As more and more commercial buildings are designed with sustainability in mind, commercial geothermal installations have become more popular, and it’s easy to see why: they are the most environmentally friendly method of heating and cooling available today, far outstripping air source heat pumps in efficiency. Every aspect of our geothermal heat pumps has been optimized to be environmentally friendly. Let’s take a look:
Efficient Heat Pump Design
Commercial water-to-water heat pumps boast a coefficient of performance (COP) of 4.1. This means that for every watt of electricity used to run the heat pump, 4.1 watts of useable heat energy is moved into your building. This makes your commercial heat pump 410% efficient. Having such an efficient HVAC system will cut down on your building’s green house gas emissions, and save you money on your utility bills.
Efficient System Design
A popular commercial geothermal system design is to use simultaneous heating and cooling. Using this design, a commercial geothermal system can heat and cool at the same time by taking advantage of both sides of the heat pumps. This virtually doubles the efficiency of the system when compared to a conventional fully reversing heat pump system. This means that instead of being 410% efficient, your geothermal system could be up to 820% efficient. This kind of efficiency would reduce your utility bills drastically.
With this method, heat pumps are connected in parallel between hot and cold buffer tanks. The cold buffer tank is connected to the outdoor side of the heat pump and the cooling zones, while the hot buffer tank is connected to the indoor side of the heat pump and the heating zones. The heat pump heats and cools by absorbing heat from the cold buffer tank and rejecting it into the hot buffer tank, along with the compressor energy. Whenever a buffer tank goes outside its operating range the ground loop either adds or rejects energy, as required, to balance the buildings total energy requirements.
Sustainable Development and LEED Certification
Installing a geothermal heat pump in your commercial building is a great way to become certified in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED Certified). Many of our existing commercial projects have achieved LEED certification, and their eco-friendly geothermal systems play a big role. Geothermal heat pumps fall under the Energy & Atmosphere category for LEED certification. There are 38 points that can be scored in this category, which are spread across a variety of subcategories including domestic hot water heating, space heating and cooling, refrigeration management.
As you can imagine, choosing the right HVAC system will go a long way towards achieving LEED certification. In fact, installing a geothermal heat pump will earn you 10 of the possible 38 points in the Energy & Atmosphere category.
Being LEED certified has many benefits including increased revenues, decreased utility costs and increasing building longevity. If you’re developing an environmentally friendly property, LEED certification is a great way to declare to the world that your building is a green building.