Energy Efficiency - Air Conditioning - Geothermal Air Conditioning

What is Geothermal Air-conditioning?

Geothermal air-conditioning uses Ground source heat pumps (GSHPs) to tap the stored energy of the greatest solar collector in existence: the earth. These systems use the earth's relatively constant temperature to provide heating, cooling, and hot water for homes and commercial buildings.

There are several types of technologies that can be used but they all work with the general principle that the undisturbed ground temperature at about 10 meters below the ground is constant and the earth acts like a heat sink (can absorb unlimited quantities of heat). The fluid in an air conditioning system carries heat from the building and places it on the ground. In the winter, the heat exchange is reversed.

What are the different applications in the industrial and commercial sector?

The technology can be used for air conditioning inhotels, hospitals, commercial buildings and industrial applications.

What are the benefits of installing this technology?

The efficiency of GSHP is nearly double water cooled air-conditioning technology. Water cooled air-conditioning technology is about 1.7-1.9 times more effective than air cooled air conditioning systems. This means that GSHP often can be several times more efficient than air cooled systems. In India, often air cooled systems have to be used because water is short supply. In such cases, geothermal air conditioning can be ideal.


Parameter Value
Capacity 300 TR
Cost of water Rs. 8.2/ltr
Tariff Rs. 7/kwhr
Potential savings (water) 505 million litres /year

What are some of the questions that potential customers ask?

Q. How much time does it take to implement and commission?

The erection and commissioning takes about 2-3 months. The implementation needs to be coordinated closely with the civil engineering team. For new constructions, this implementation is not on the critical path so project time is not extended on account of this implementation.

Q. Can geothermal air-conditioning be implemented in new buildings or existing buildings?

Both. But it is easier in a new building.

Q. How much land area does it require?

As a thumb rule, 10,000 sq. feet of area is required for 1000 TR of air-conditioning capacity. This land can be reused (for example for parking, path ways, landscaping) after the commissioning.

Q. How do differing sub-soils impact the system?

The type of sub-soil will affect the depth at which there is constant temperature and the level of this constant temperature. The design of the system will have to take into consideration these differences. However, geo-thermal air-conditioning has significant efficiency advantages in all parts of the country.

I would like to learn more about Geothermal Air-conditioning

You can read a lot about this subject at The International Ground Source Heat Pump Association is a non-profit member driven organization located on the campus of Oklahoma State University.

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