Ground Source Heat Pump System Outperforms Expectations in Alaska
May 8, 2015 – Alaska’s Cold Climate Housing Research Center (CCHRC) recently tested a ground source heat pump system, and so far the results have been better than even they thought.
According to a recent article in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, the CCHRC wanted to see just how effective a ground source heat pump system (also known as a geothermal heat pump system) in very cold soils.
As we know and has been proven, geothermal systems perform very well in the lower/contiguous 48 states. And generally, the farther north you go, the better the energy and financial savings become.
But how does a geothermal system fare in a very cold location like central Alaska? In the article, the CCHRC said:
During the first year, it exceeded our expectations — creating 3.6 units of heat for every 1 unit of electricity it consumed — and only requiring one maintenance visit (a warranty fix). The six-ton residential heat pump replaced a 76,000-Btu-per-hour oil-fired boiler. Our ground source heat saved us more than 400 gallons of heating oil last year.
The CCHRC installed the system in November 2013 to heat 5,000 square feet of the CCHRC building. The organization will continue to track the geothermal system’s efficiency of heating and impact on ground temperatures for 10 years.
The CCHRC also spread three different organic materials on top of the ground to see how it impeded the ground’s ability to absorb the sun’s warm energy. Grass, sand and dark rocks were used. None of the materials had any noticeable affect on the ground or geothermal system.
This test in Fairbanks is just one of many where geothermal systems have proven their worth at saving energy and money on monthly utility bills.
Find out how much a geothermal system could save you on your monthly energy bill with our geothermal savings calculator.