Geothermal Heating And Cooling Essay

2618 words - 10 pages

Geothermal Heating and Cooling Versus Conventional Heating and CoolingIn the 21st century, alternative energy is a big topic. Some forms include solar energy, wind turbines and nuclear power. A different form of alternative energy is geothermal energy. According to Green Building Advisor, geothermal energy is "hot water or steam extracted from reservoirs beneath the Earth's surface" (green). This paper will benefit the Pennsylvania Builders Association (PBA) and educate the organization on the advantages of geothermal energy. The PBA is associated with the National Association of Home Builders and it is a non-profit statewide trade organization that was chartered in 1952. The Pennsylvania Builders Association should encourage the use of geothermal energy sources throughout the state and local levels because this source of energy will prove to be more economically and environmentally friendly.According to Green Comfort, "The Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) is one of the most efficient residential heating and cooling systems available today, with heating efficiencies 50 to 70% higher than other heating systems and cooling efficiencies 20 to 40% higher than available air conditioners. That directly translates into savings for you on your utility bills. " (Frequently)This paper will compare both geothermal and conventional heating and cooling systems and determine which is better. A brief history of both systems will be discussed along with a conversation about how they work. The advantages and disadvantages of both systems will also be stated. Specifically the costs involved and the sources of power will be discussed. The conclusion will end finding that geothermal power proves to prevail.History: Geothermal EnergyUp until the 1800s, hot springs were the primary source of hot water for bathing and cooking. Some hot springs also heated buildings, but this use was limited. It wasn't until the end of the 1800s and beginning of the 1900s that the idea of geothermal energy really got moving. The first form of geothermal energy was direct-use, meaning the thermal energy of the hot water in the ground was used and was not converted into electricity. According to Dr. John Tabak, Ph.D., the world's first geothermal district heating system was established in 1892 by the citizens in Boise, Idaho (Tabak, 108). Hot water from beneath the Earth's surface was pumped through pipes to heat a few buildings in downtown Boise. Just a few years later, the system was expanded to include about 200 homes and 40 businesses (Tabak, 108).This direct-use system was excellent for very localized areas, but since there are few hot springs on Earth, transporting the hot water from them would be inefficient. Given that the hot water cannot be transported long distances and remain hot, a new plan had to be devised. The plan would be to convert the thermal energy into electricity. Electricity can go long distances without losing power....

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