Hybrid Heating Systems - Geo and Solar Thermal
Because B.C. is a heating dominated climate, there are more days that we need heat than we need cooling. As such, a geoExchange system may be pulling more heat out of its source than it puts back in. Over time, the geoExchange system may remove more heat from the ground than can be returned by the sun resulting in lower performance.
In addition, a solar thermal system gathers solar generated heat when the sun shines which is predominately in the summer. This is also the time when heat is needed the least.
A novel way of solving these issues is to combine a geoExchange system with solar thermal collection. In this way, heat collected in the summer by the solar thermal collectors may be pumped into the ground via the geoExchange system. It is possible then to recharge the earth each year with heat collected by the solar thermal array.
When the weather gets cold the geoExchange system pulls heat out of the ground as ususal but with increased efficiency and performance since the ground has a higher temperature. In addition, combining solar thermal with geoExchange may result in smaller ground loops and/or heat pump size.
A district heating system is a system for distributing heat generated in a centralized location to provide the heating and cooling requirements in several buidings. A centralized geo/solar heating system offers the benefits of clean renewable energy while providing for the needs of multiple buildings.
The centralized geoExchange district heating system may offer the advantage of greater system efficiency, economies of scale and sheltering from future energy prices.