Guidelines for Installing a Geothermal (Earth Energy) System
The Canadian Renewable Energy Network reports on a study of the commercial and industrial heating market examining the cost of using earth energy systems. In 133 of 135 cases, from high schools to high tech facilities to high rise condominiums, geothermal energy systems were cheaper over the lifetime of the system. In 88 of the scenarios, the payback period was less than five years! Read more about the benefits of geothermal.
The following basic guidelines for installing a geothermal energy system come from the same Canadian Renewable Energy Network, a Canadian government body dedicated to informing the public about renewable energies such as geothermal and solar energy.
- Design the system to match energy output to the heat load of the building. Otherwise, system performance will suffer and installation costs will increase.
- You can design a system to meet less than 100 percent of the heat loss if there is an auxiliary heating source such as an electric plenum heater. Many contractors in Canada recommend that systems meet 75 percent to 85 percent of a building's heat loss.
- Earth energy systems circulate more air than a combustion forced-air furnace, so ensure that the building's ductwork can accommodate a higher air flow.