» Solar domestic hot
water » Combining with geothermal
With the rising cost of the fuels
traditionally used to heat water in your home (electricity, natural
gas, propane, and oil), a solar
thermal system combined with a geothermal
system will reduce dependence on your existing heating
systems (space heating, water heating, and other applications).
You will see real savings on your utility bills and also
help reduce your carbon footprint.
The price of natural gas in Southwestern Ontario
went up over 28% in 2013.
Geothermal earth loops are designed
to transfer the available heat energy to the geothermal equipment
from the ground. The earth loop draws significant heat energy and
over the heating season the operating temperature of the loop fluid
can go from a high of 65 °F at the beginning of the heating
season to a low of 30 °F or lower by the end of the heating
The warmer the earth-loop fluid, the transfer
of heat to the residence is faster, easier, and more efficient.
While geothermal units are designed to run longer cycles, the warmer
the loop fluid the shorter these cycles are, while still satisfying
Combining a solar thermal system to
an existing geothermal system provides multiple benefits, and are
worth serious consideration for optimum efficiency:
- Capital costs for solar thermal systems are more affordable
today. Space heating and domestic hot-water requirements consume
the largest part of our annual energy consumption,
over 75% in most cases. Passive solar thermal
systems are capable of harvesting heat energy from the sun,
which is normally deposited into a holding tank for use in domestic
hot-water usage and space heating. Once satisfied, the novel
option of depositing this extra heat into an
earth loop maximizes the solar harvesting and in turn enables
storage in the earth loop as a heat sink.
- During the course of a sunlit day, the geothermal system may
not be called as the solar system is supplying all required
heat. Once demand on the geothermal system is initiated, the
fluid will have gained several degrees, resulting in better
energy efficiency and higher COP (co-efficient of performance).
Reliance on backup plenum heating is greatly reduced.
- Electrical energy costs are expected to escalate over
the next few years, particularly in "peak hour"
usage under time-of-use billing. Solar thermal harvesting will
become more of a prudent investment. For those already invested
in geothermal energy, the addition of solar thermal is an extra
layer of efficiency, comfort and reduced energy costs.
- This integrated package benefits on all fronts as it meets
comfort, space heating, and hydronic heating in winter, air
conditioning in summer, and domestic hot water all year.
All this at the optimum cost and operational performance. Extra
solar energy in the summer can also be put into heating
a swimming pool or hot tub, after topping up
the geothermal loop.
- Doing nothing may be the least attractive option. As we experience
higher energy bills, our ability to pay these costs are becoming
a larger portion of our income. The capital
costs for a solar system is a one-time investment that delivers
for generations. Harvesting solar energy is clean, practical,
abundant, healthy, prudent, easy, and once in place saves
money from the beginning. A "dollar saved is a
dollar plus" since energy bills come with many added expenses,
including taxes, debt retirement, distribution costs, and so
- The "Big Ball" is in your court now!