Professor Earl Guillory
Introductory Craft Skills & Safety & Basic Electricity
21 October 2012
Geothermal Heating and Cooling The first forms of geothermal heating started back in the first century A.D. when the Romans conquered Aquae Sulis and used the hot springs there to feed public baths and under floor heating. In1852, Lord Kelvin had already invented the heat pump. But the idea of drawing heat from the ground was not patented until 1912, by a man named Heinrich Zoelly. Still the geothermal heat pump was not successfully implemented until the late 1940’s.
Geothermal heating and cooling takes advantage of warmth stored in the earth ground. The earth ground temperature in around 55 degrees F. (13 degrees C.) at the depth of around ten feet. A geothermal heat pump uses many different systems of transferring heat into the ground. For example: standing column well, closed loop, vertical, horizontal, pond system, open loop, and also direct exchange systems. Most all of them are done by recirculation of fluids mostly water or water and antifreeze solutions. A standing column well system is a special type of open loop system. It works by drawing water from the bottom of a deep rock well running it through the heat pump then returning it to the top of the well. Then as the water travels downwards it transfers heat into the bedrock or draws heat from it. But the bad thing about this system is it cannot be used where the geology is mostly clay, silt, or sand. Closed loop systems contain two loops. One loop is contained in the appliance cabinet where it exchanges heat with the second loop that comes in from outside where it is buried. After leaving the exchanger, the second loop carries the water out to exchange the heat into the ground or pull heat from it. A vertical system is a closed loop that runs pipes vertically to transfer heat. They run a pair of pipes in a bored hole between 75 to 500 feet deep. They fill the borehole with a