Geothermal Energy is heat (thermal) derived from the earth (geo). It is the thermal energy from the earth's core, which is stored in the rock in the earth's crust.
This resource can be classified as low temperature (less than 90°C), moderate temperature (90°C - 150°C), and high temperature (greater than 150°C).
Ground-source heat pumps use the diffuse low temperature resource which is available everywhere. The heat pump, a device that moves heat from one place to another, transfers heat from the soil to the building in winter and from the building to the soil in summer.
All geothermal heat pumps operate without the need for flames or combustible gas and are therefore a safe choice, requiring minimal inspection and maintenance. In addition they provide the following benefits over conventional heating systems
- Unobtrusive - there are no exposed external units
- No emissions or noise nuisance
- Reduced plant room requirements
- No fuel handling/storage requirements
- No fire/explosion hazard
- Long lifetime
- Lower maintenance and running costs
- Significant reduction in consequential Carbon Dioxide
Worldwide, the current energy delivered from geothermal resources is third among renewables, following hydroelectricity and biomass, and ahead of solar and wind. Despite these impressive statistics, the current level of geothermal use pales in comparison to its potential.