Renewables in the Home. Solar With Geothermal
Powering Your Home with Renewables
Combining solar power with geothermal HVAC for a sustainable home.
In a typical home, almost half of all energy used is for heating and cooling. This may be even higher in homes located within extremely hot or cold climates. Imagine the spike in energy use we see here in NSW during our hot Summers or chilly Winters – sometimes even leading to ‘brown-outs’ or total grid failures. This is why heating and cooling a home using alternative methods can be so beneficial, both environmentally and financially. Geothermal HVAC is one of those great alternative options. Geothermal (ground source heat pump) home units work because the temperature below ground remains mostly constant. As the outside air temperature fluctuates between hot in the summer and cold in the winter, there is a temperature differential between that outside air and the core below ground. A geothermal heating and cooling system transfers the extra heat from below ground into your home in the winter, and it transfers the extra heat from your home into the ground in the summer. Geothermal systems are made up of two major components: a set of underground pipes called ‘ground loops’, and a heat pump. This heat pump requires electricity to work. As such, it can only be considered as one of the ‘renewables’ if it is also combined with a renewable source of electricity. This why a geothermal HVAC system works so well combined with with solar panels. The geothermal heat pump regulates your home’s temperature using the electricity provided by your solar panels. Geothermal and solar are complementary forces to reduce carbon emissions, achieve energy independence and get relief from rising utility bills.
Renewable sources of energy are amazing and are definitely the path that our society needs to follow moving forward. We have unlimited sustainable sources of energy available to us, from our sun, wind, waves and depths of our Earth. Why would we continue to use old, damaging and inefficient methods of energy, when we have renewable alternatives to us? It is encouraging to the see the uptake of renewable energy options in the modern home. We are proud to be part of the renewable energy revolution. It is entirely possible to run homes and businesses without burning non-renewable sources. We just need individuals, companies and governments to support the transition.
Learn More About Renewables
Geothermal heating and cooling uses the stable temperatures underground to generate heat for a home in the cooler months and remove heat from the home in warmer months. Solar energy converts sunshine into electricity to power home appliances and electronics. When combined, we get the desired result: a house powered by renewables. The short video below is a great run-through to better understand geothermal systems.
A Geothermal HVAC system in a home will typically consist of a heat pump, ground collector array to absorb energy from the ground, a manifold and manifold pit for joining it all together, circulation pumps to move the energy around the system, various automatic and manual valves, an expansion vessel, buffer tanks to store the energy, a hot water cylinder for heating domestic hot water and a weather compensated control system to make it all work.
The process looks like this: the sun’s energy shines down and warms the entire Earth. A geothermal system taps into the Sun’s heat stored in the Earth and brings it up to surface in water-filled pipes. That warm water then goes through a heat pump in the home. The heat pump extracts heat from the water solution and uses it to warm the home, through aircon, fan coil units or underfloor heating. In Summer, the opposite is performed to remove heat. In the Winter, the ground acts as the heat source. In the Summer, it acts as a heat sink. The warm air is extracted in Summer and deposited into the earth where it dissipates with no environmental impact.
Advantages of Geothermal HVAC
- Better for the environment, as it is extracted from the earth without burning fossil fuels and produces low emissions.
- Available all year long. Constant energy using the Earth’s steady temperature underground. Unlike solar panels which require the sun to be shining, or wind turbines which need a bit of wind. 24/7 renewable HVAC – isn’t that amazing.
- More efficient, using up to 50% less electricity than traditional cooling or heating systems. For every kWh of electricity used to power the heat pump, about three or four kWh of energy is extracted from the ground.
- Low maintenance and the systems can last for up to 20 years. Very little parts exposed to elements that would cause corrosion. System is indoors and in ground.
- Quiet. The process of heat exchange from above ground to below ground is silent. No loud air conditioner running in the summer or heater running in the winter.
- Reliable. They have fewer moving parts than many other alternative energy systems so less chance of malfunctions.
- Clean. No greenhouse gas emissions. No carbon dioxide released.
- Economical. Save on heating and cooling costs ongoing. Larger upfront cost but long last investment. Lowest power bills.
Enhancing Geothermal & Renewables Further
Whilst geothermal HVAC systems are already amazing, they of course still require electricity to operate. Solar energy is the other half of the puzzle. By generating and storing the solar energy needed for geothermal, a home can then be considered truly energy independent. Powered by renewables. What a beautiful combination.
Ryelec are expert providers of solar panel and battery setups, trusted all over Sydney and beyond. We use the best solar products from around the world for the highest-performing and longest-lasting solar energy systems. This means we can provide your home’s renewable energy system to work alongside a geothermal HVAC system.
Then, we can take things even further using our expertise and experience in automation. We’ve worked on a number of projects with CWL Group who are one of Australia’s leading and trusted providers of geothermal systems. CWL install incredible geothermal systems into homes, solving complex issues to deliver the best possible results for their clients. And we’ve further supported them in developing the best possible geothermal systems through the use of automation.
We’ve used our extensive knowledge in automation and combined that with CWL’s expertise, to fully automate geothermal and solar systems in homes so they can run automatically without human interaction. Now, when in auto mode, our system takes periodic measurements of each area of the home and will adjust the heating or cooling to bring the rooms back to the predetermined perfect comfortable temperature. Whether that is through adjusting the discrete bulkhead fan coil units in the area, or the hydronic underfloor heating, the geothermal system works its renewable magic, and our automation system works its energy management magic. As well as HVAC, our automated geothermal systems provide the heating for domestic water, pools and spas. Our automation system also takes into account solar generation and will decide when and where to use generated and stored solar energy around the home.
Each project will vary slightly based on the varied needs of the site and the energy requirements. We custom build automation switchboards in our factory for each project. We also develop a custom app for each job using a KNX Logicmachine, to be displayed on a touchpanel onsite. This can be securely remotely accessed by Ryelec or CWL Group when necessary for maintenance. This custom app displays what is happening with the geothermal system, what the climate control is up to around the home, and other energy management related information.
Get Started With Renewables
It is incredible to align geothermal HVAC, solar energy and automation to help our client’s achieve total energy independence. Seeing more and more homes being completed powered by renewables is so inspiring and we’re committed to helping drive this progress within our community and Australia in general.
If you’d like to get on board with the renewables revolution (great decision), then contact us today to get started ASAP. We’d love to hear from you.