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FEATURE RENEWABLE TECHNOLOGY


HARNESSING THE GROUND’S GEOTHERMAL POTENTIAL


John Rodgman, MD at Borehole Solutions, looks into the practice of geothermal drilling, the surge in


popularity of geothermal energy, and the benefits of ground source heat pumps (GSHP)


I


n recent years, taking proactive environmental steps towards renewable energies has become


incredibly popular. Every sector – geotechnical included – has been attempting to implement more sustainable practices wherever possible. This change in climate has led to the emergence of multiple geotechnical methodologies, the most prominent of which is geothermal drilling. Geothermal drilling can range from huge


geothermal plants down to the implantation of ground source heat pumps (GSHP).


carbon footprint, and a way in which suppliers and businesses are controlling their impact on the environment is through using this type of energy. Not only can it be extracted without burning toxic fossil fuels such as coal, gas or oil, but it can only produce approximately one-sixth of the CO2


that other electricity


generating sources do. Geothermal energies have become a popular


source of power in countries such as Iceland, for example, where 90% of their heating


“Aside from being environmentally friendly, using a renewable source of energy also means that you may benefit


from Government incentives and payment schemes. Further to this, you will also naturally save money on energy costs”


Despite often being a more complex and


long-winded process, many industries have shifted to using geothermal energy as an outlet to generate electricity. As a nation, we are becoming more and more aware of our


demand is supplied through geothermal energy sources. Unlike its competitors, such as solar and wind energy, geothermal energy can be used continually throughout the year and is extremely cost efficient.


WHAT IS A GSHP? Once a Ground Source Heat Pump has been decided upon, there will be an installation process with a geotechnical contractor (or geothermal borehole drilling contractor). The servicer will install loops of piping into a pre-drilled borehole and, through this, a heat-carrying pump is circulated to transfer absorbed heat from the ground to the surface, and into the property. A GSHP differs from the


more commonly held concept of what geothermal drilling is, despite the fact that it is a form of this process. They are designed to harness the ground’s underlying geothermal potential for more domestic purposes. Much of the heating


generated by these types of 30 WINTER 2020 | ENERGY MANAGEMENT


pumps is created through geothermal means and solar gain, which is one of the biggest differences there is when looking at geothermal drilling. This means that the installation of a GSHP isn’t solely through a geothermal process.


BENEFITS OF USING GSHP There are countless benefits to using this source of energy – with the fact that it’s renewable being one of the greatest. Aside from being environmentally friendly,


using a renewable source of energy also means that you might benefit from Government incentives and payment schemes. Further to this, you will also naturally save money on energy costs. It’s no secret that the utilisation of oil and gas is a considerable expense for many homes and businesses, whereas using a GSHP can help to mitigate some of those large financial direct debits. GSHP’s are so quiet in operation that it’s


easy to forget that they are there. In terms of maintenance, minimal upkeep is needed once they have been installed, meaning you don’t need to worry about drilling into your property again. As renewable sources are growing in popularity and many are searching for efficient ways to generate electricity for their home, ground source heat pumps could be the answer for many.


Borehole Solutions www.boreholesolutions.co.uk


/ ENERGYMANAGEMENT


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