, cools, and provides a portion of a home’s hot water. The communicating Aurora controls work in conjunction with the variable capacity compressor, variable speed blower motor, and variable speed loop pump to provide the utmost in comfort and savings.

        Controller:
        Auto-changeover, Programmable, Text-based, Comfort talk, Dual fuel capable, Humidity control, 8-wire 24vac, Remote temperature sensing

        WaterFurnace Synergy 3D Series

        Features:
        The Synergy3D provides forced air heating and cooling to your home while also providing radiant floor heat and domestic hot water assistance. It’s the geothermal equivalent of a boiler, furnace, and air conditioner, all in a single unit to provide significant savings on heating, cooling, and hot water bills.

        Controller:
        Auto-changeover, Programmable, Text-based, Comfort talk, Dual fuel capable, Humidity control, 8-wire 24vac, Remote temperature sensing

        WaterFurnace Series 502W12 with Aurora Control

        • Highest AHRI, GLHP efficiencies in the industry.
        • Aurora Communicating digital controls with AID tool for real time data display, easy configuration and troubleshooting.
        • Color Touch Screen Communicating thermostats provide user access to fault, status and energy use information.
        • Optional variable speed flow centers and IntelliZone2 color communicating zone system.

        Controller:
        Auto-changeover, Programmable, Text-based, Comfort talk, Dual fuel capable, Humidity control, 8-wire 24vac, Remote temperature sensing

        York Affinity YAFV Series with Aurora Control

        Features:
        These York models are variable capacity geothermal heat pumps that heat, cool, and provide a portion of a home’s hot water. The communicating Aurora controls work in conjunction with the variable capacity compressor, variable speed blower motor, and variable speed loop pump to provide the utmost in comfort and savings.

        Controller:
        Auto-changeover, Programmable, Text-based, Comfort talk, Dual fuel capable, Humidity control, 8-wire 24vac, Remote temperature sensing

        York Affinity YACT Series

        Features:
        These York models provide forced air heating and cooling to your home while also providing radiant floor heat and domestic hot water assistance. It’s the geothermal equivalent of a boiler, furnace, and air conditioner, all in a single unit to provide significant savings on heating, cooling, and hot water bills.

        York LX Series with Aurora Control

        Features:
        The LX Series is a dual capacity geothermal heat pump that heats, cools, and provides a portion of a home’s hot water. The communicating Aurora controls work in conjunction with the dual capacity compressor and 5-speed ECM blower motor to provide comfort and savings at a great price point.

        Controller:
        Auto-changeover, Programmable, Text-based, Comfort talk, Dual fuel capable, Humidity control, 8-wire 24vac, Remote temperature sensing

        * Estimated using an average price of electricity of 10.9 cents per kilowatt hour.
        ** Geothermal Heat Pump lifetime is estimated at 15 years.


        Watch the video: Energy 101: Geothermal Energy (May 2022).