Geothermal heating and cooling on the farm

By Q. Victoria Chen, Ph.D., LEED AP BD+C; Patrick Nortz, CPG, PE; and Gregory Nortz, PE

Geothermal heating and cooling systems offer farmers, rural businesses, and homeowners an opportunity to realize long-term energy savings, particularly if currently relying on energy sources such as LP Gas, fuel oil, or electricity, all which are more costly than natural gas. Most farmers are in business long term. Therefore, the payback of a geothermal system can be significant over the working life of a farm.

What is a geothermal heating and cooling system?

A geothermal system can be designed and installed in many ways. To keep it simple for this article, let us assume we are talking about a “closed ground loop” piping system that circulates heat-exchange fluid through a piping system in the ground to enable summer cooling or winter heating of a building.

In addition to the “ground loop” piping, geothermal heating and cooling systems contain the following:

Geothermal heat pump, which captures the heat or loses the heat, depending on the season, and is similar in cost and size as a conventional gas furnace.… Continue reading