Student NameDateInstructor NameGeothermal Heat PumpIntroductionA Geothermal Heat Pump is a natural,passive heating and cooling system which can both harvest heat from the Earthas well as transfer indoor heat back into the ground. Geothermal heat, anaturally occurring source of heat emanating from the planet, is a clean andhighly efficient energy source compared to its more common fossil-fueledcounterparts. While initially a more costly capital investment, over the longterm, a Geothermal Heat Pump recoups these costs by providing heating andcooling at prices far cheaper than most conventional methods. Moreover, oncethese costs are recouped, every dollar thereafter is pure savings. Beyond itsfinancial benefit, more adoption of such systems ultimately leads to a futurewhich is less reliant on carbon-emitting fossil fuels.Parts AnalysisA Geothermal Heat Pump is comprisedof a primary loop and secondary loop, a heat exchanger, compressor, airhandler, and ducts.

The primary loop, which is made up of polyethylene pipingand holds refrigerant, is located in the building’s mechanical room. Thesecondary loop, which is made up of polyethylene piping and holds a mixture ofwater and anti-freeze, is located underground. The heat exchanger existsbetween the primary loop and secondary loop, and their corresponding pumps, andis the component which transfers the heat back and forth. A compressor isconnected to the primary loop to pressurize the refrigerant so it can betterconcentrate the heat pulled from the ground. From there, an air handler, whichis typically a large metal box containing the blower, heating or coolingelements, filters, and dampers, distributes the heat or coolness throughout thebuilding. The air handler is connected to the duct system and it is these ductsthat spread throughout the building to achieve even, comfortable temperatures.

Operating PrinciplesThe Geothermal Heat Pump operates intwo cycles, the above-ground primary loop and the underground secondary loop. First,the underground secondary loop pulls heat from the ground and into a mixture ofwater and anti-freeze. Second, pumps move the mixture of water and anti-freezeinto the heat exchanger where heat can be absorbed by the primary loop. The pumpscontinue to move the mixture of water and anti-freeze past heat exchanger sothe process can be repeated over and over again. Meanwhile, the heat exchangerpasses the heat from the secondary loop to the refrigerant located inside theprimary loop. From there, a compressor puts the refrigerant under pressure,allowing the refrigerant to collect and concentrate even more heat.

Finally,the primary loop’s heat is transferred to the air handler where it can then becirculated through the building via duct system.

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