Low-temperature floor heating system powered by a geothermal heat pump for Amadeo!

22 May 2008 - Comments (0) Announcement

Low-temperature floor heating system powered by a geothermal heat pump for Amadeo! We are very happy to announce that we are currently working on giving up the electric heating system in Amadeo, in favor of a low-temperature floor heating system coupled with a geothermal heat pump, using a vertical ground loop system. That is the energy of the future, saving around 70% of the electricity used for heating.

We will provide all details on the system we will install and on its functioning once we finalize it. In the meantime, here is a small questions and answers section to provide the basic information on what we are doing.

What is a geothermal heat pump?

Geothermal energy for the home

The different heat exchange mechanisms for the geothermal heat pump (source Encyclopedia of Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living).

Underground temperatures remain almost constant all year round. A geothermal heat pump is a system that can extract the energy stored in the ground for providing heating. It can also be reversed in summer to store energy in the ground for providing cooling. A geothermal heat pump can use the energy of the ground or of the underground water.

There are several possibility to exchange heat with the ground. The one we will use is a vertical closed loop field. It is composed of pipes running vertically in the ground. We will drill several boreholes in the ground at a depth up to 100m. Pipes pairs run through each hole and circulate a fluid that exchanges heat with the surrounding.

How much electricity will I save?

Electricity is only used to run the heat pump compressor and to circulate the fluid through the loops. The real heat energy comes from the ground for free. For 1 Watt of electric energy it is possible to get from 3 to 4 Watt of heat energy. You save up to 70% of electricity compared to electric resistance heating.

And it can do cooling in summer?

Yes. The heat pump can be reversed to provide cooling in summer saving further electricity and the buying of those ugly inefficient air conditioning systems.

If it is so great, why didn't you do it in the first place?

The big problem of such a system is its cost. That cost can only be amortized on several years by the electricity savings you make. So geothermal energy is great for buyers but not for investors. Now, we had the chance to meet the right person that not only convinced us we should implement this system but also got us all the right contacts to make it possible.

Are you going to increase the price of apartments because of that?

Yes, we will pass on a fraction of the complete cost of the system into the price of the apartments. Yet, it will not be more than 20€/m². We will bear the rest of the cost. That extra cost will be largely compensated by the saving on electricity you will make.

Are you going to push the delivery date because of that?

It is possible that the installation of the system delays a bit the start of the work. We need to drill the boreholes below the construction. We will soon have more information to answer that question precisely.

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