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March 10, 2009 -
Geothermal heat pump systems promise to provide lower cost heating and cooling than conventional systems, with far less reliance on fossil fuels. But the amount of savings varies from system to system. To understand why, there are a couple of points facility executives should keep in mind.
One important point to remember is that geothermal systems offer more savings in cooling-dominated climates. But if the load between heating and cooling is balanced, geothermal systems can also operate cost effectively.
Another important point: The greater the temperature difference between the air and the ground, the more efficient the system.
A final efficiency consideration: With large systems, very warm ground temperatures — for example, on a hot day in late summer — may make it necessary to dissipate some heat in a fountain or other open water source or to use it for domestic purposes.
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