Geothermal Heat Pumps Essay

The rational use of energy resources is one of the urgent problems in our modern world. One of the promising ways to solve this problem is the use of new energy-saving technologies based on the utilization of unconventional energy sources. Heat and cold supply systems with the help of heat pumps are related to the field of environmentally friendly energy-saving technologies and are becoming more and more common in the world. According to a number of reputable international organizations, this technology, along with other energy-saving technologies (the use of solar energy, wind, ocean, etc.), belongs to the advanced technologies of the 21st century and “…has become a necessity of the day” (Dhepe & Krishna, 2017, p. 1).

Today, a geothermal heat pump is the most efficient energy-saving heating and air-conditioning system. Geothermal heat pumps are widely used in the United States, Canada and the European Community. Geothermal systems are installed in public buildings, private homes and industrial facilities. At the beginning of their development, they were installed in houses of a high price category, but due to the use of modern technologies, geothermal heat pumps became available to many consumers. They are installed in new buildings or replace outdated equipment with preservation or minor modification of the old heating system.

A geothermal heat pump is a central heating and / or cooling system, “working  on  the  basic heat  pump  principle  of  stable  earth temperature  to  provide  heating  and  cooling” (Dhepe & Krishna, 2017, p. 2). The ground temperature difference is used to increase efficiency and reduce the operating costs of the heating and cooling system, and can be supplemented by solar heating. Geothermal heat pumps use the phenomenon of thermal inertia: the temperature of the earth below 6 meters is approximately equal to the average annual air temperature in a given area.

There are different types of geothermal heat pumps that include the following:

  1. closed – water is re-circulated through the coil forming a closed loop.
  2. horizontal – the collector is placed rings or winding in horizontal trenches below the depth of soil freezing (usually from 1.2 m or more). This method is the most cost-effective for residential properties. This is due to the fact that there is no shortage of land area under the contour.
  3. vertical – the collector is placed vertically in wells with a depth of 1–2 m (Dhepe & Krishna, 2017). This method is used in cases where the land area does not allow placing the contour horizontally or there is a threat to the landscape as a whole.
  4. water – the collector is placed windingly or in rings in a reservoir (lake, pond and river) below the freezing depth. This is the cheapest option, but there are requirements for the minimum depth and volume of water in the reservoir for a particular region.
  5. with direct heat exchange – unlike the previous types, the refrigerant is supplied by a heat pump compressor through copper pipes located:
  6. Vertically in wells 30 m long and with a diameter of 80 mm;
  7. At an angle in wells with a length of 15 m and a diameter of 80 mm;
  8. Horizontally in the ground below freezing depth.

The circulation of the refrigerant by the heat pump compressor and the heat exchange of Freon directly through the wall of the copper pipe with higher thermal conductivity rates ensure high efficiency and reliability of the geothermal heating system. Also, the use of this technology allows to reduce the total length of drilling.

  • open – such a system uses water as the heat exchange fluid, which circulates directly through the geothermal heat pump system during an open cycle, that is, the water returns to the ground after passing through the system. This option can be implemented in practice only if there is a sufficient amount of relatively clean water and is governed by the second law of thermodynamics (Dhepe & Krishna, 2017).  

The technology of geothermal heat pumps includes:

The principle of heating by a geothermal heat pump is based on collecting heat from the environment surrounding the building and discharging the collected heat to the heating system (or hot water supply) of the building. The principle of operation of the geothermal heat pump is that the heat from the sources is transferred to the installation, where it is converted and transferred to the heating circuit. If we talk a little more, then everything happens like this. In a relatively warm environment there is a pipeline with a large coolant. The pipeline is often closed, its movement is provided by the pump. The coolant is heated to ambient temperature. This is usually + 5° C or slightly higher. Passing through the first heat exchanger-evaporator, it gives off heat to the coolant located in the second circuit.

At the same time, regardless of the air temperature in the yard, the freezer remains free of ice, the efficiency of heat collection remains high. To collect heat, antifreeze fluid flows through a pipe located in the soil or pond near the building to the heat pump. The heat pump, like a refrigerator, takes heat and, accordingly, cools the liquid by approximately 5° C. The degrees selected by the heat pump are given to the heating system and / or hot water heating. The fluid flows through the pipe again in the outer soil or water, restores its temperature, and again goes to the heat pump.

The main advantage of the heat pump is that “the heat pump has higher efficiency and also this  system  does  not  depend  on  outside temperature,  as  in  the  case  of  traditional systems” (Dhepe & Krishna, 2017, p. 4).  And this means that it is possible to create on the basis of the heat pump, a device that works in an autonomous (without requiring additional energy, except low-potential) mode, producing a clean energy. From the point of view of energy saving, heat pumps that use secondary thermal energy can significantly increase the energy efficiency of production, thereby reducing the cost of the resulting products. The use of heat pumps instead of burning traditional energy carriers can significantly reduce the emission of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides into the surrounding atmosphere.

Thus, taking the above-mentioned information into consideration, it is possible to draw a conclusion that geothermal heat pumps are the most efficient energy-saving heating and air-conditioning systems. They are natural sources of thermal energy, which have both economic and environmental advantages compared to traditional systems that use only carbon-containing fuels. Air, water or earth can be used as the medium in the heat pump cycle. The choice of this environment is made on the basis of the feasibility study and the possibility of full use of this environment. The most cost-effective should be considered as heat pumps, in which the source of energy is soil, which at a certain depth has an almost constant temperature throughout the year. The use of heat pumps for heating systems is associated with a significant increase in initial capital costs compared to conventional systems using traditional heating generators. However, during the short period of operation, the total cost of ownership decreases by about 3-5 times and continues to decline further over time.


Dhepe, N., & Krishna, R. (2017). A Review of the Advancements in Geothermal Heating and Cooling System. Global Journal of Enterprise Information System, 9(1), 1-4.

The terms offer and acceptance. (2016, May 17). Retrieved from

[Accessed: February 4, 2023]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016.

[Accessed: February 4, 2023] (2016) The terms offer and acceptance [Online].
Available at:

[Accessed: February 4, 2023]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: February 4, 2023]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: February 4, 2023]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: February 4, 2023]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: February 4, 2023]
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