Next generation geothermal heat pumps feature variable speed components (video)
Although geothermal heating and cooling offers significant efficiency advantages over other types of heating, some manufacturers are raising the bar even further.
A standard geothermal or ground-source heat pump offers 400 to 700 percent greater efficiency than a fossil fuel HVAC system. However, heat pumps with variable-speed components offer even greater savings.
Variable speed components such as fan motors, compressors and pumps, allow a unit to vary speed based on the demands of the home. That means the unit uses only the electricity needed for the job. Otherwise, the unit simply turns on and off at full blast regardless of the demands of the system.
Geothermal heat pump suppliers such as WaterFurnace International and ClimateMaster have introduced models with variable speed components.
WaterFurnace has introduced its 7 Series (700A11), the first variable capacity geothermal unit available for homeowners and the only unit to surpass both 41 energy efficiency ratio (EER) and 5.3 coefficient of performance (COP). This represents efficiencies twice that of traditional air conditioners or heat pumps and 30 percent greater than current geothermal units.
ClimateMaster's Trilogy 40 Geothermal Heat Pump System offers three variable speed components - the fan, pump and compressor - that make this unit one of the most efficient geothermal system available.
Based on field tests, laboratory evaluation, and modeling by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Trilogy 40 Q-Mode can save 55% to 61% of annual energy use and cost for space conditioning and water heating in residential applications versus new minimum efficiency (SEER 13) air-source heat pumps and electric resistance storage water heaters.
The Trilogy series also was the first geothermal heat pumps ever certified by the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) to exceed 40 EER at ground-loop (GLHP) conditions.
Read more about geothermal heating and cooling.
Topics: Geothermal Heating & Cooling
Gary Wollenhaupt is an experienced writer and editor, with a background as a daily newspaper reporter as well as corporate and agency public relations and marketing. He is constantly looking for affordable green upgrades to make to his home in eastern Kentucky.www