What is Geothermal?
Geothermal, better known as ground source heat pump systems or geo-exchange, is a way to heat and cool your commercial building or residence. It is an alternative to heating systems like natural gas or electric strip heat and cooling systems like central air. Ground source has many advantages and is a very green way to provide climate control for any building.
How does it work?
Ground source heat pumps work by moving heat between the climate controlled space of a building and the earth. In heat mode, energy is extracted from the earth via fluid moving through a series of buried pipes and used to heat the conditioned space. In cool mode the opposite happens. Heat is extracted from the air of the conditioned space and transferred to the pipe's circulating fluid where the energy is released into the ground.
Can I get a better example of what you're talking about?
Heat pumps are very common. Nearly every home has at least one heat pump in the form of a refrigerator. So a refrigerator is cold on the inside; however, on the back or bottom of the refrigerator are metal coils which are hot. This is an example of a heat pump moving heat from the conditioned space of the refrigerator to the outside. In cool mode, a ground source heat pump works the same way, except instead of having those metal coils on the back or bottom of the refrigerator, there are a series of pipes buried underground which perform the same function.
Why is Geothermal good?
Geothermal is good because of its energy efficiency, Underground temperatures are relatively constant somewhere around 55F. We use this to our advantage in nearly every weather situation. In the summer, your central air conditioner is using hot summer air to cool the inside of your building. With geothermal, you are able to cool much more efficiently using the lower earth temperatures. In the winter, ground source heat pumps are able to extract heat from the earth instead of the cold air like an air-to-air heat pump (your central a/c is an air-to-air heat pump). This makes ground source heat pumps one of the most efficient ways to control climate in your building.
What does Iba Drilling do regarding Geothermal?
We install what are called the ground loop heat exchangers. These are the series of pipes that are buried underground and are used to carry the circulating fluid from the heat pump unit to the earth. They are responsible for the heat exchange to and from the ground that makes the ground source heat pump work so efficiently. Iba Drilling also manufactures lateral headers which are the manifolds that distribute the fluid flow evenly among the sections of pipe.