Benefits of geothermal HVAC in commercial applications – Part 2
With geothermal in commercial scale buildings, there are economies of scale that make it more efficient than in single-family dwellings.
While ground loops in commercial buildings have to be larger than in a home, they don't scale up proportionately.
For a residential building, when sizing the loop, you have to build in a safety factor for loop sizing. A loop for a home should always be design based on the worst-case scenario, at the peak heating or cooling load.
For commercial buildings, because of the multi-function of the commercial building and because of the air and the different faces of the building, the design factor and safety factor are usually less.
There's also economy of scale because instead of having 1,000 pumps and 1,000 looping systems for 1,000 residential houses, you have one main loop and two or three variable speed pumps. So the system design is more efficient, the water flow is more efficient and there are fewer pumps.
There also lower cost for drilling wells because several wells are done at once at one location. Also, the loop field can be located under a lawn, parking area or body of water. You can sink your slinking coils under the floor of the lake. You can also reuse some of the brown water as a heat source.
Read part 1 of Benefits of geothermal HVAC in commercial applications.