27 APRIL 2011
A recent flurry of interest in understanding the different types of ‘geothermal’ has seen our Managing Director, Yale Carden prepare two articles in quick succession for independent media.
In this News Item, we explore the potential for geoexchange systems across the greater Asian region. Please follow the link below to read the rest of the article and to see how geoxchange systems could be applied across this emerging region.
Geoexchange systems have an important role to play in energy efficiency for buildings and industries in Asia, but their use is hindered by lack of understanding and financial barriers.
Geoexchange or Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) systems are an efficient, low-emission way of providing heating, cooling and hot water to buildings and industrial applications. Although they utilise the ground or a water body for their operation they are not a true geothermal technology.
Rather, geoexchange systems operate via a heat exchange process using solar radiation (47 per cent of the sun’s energy that reaches the Earth) stored in the ground and in water bodies. This solar radiation provides stable temperatures that are the approximate equivalent of average annual air temperature for that location.
For example, the average ground temperature in the top 100m of the mountainous regions of the Himalaya will be less than 10C, whereas in the equatorial regions it will be approximately 30-35C. The simplest method of directly experiencing this temperature stability first hand is to enter an underground cave, basement or wine cellar. Thus, geoexchange systems can be located almost anywhere across the globe and are not reliant on unique geological features.
Recent estimates indicate the presence of over two million GSHP systems worldwide providing over 15 GW of thermal capacity. The majority of installations are in North America and Europe, although there has been rapid uptake of the technology in countries such as China and Korea, with systems also present throughout other parts of Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Africa and South America. Of these, perhaps the most famous buildings are the Birds Nest (Olympic) Stadium in Beijing, China and Buckingham Palace in the UK.