Geothermal Energy Heating and Cooling
One option of affordable and clean energy is right below our feet taking advantage of the earth’s constant underground temperature nearly 10 meters below the surface. That is possible to use with the geothermal HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) systems that bring a building in harmony with the earth beneath, taking advantage of subterranean temperatures to provide heating in the winter and cooling in the summer.
Geothermal systems are local, reliable, resilient, environmentally friendly, and sustainable. The applications are diverse – space heating, greenhouse and covered ground heating, aquaculture pond and raceway heating, agricultural crops drying, industrial process heat, snow melting and space cooling, bathing, and swimming.
Geothermal heating and cooling are one of the main renewable and clean energy sources to be deployed in The Distrikt for buildings and greenhouses.
1. Environmentally Friendly
Geothermal energy is more environmentally friendly than conventional fuel sources such as coal and other fossil fuels. In addition, the carbon footprint of a geothermal power plant is low. While there is some pollution associated with geothermal energy, this is relatively minimal when compared to fossil fuels.
Geothermal energy is a source of renewable energy that will last until the Earth is destroyed by the sun in around 5 billion years. The hot reservoirs within the Earth are naturally replenished, making it both renewable and sustainable.
3. Huge Potential
Worldwide energy consumption is currently around 15 terawatts, which is far from the total potential energy available from geothermal sources. While we can’t currently use most reservoirs there is a hope that the number of exploitable geothermal resources will increase with ongoing research and development in the industry. It is currently estimated that geothermal power plants could provide between 0.0035 and 2 terawatts of power.
4. Sustainable / Stable
Geothermal provides a reliable source of energy as compared to other renewable resources such as wind and solar power. This is because the resource is always available to be tapped into, unlike wind or solar energy.
5. Heating and Cooling
Effective use of geothermal for electricity generation requires water temperatures of over 150°C to drive turbines. Alternatively, the temperature difference between the surface and a ground source can be used. Due to the ground being more resistant to seasonal heat changes than the air, it can act as a heat sink/ source with a geothermal heat pump just two meters below the surface.
Energy generated from this resource is easy to calculate since it does not fluctuate in the same way as other energy sources, such as solar and wind. This means we can predict the power output from a geothermal plant with a high degree of accuracy.
7. No Fuel Required
Since geothermal energy is a naturally occurring resource there is no fuel required, such as with fossil fuels that are a finite resource that needs mining or otherwise extracting from the earth.
Geothermal heating and cooling use in The Distrikt
In The Distrikt Geothermal heating and cooling, systems will be used for buildings and greenhouses. The resistance of the system to cold climates and temperature changes will guarantee stable heat even for Gyumri‘s cold winters.
With the use of heat pumps, geothermal heating and cooling systems extract heat energy from the Earth and transfer it into buildings and the opposite for cooling. The heat pumps use the Earth as a heat source (during wintertime) or a heat sink (during summertime). This saves approximately 50 to 60% on heating and cooling costs, depending on the fuel being compared to.
Geothermal heating and cooling will serve as a sustainable and effective energy source for greenhouses and aquaponics plants of The Distrikt. While the cooling will be used for post-harvest food refrigeration.