Geothermal Heat Pumps
Geothermal heat pumps are used to heat and cool buildings by way of a heat exchanger that pulls heat or sinks heat from the relatively constant ambient temperature of the ground. The easiest way to imagine how this might occur is by thinking about a refrigerator. In a refrigerator, a heat pump is used to remove heat from the interior air of the refrigerator (heat source) into the air of the room in which the refrigerator is located (the heat sink).
Geothermal heat pumps take advantage of the immense thermal mass of the Earth. In regions where summer cooling is required, exterior daytime temperatures generally are above 26 degrees Celsius (80 degrees Fahrenheit). Where winter heating is required, exterior temperatures generally are below 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit). At shallow depths in the Earth, a consistent temperature of about 10 degrees Celsius to 13 degrees Celsius is maintained. This intermediate temperature between the summer highs and winter lows, makes the Earth an excellent potential heat sink in the summer and a heat source in the winter.
The CGEC is currently working on a return on investment study for these systems for all of California as well as the 30 most populous metropolitan areas in the United States. To see the progress on this study, click here.
Why is Geothermal Energy Important in California? Watch this short video to find out.
Direct Use Geothermal - Coming Soon!
Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS). Watch this short video provided by Google.
Click play to watch an educational google video on Enhanced Geothermal Systems.
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|The CGEC is funded by the Department of Energy, Bob Lawrence and Associates, and the California Energy Commission|