Geothermal heating is a fairly simple concept. You use the technology everyday in your home’s refrigerator. It is a process that withdraws heat from one location and moves it to another. View the You-Tube video from GeoComfort on Understanding Geothermal Heating and Cooling.
The International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHA) explains it as follows:
Heat pumps are electronically powered systems that tap the stored energy of the greatest solar collector in existence, the earth. There are either open loop systems or closed loop systems and can be installed in four different ways:
Our geothermal systems are installed 6-8 feet below the ground where the temperature is a constant 50-53 degrees. Horizontal systems do not require straight-aways and can be configured around existing landscaping. What is important is the amount of tubing required for your home’s size.
Summer Cooling Mode: A Closed Horizontal System
A biodegradable antifreeze solution is circulated through the loop tubes in the earth. It is carried through the system and into your home’s heat pump. At the heat pump, the cool, liquid refrigerant enters the indoor coil during cooling. As it enters the coil, the temperature of the refrigerant is between 40-50 degrees.
As warm, moist room air passes over the cool coil, the refrigerant inside absorbs the heat. The new cooler, drier air is circulated back into the room with a blower fan.
The refrigerant moves into the compressor, which is a pump that raises the pressure so it will move through the system. The increased pressure from the compressor causes the refrigerant to heat to roughly 120 to 150 degrees.
The hot vapor now moves into contact with the condenser (the underground loops), where the refrigerant gives up its heat to the cooler ground loop, then condenses back into a liquid.