Ground Source Heat Pumps

From Open Energy Information

Ground Source Heat Pumps:
A Ground Source Heat Pump is a central building heating and/or cooling system that takes advantage of the relatively constant year-round ground temperature to pump heat to or from the ground.
Other definitions:Wikipedia Reegle

Ground Source Heat Pumps (sometimes known as Geothermal Heat Pumps) are used for space heating and cooling in buildings. Since the shallow ground beneath the Earth’s service remains at a relatively constant temperature throughout the year (50° to 60° F), the ground is warmer than the air in the winter, and cooler in the summer.

Ground source heat pumps take advantage of the nearly constant temperature of the Earth to heat and cool buildings. The shallow ground, or the upper 10 feet of the Earth, maintains a temperature between 50° and 60°F (10°–16°C). This temperature is warmer than the air above it in the winter and cooler in the summer. Ground Source Heat Pumps take advantage of this, and the ground serves as a heat source in the winter and a heat sink in the summer[1], [2] .

Ground source heat pumps use much less energy than conventional heating systems, since they draw heat from the ground. They are also more efficient when cooling your home. Not only does this save energy and money, it reduces air pollution.

GSHP System

Ground source heat pump systems consist of three parts: the ground heat exchanger, the heat pump unit, and the air delivery system (ductwork). The heat exchanger is a system of pipes called a loop, which is buried in the shallow ground near the building. A fluid (usually water or a mixture of water and antifreeze) circulates through the pipes to absorb or relinquish heat within the ground.

Heat pumps work much like refrigerators, which make a cool place (the inside of the refrigerator) cooler by transferring heat to a relatively warm place (the surrounding room), making it warmer. In the winter, the heat pump removes heat from the heat exchanger and pumps it into the indoor air delivery system, moving heat from the ground to the building's interior. In the summer, the process is reversed, and the heat pump moves heat from the indoor air into the heat exchanger, effectively moving the heat from indoors to the ground. The heat removed from the indoor air during the summer can also be used to heat water, providing a free source of hot water.

GSHP Resource Locations

All areas of the United States have nearly constant shallow-ground temperatures, which are suitable for ground source heat pumps.[3]


<references> [1] [2] [3]

  1. 1.0 1.1  "NREL: Ground Source Heat Pumps"
  2. 2.0 2.1  "US DOE EERE Geothermal Technologies Program, Ground Source Heat Pumps"
  3. 3.0 3.1  "NREL: Learing- Geothermal Energy Basics, GSHP"