The problem of reducing energy consumption is what people concern about in all the industry. A new technology or equipment, which is called Geothermal Heat Pump (GHP) can be used in any building like school, hotel and highly efficiency in today’s world. The principle of GHP is that can either transfer the heat source or cool source. In other words, a geothermal heat pump has the ability to move the source from one space to another space (EERE 2011). There are many facilities such as air conditioning, refrigerator, and ventilation that they all can use of geothermal heat pump as heating or cooling system. It is commonly to use this device to save energy because the resource is from earth, which means the earth has the natural energy and can provide heat to the system.
Use of Geothermal Heat Pump in hotels or resorts
Since the new technical equipment are required to install the pipe system. It is not simple to put any pipes near your hotel or resorts. The hotel manager or owner must contact to the local utilities for install the GHP, because they are certificated and professional. The primary option is set up loop of pipes under the shallow ground that close to the hotel. Those pipes are called heat exchanger and shallow ground temperature should be remaining about 54 Fahrenheit (EERE 2011). Figure 1 is the typical example can explain how the GHP works and can be placed in the hotel. It can be filled the water into the loop of pipes. Then the pipes will absorb the constant heat from the earth in winter time, the heat will transfer the energy to the GHP, when the heat pump warms the air and transfer to the normal heating system. The room temperature will be stable and through to the multiple rooms. It will be the same theory during the summer time, because the outside temperature is higher the shallow ground temperature, therefore the water in the pipes can absorb the heat from outside and cool down the temperature underground, then the heat pump system act reversing, it will transfer the cooling water to the air conditioning in order to lower down the room temperature. The heat pump has the capacity to make the fluid circulate as well.
Fig 1, (1) is heat pump, (2) is loop of pipes, (3) is air conditioning
Energy and resource saving
People all want to save energy, no matter its saving water or electricity. The ultimate goal is observer the new method to minimize the energy consumption. So the GHP has the function to help us save energy if we install the correctly. As mentioned above the principle of operating geothermal heat pump is borrow the energy source from earth, apparently the energy is infinite as long as the shallow ground will be founded properly. GHP actually can save approximately 75% electricity energy compare to conventional heating and cooling system (Wendell 2003). The most energy consumption is electricity and water in hotel and other industry. Due to the heat pump can pump the water in the loop and make it circle, so that the water can be reuse, it is not only benefiting the energy consumption but also reduce the carbon dioxide emission.
Average cost to install and operate
It will cost about $2,500 per ton of capacity for an average geothermal heat pump and about $8000 per three ton of capacity (Frank 2007). As can be seen from the figure 2, the table gives the different installed cost for different types of GHP system. The highest cost is vertical type and it cost about $8,997. Obviously the lost one is Gas with A/C, it only cost $4,331. The installing cost of geothermal heat pump system is more expensive than the conventional one. However, the usage life of normal heat pump system will up to 20 years, which means the energy source cost can be estimated to prove it, could save more money than the installing cost of heat pump. Thus, the operating cost is relative to the installing cost.
Fig 2, Total Installed Cost for Three Ton GHP systems by type
Using GHP system successfully in Galt House…