Image credit: ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Adding Up The Benefits Of Geothermal

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ORNL researchers have developed a free online tool for homeowners, equipment manufacturers, and installers to calculate the savings and energy efficiency of ground source heat pump systems compared to traditional heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.

A tool developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers gives building owners and equipment manufacturers and installers an easy way to calculate the cost savings of a heating and cooling system that utilizes geothermal energy and emits no carbon.

Ground source heat pumps, or GSHPs, operate with a heat exchanger that extracts heat from the ground in winter and serves as a heat sink in summer to provide cooling.

ORNL’s free web-based application identifies the benefits and implementation costs for GSHP installation in existing U.S. buildings. Users can modify utility prices for electricity, water and natural gas. A techno-economic analysis is provided in simple charts.

See: GSHP Screening Tool

A techno-economic analysis tool for ground source heat pump (GSHP) applications, it allows building owners, HVAC system designers, and installers to estimate the benefits and costs of implementing a GSHP system in various buildings at all climate zones in the U.S.

“You can change building characteristics, ground properties and utility rates, and the annual return on investment is updated in real time based on these inputs,” said ORNL’s Xiaobing Liu. “This is the only tool available that can automatically simulate and predict performance of GSHP applications.”

Originally published by Oak Ridge National Laboratory


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