Ground Source Heat Pumps

Geothermal Heat Pumps

Ground Source Heat Pumps

Ground-source or Geothermal heat pumps work as advanced water to water heat pumps. They work by circulating water via ground loops and absorb or reject heat directly from or into the ground.

Ground loops can be closed, where water is circulated around and around the loop and does not suffer from evaporation or water losses. They may need to be treated or filtered to ensure no pathogens build up in the loop otherwise it is uncommon to do high maintenance on these systems.

Open loops can be used where there is an underwater aquifer. Like an underwater river. Water is pulled up out of one part and then rejected into another part.

Typically ground loops are used as heat sinks in summer, and heat source in winter.

geo set up - Industry Page - Ground Source Heat Pumps
Geothermal Heat Pump Set up (Image Source Unknown)

However, the ground loops can be expensive to install. They can be installed horizontally if you have the space or vertically by digger deep holes down into the land. These holes can be as costly as the heat pump or more.

Experts in this field will do a soil and geography survey before estimating how many holes and whether a closed-loop or open-loop can be used in your area.

Care must be taken as if you take too much heat out of the ground it could cause subterranean freezing rendering your heat pump useless. Your expert may advise on pumping any extra or waste heat back into the ground to prevent this from happening.

Geothermal heat pumps and ground loops work best where ground temperatures are constantly warmer than ambient temperature, especially during the wintertime. The approximate ground temperature in Sydney and Perth is approximately 16-18oC, Adelaide, Melbourne and Canberra are approximately 15-17oC, whilst in Brisbane, it is 22-23oC.  In contrast, Darwin has a ground temperature of approximately 31oC and Hobart approximately 14oC.  (Source Australian Bureau of Meteorology)

Links to Heat Pump & Geothermal Solutions

As you may have read in other parts of our website, our focus here at Toyesi is an energy-efficient heating and cooling solutions via the use of a Heat Pump.

Heat pumps come in a couple of formats:

  • Air source heat pump: Uses the outside air as the heat source or heat sink – essentially most reverse cycle air conditioners, hot water heaters and swimming pool heaters etc.  (Link opens new page)
  • Water Source Heat Pump: Uses water as the heat source or heat sink instead of air, and is more common in commercial applications. Large buildings often have large cooling towers. Often over summer cooling towers cool the building down and the excess heat is trapped in a water circuit and then piped through a heat pump and may be used to heat a pool or supply heat to a hot water system.
  • Ground Source Heat Pump: Also called Geothermal Heat Pumps, use the ground as the heat source or heat sink via pipes that are placed either vertically or horizontally into the ground. These pipes are known as Geo-loops and they usually circulate water, or refrigerant around the loop. The heat pump uses this water loop to absorb or reject heat into the ground. These may be closed loops or open loops.
  • Geo-Hybrid Heat Pump: – Also known as a duel system that monitors both air and water temperatures and draws or rejects energy from the best option at the time of need. So it combines the combinations above to maintain the highest available efficiency at any given time.

Have the space go Horizontal, No Space no worries you can always go Vertical.

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