25 June 2017
Geothermal Energy

Geothermal is the most constant and reliable form of alternative energy. It is commonly used for pool heating and home/business hydronics heating. Geothermal heat is also used to produce electricity. However, since geothermal heat is relatively cool in the scope of energy production its efficiency at electric production is very limited.

Aurora Power and Design has installed and maintained many geothermal pool and hydronic systems. If you would like to know more about Aurora Power’s geothermal services or to get an estimate please contact us.

Aurora Power is currently doing research on geothermal hydronic heating to increase the performance of current geothermal hydronic systems. If you are having issues with your existing geothermal hydronic heating system please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Is Geothermal Energy Location Dependent? Minimize
Yes, Geothermal energy can be obtained everywhere, but due to varying thicknesses in the earths crust the energy may be harder to obtain in some areas. Review the geothermal resource map below to see the potential for geothermal in your area.

  Click on image to make larger.
Geothermal Resource Map of the United States

Map courtesy of SMU geothermal Laboratory

The map is colored by heat flux, which is simply the rate at which heat flows through the earths surface. This is a good indicator when deciding economical locations for geothermal wells. A geothermal well drilled in a red zone will not need to be drilled as deep as a geothermal well drilled in a blue zone to achieve the same amount of heating. However there are exceptions to this map, as there are still natural hot springs even in blue zones.

What is the difference between Geothermal and a Ground Source Heat Pump? Minimize
Ground Source Heat Pumps are often intentionally confused with Geothermal Energy by HVAC distributors since the term "geothermal" is popular in the renewable energy community.

Ground Source Heat Pumps are an efficient way to heat and cool the home, but do not utilize any alternative energy. Ground source heat pumps require electrical energy to heat and cool. Ground source heat pump systems simply use the ground as a constant temperature heat sink and are usual no deeper than three feet under the soil. Ground source heat pumps are sometimes referred to as "GeoExchange".

Geothermal Energy is a resource that can only be utilized by drilling very deep well and circulating water to extract the heat. Geothermal only provides heat energy(not cooling) and does not necessarily require energy input. Geothermal energy is utilized by many power plants and hot spring pools.

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