Geothermal energy is a type of renewable energy that encourages conservation of natural resources. This energy originates from the heat retained within the Earth from solar energy absorbed, from radioactive decay of minerals and from the original formation of the planet is at the origin of geothermal energy.
Geothermal heating uses geothermal energy for heating applications. Most high temperature is found in regions close to tectonic plates boundaries and where volcanic activity rises close to the surface of the Earth.
Ground source heat pumps exchange energy between the air in the building and the ground. Heat is pumped in to a transfer environment (usually water with ethanol) which is then pumped trough narrow pipes into the ground so the heat ca be dissipated in the earth, During summer time when the ambient temperature in the house is higher then the ground temperature the system acts like an air conditioner wile in the winter time the process works in reverse. In Romania below 1 m the earth temperature is fairly constant.
The heat pumps work better in a system with under-floor heating then radiators, because it uses a lower temperature. The same system can be used also for producing hot water.
For a geothermal heating system there are 3 common loop systems:
When choosing a heating system you can take into consideration the soil, the space available and the amount of heath needed.
All year round operation, no need for regular servicing or yearly checks are some of the advantages of using a geothermal system.
Despite the advantages there are also some problems. The system requires a lot of space so for dense populated areas is not feasible. Also without insulation and under-floor heating the system is not effective.
However for new constructions in residential areas the system can cut heating costs with more then 50%. Also the system appeals to the more environmentally friendly homeowners by cutting the carbon emissions of the house hold.
Geothermal energy is well developed in West-Europe countries and has a great potential of developing also in Romania due to the increasing interest in energy efficiency and renewable energy.