“Archaeological evidence shows that the first human use of geothermal resources in North America occurred more than 10,000 years ago with the settlement of Paleo-Indians at hot springs.” Thus states the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy’s webpage titled “A History of Geothermal Energy in the United States.” Various other peoples throughout history have used this type of energy as well.
Today, geothermal can be used to not only heat baths, the way the ancient Romans did, but also to heat and cool homes and other buildings. Interest in and use of geothermal is growing again, and a variety of HVAC units and components are available to meet the rising demand. Listed below are a sampling of the geothermal products currently offered.
HEAT PUMPSThe Bard GeoTec Geothermal Heat Pump is ideal for residential and light commercial applications and suitable for open or closed loop applications, says the manufacturer. The GeoTec is available in 2- to 6-ton capacities. Features include a Copeland step-capacity scroll compressor and variable-speed ECM motor. Increased dealer-friendly installation and service features include left- or right-side water connections, left- or right-hand access to control panel, slide-in electric heat packages, and simplified wiring and troubleshooting.www.bardhvac.com
OTHER SYSTEMS AND COMPONENTSThe VRV®-WIII by Daikin AC (Americas) Inc. is a compact, water-cooled condensing unit designed to provide the ability to operate geothermal and cooling tower/boiler combination applications. When used in geothermal applications, the relative stability of groundwater temperatures results in optimum system efficiency regardless of outdoor temperatures. According to the manufacturer, the unit is an energy-saving alternative to traditional centralized equipment that can serve any-size commercial application. Its six system capacities range from 6 to 21 tons and in unified heat recovery and heat pump condensing units.www.daikinac.com