/, Contextual, Cooling, DHW, Heating, Long term, Other, Owners, Physical environmental, Psychological/2.6.8 Installation of a Geothermal Heat Pump (GHP)

2.6.8 Installation of a Geothermal Heat Pump (GHP)

2.6.8 Installation of a Geothermal Heat Pump (GHP)


Geothermal energy uses the heat of the layers in the subsoil as a resource for air conditioning cycles. Because of its temperature stability, the subsoil is used both in winter and in summer for HVAC systems with radiant floor. The most recommended geothermal heat pump is a water-water system. These heat pumps with a COP around 5, release and absorb the heat from the ground. Outlet temperature is around 22-30 °C.


  • Energy savings (around 50% of the HVAC energy consumption)

  • High efficiency of the low temperature equipment

  • The availability of the energy source for its stability throughout the year

  • Its durability, with a lifespan between 25 and 50 years


  • Open-loop systems require a large supply of clean water in order to be cost effective. This may be limited by environmental factors or by local and state regulations

  • Many closed-loop systems use an antifreeze solution to keep the loop water from freezing in cold temperature conditions. Most antifreeze solutions have very low toxicity, but many produce CFCs and HCFCs, which add to environmental concerns

  • Each unit requires both electrical and plumbing services

  • Duct systems must be installed to bring outside air to each space

  • Secondary or backup heat sources are required in cooler climates

Economic assessment

Initial investment: high. Depending on the type and characteristics of the building.

Payback: high. More than 10 years in existing buildings. In new buildings is between 8 and 16 years, depending on the heating system with which it is compared (fuel or natural gas, respectively).

References and best practices

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Environment or playable world:

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Carried out by:

  • Public building users

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Reduce consumption of:

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Type of driver:

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Time framework:

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Type of measure:

  • Envelope
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