Tag Archive | "geothermal energy"

Meeting World Targets with Heat Pumps

Meeting World Targets with Heat Pumps

This guest post is by Rebecca Field of  www.rabrown.co.uk/ground-source-heat-pumps-suffolk.

UNEP, the United Nations Environmental Programme announced in June 2012 that despite the targets set and efforts made by countries across the globe, the world’s energy supplies are still on an ‘Unsustainable Path’ with not enough being done to break our dependence on fossil fuels. Announced in Rio by the fifth edition of the Global Environment Outlook (GEO-5) before the Rio+20 Summit, the report detailed 90 of the most important environmental goals and informed that significant progress had only been made in four.

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The four which were judged to have made ‘significant progress’ were:

  • Eliminating the production and use of substances which deplete the ozone layer
  • Removal of lead from fuel
  • Increasing access to improved water supplies
  • Boosting research to reduce pollution of the marine environment

Although some progress was shown on a further 40 goals, little or no progress was found on 24 – including climate change and even more worryingly 8 goals showed deterioration. If we do not act soon the report warns that we will go past the point of repair. GEO-5 encouraged the world leaders and nations meeting in Rio to make definite and decisive goals, as this is when most progress has been made.

So what are we, in the UK, doing to try and rectify the problem, and how are our government planning to reduce the amount of fossil fuels we are using?

The Government are currently implementing a ‘carbon budget’ in the UK which is a cap on the total quantity of greenhouse gas emissions emitted in the UK over a specified time. Reducing the energy produced using greenhouse gases is one area in which the government is working on so increasing the amount of wind turbines, solar panels, air source and ground source heat pumps, hydraulic energy and biomass plants is one area the government is really working on.

We’ve seen the success of the Feed-in Tariff and how the solar panel industry was sent into hyper-drive by the incentive offered to those who installed solar panels in their homes and businesses, this will now be followed by the Renewable Heat Incentive which will cover renewable energy used to heat premises – such as the heat pump.

Although the premise of the RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive) is parallel with that of the Feed In-Tariff as it will give payments to people producing their own energy to heat their homes with technology such as biomass boilers, geothermal energy or heat pumps there is one fundamental difference as it will be funded by the Treasury where the FiT was paid for by energy users. The RHI is still in its initial stage and has not been rolled out across all premises as of yet, but it is hoped that Phase 2 will also cover domestic properties, giving UK citizens a helping hand to change the face of our energy outlook, receiving grants to install renewable heat technology. Soon a heat pump or biomass boiler could be the norm for a new home.

Heat pumps work by using heat from the natural environment – such as in the air or underground to heat. For a ground source heat pump installation you’ll need to bury coils of piping underground. As the liquid in them naturally heats it is compressed and raised to a higher temperature so that water can be heated which can then be used in a heating system. An air source heat pump compresses the heat in exactly the same way but it finds its natural heat by acting as a back to front fridge, taking heat from the air.

Climate change isn’t something to be taken lightly and although the worlds’ targets aren’t going to be hit by heat pumps alone, when added to all the other actions taken the difference would be seen.

This post was contributed by a guest writer. If you’d like to guest post for Naturally Earth Friendly please check out our Become An Author page for details on how YOU can share your tips with our readers..

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Ways To Make Your Heating More Environmentally Friendly

This is a guest post by Pat of Apple Heating and Cooling

Heating and cooling your home can account for over 50 percent of your home’s energy use, so upgrading your heating system can make a big impact on both your environmental impact and your utility bills. New equipment will make a huge difference in your fuel consumption, and if you switch to one of the many sources of renewable energy to heat your house, can significantly reduce your carbon footprint. Here is some of the ways you can make heating your home more environmentally friendly.

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High Efficiency Furnaces and Boilers

The furnaces and boilers that you have installed in your home today are much more efficient than those built even ten years ago. Some new gas furnaces have an AFUE rating of up to 97 percent, which means that 97 percent of the fuel burned goes to heating your home! This is possible because of some equipment new features, such as electronic ignition, a sealed combustion chamber, and variable speeds that allow high efficiency furnaces and boilers to precisely control the amount of fuel burned and utilize almost all of the heat energy produced.


Geothermal heating is not a new technology, but it has gained a lot of popularity in residential homes over the last few years. Geothermal heating uses the heat naturally present under the surface of the earth by piping down liquid (usually water or a combination of water and refrigerant) to absorb the energy. The heat from the liquid is extracted by a heat pump which heats air to be disturbed throughout the home. This system needs very little maintenance, since most of the components are underground, and takes very little energy to run (just enough to power the heat pump). This heat source is completely renewable, and the process can be reversed in the summer to cool your home as well. There are many different types of geothermal systems, from horizontal loops to open loops, so a solution can be found to fit most geographies and climates.


Beyond using solar energy to provide your electricity, there are quite a few options for heating and cooling using the power of the sun. Active solar heating involves heating either air or liquid with sunlight that can be circulated to heat your home. Liquid solar systems are usually designed to work with radiators, similar to the heat distribution from a boiler, and air systems are more typically used for individual rooms with a fan to disperse the hot air. You can also buy heat pumps and air conditioners equipped with solar panels to provide the electricity needed to power them. Solar hot water heating is another popular option for those not ready to completely overhaul their current system, and even that small change can lead to considerable household energy reduction.

If you cannot afford to upgrade your heating and cooling system right now, you can reduce your heat loss (and therefore for energy consumption) by making sure your home is properly insulated and sealing up any air leaks. Even something small like putting up curtains over your windows can not only make your home more comfortable, but also ensure you are wasting as little heat as possible. When you are ready to upgrade your current HVAC system for a more environmentally friendly one, be sure to research all of the green options available.

This post was contributed by a guest writer. If you’d like to guest post for Naturally Earth Friendly please check out our Become An Author page for details on how YOU can share your tips with our readers.

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