Heating and Cooling from the Earth Engine

When people think of renewable energy, their first thought is typically solar power or wind energy. In Pennsylvania, the most natural and renewable energy system available to meet the heating and cooling needs for residential, commercial and recreational needs is a geothermal or a ground-source heating and cooling system. These systems come with a variety of configurations and a single system can heat or cool a home without natural gas, coal, oil or biomass. However, some electric is required to run the system.

Geothermal Concept House

This relatively obscure technology is robust, proven and available now to those willing to understand the simple beauty of these systems.

A geothermal system moves and stores energy rather than producing energy through combustion or resistance. Geothermal systems work by exchanging hot or cold air from the home with the stable stored energy in the ground, rather than by converting chemical energy to heat. This is a renewable energy system that is very efficient and has enough flexibility to fit a variety of applications. Some added benefit in addition efficiency is that geothermal energy creates no pollution to our air or water and other than electricity, they eliminate the need to purchase highly processed petrochemical fuel from less than environmentally conscious producers.

While the air temperature in Pennsylvania can vary from -20 degrees Fahrenheit in the coldest part of winter to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer, the Earth’s temperature a few feet under the surface is essentially the same in winter and summer. In the winter, the system can heat a home using the Earth’s relatively warm core energy. In the summer, the same system can cool the home with the Earth’s relatively cool mass. Year-round, geothermal systems can produce hot water. Geothermal heat pumps have an efficiency of over 300 to 500 percent (meaning they get a payback of 3 to 5 times the energy used to run the system). This efficiency provides the heating/cooling needs at a cost that is 30 to 70 percent less expensive than conventional energy systems, without combustion, carbon dioxide, methane, water pollution or the waste generated by other energy systems.

Geothermal ground-source heating and cooling systems work during the night when the sun is blocked by clouds and when the wind is not blowing. While electricity costs may vary, geothermal costs don’t fluctuate like natural firewood, gas, coal and heating oil. The ground-source system comes in a variety of configurations to easily fit new home construction or homes with a more conventional, existing duct-based heating and cooling systems.

The Way System Works

The geothermal system has three main components: connection to the Earth, delivery and distribution system and a geothermal heat pump. The Earth connection allows the system to pull or store heat in the Earth. In heating mode, the system uses the Earth connection to pull a small quantity of heat from the Earth to heat a person’s space. In cooling mode, the system does the reverse and transfers heat from the air back to the Earth.

The distribution system can be a series of vertical connections or loops buried in the ground that transfer and help to distribute the energy. The geothermal heat pump is very efficient energy transfer system that moves the energy from the building to the transfer fluid.

The system does require an electrical source to run the heat pumps and circulation system and it is critical that an existing home have a formal energy audit done prior to installing a system. New construction should use green building and energy efficient insulating systems so the system can be properly sized. The Residential Energy-Efficient Property Credit provides a 30 percent tax credit toward the cost of alternative energy equipment installed on or in a home or business. With these credits, payback on installation is about 10 years+.

 

Pennsylvania residents could benefit from lower energy costs, elimination of water and air pollution and a significant reduction of the expensive and environmentally destructive infrastructure of fossil fuels by adapting geothermal systems as soon as possible.

 

To learn more about geothermal energy, visit the Keystone Clean Water Team at CarbonWaters.org or Duane Moyer Well Drilling at MoyerWellDrilling.com.

Article published in the April Addition of  Natural Awakenings Magazine

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Keystone Clean Water Team is a 501(c)(3) IRS approved nonprofit, volunteer organization and your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.    Unsolicited donations are appreciated (Helps us complete our mission), but we also do local educational workshops and local cellphone/small electronic recycling programs. If you would like to set up a program to help recycle cellphones at an event, business, or other organization.  Through our program we can recycle  cell phones, iPods, game systems, and small digital cameras.  If your interested, please contact us.  Our new PSAs.

Help the Organization and Get Your Water Tested or Order the Private Well Owner Guide (proceeds benefit This Organization).  Keystone Clean Water Team!

Careers In Energy Education Outreach

Keystone Clean Water Team participated in the “Careers in Energy” Event at Tunkhannock High School in February 2014.   The series of classes, titled “Careers in Energy: Learning from the Industry,” was coordinated by Northern Tier Industry & Education Consortium, a Susquehanna County-based group that helps prime college and high school students for job placement in growing industries.  During the event, we meet over 200 students and discussed energy efficiency, alternative energy, the direct careers in Energy, and indirect careers in Energy.  We also discussed changes that are needed and how they can be part of the solution to conserve energy and promote a national energy policy that includes renewable energy systems.  During the education session, we showed working models of some wind turbine and solar energy kits.

The presentation can be found at  Careers in Energy – Tunkhannock High School – Earth Sciences, Green Building, Renewable Energy, Energy Audit, Weatherization/ Efficiency, Sustainability and More (Presentation– Feb 2014)

We are participating in a similar event in April 2014 in Kingsley, PA and we are conducting a two day training session for young adults for the DCNR in March 2014 in Tunkhannock, PA.

Volunteer

We seek new people at all skill levels for a variety of programs. One thing that everyone can do is attend meetings to share ideas on improving CCGG, enabling us to better understand and address the concerns of well owners.  We look for people that can forward solid articles, help coordinate local education efforts, and more.  Become part of the Keystone Clean Water Team!.

Everything we do began with an idea.

We realize your time is precious and the world is hectic. CCGG’s volunteers do only what they’re comfortable with. It can be a little or a lot.  Get YOUR WATER Tested – Discounted Screening Tests !

For more information, please go to CCGG’s About Page or contact us.

Carbon County Groundwater Guardians is a 501(c)(3) IRS approved nonprofit, volunteer organization and your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.  Waiting on Official Name change to the Keystone Clean Water Team by the IRS.  Unsolicited donations are appreciated.

Help the Organization and Get Your Water Tested or Order the Private Well Owner Guide (proceeds benefit This Organization).