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Geothermal Designs Arise as a Stormproof Resource

nytimes.com -- Advocates for geothermal energy say that the path of destruction cut by Hurricane Sandy, which unearthed fuel tanks, ravaged cooling towers and battered air-conditioners, has already persuaded some building owners to switch to geothermal systems that use underground pipes to harness the earth’s energy for heating and cooling buildings.

“We’re seeing dozens of these half-empty and empty oil tanks just popping up all over the place in the flooded areas”..

“Those tanks become buoyant in all that water,” he said. But since geothermal systems don’t use fossil fuels or mechanical systems that are exposed to the elements, Mr. Reardon said, he started fielding calls from people asking for estimates on geothermal systems just days after the storm. “Often it’s a case where they were considerin


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Submitted Nov 09, 2012 By: teafortwo
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NedW
Champion Author Indianapolis

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Message Posted: Nov 10, 2012 11:14:13 PM

I wonder if heat can be pumped up from the earth's upper mantle cost effectively. Nah.
pulpwood
Champion Author Mississippi

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Message Posted: Nov 10, 2012 10:44:33 PM

good if you can afford it.
Eugenian
Champion Author Oregon

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Message Posted: Nov 10, 2012 4:01:25 AM

Geothermal = free energy (after the non-trivial expense of drilling the well). Why are we not doing this on a huge scale?
MAC48
Champion Author Dallas

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Message Posted: Nov 10, 2012 12:22:17 AM

Geothermal cooling has been utilized by various civilizations for thousands of years as evidenced by the caves and caverns that have been used and are still being used to grow mushrooms, cure wines, cure cheeses, etcetera at a constant temperature of about 68 degrees. For residential purposes, all a geothermal heat pump does is force the exchange of air in a structure for the air that is in pipes or conduit running through a deep well/wells or a series of very narrow and long U shaped connected covered trenches.

The air that is brought back into the structure is conditioned air which is approximately at the desired temperature for cooling purposes in the warmer months having passed through cold water (wells) or cool earth ( covered trenches). Simultaneously the exhaust air is moved into the pipe or conduit system to be cooled in turn. Most geothermal heat pump installations also require a secondary heating source, normally electric resistance heat, to bring the air that emerges from the pipes or conduit up to the desired comfort level of say 70 or 72 degrees to provide warm air during the colder months.

In any case, geothermal installations require electricity to run the heat pump year around and to provide the additional air heating needed in cold months which means a standby generator is needed when the regular source of electricity is disrupted. Do not confuse a standard heat pump system with a geothermal heat pump system since they are really different applications. Standard heat pumps exchange structure air for outside air where as a geothermal heat pump uses the coolness of the ground beneath the surface several feet or in well water to cool recirculated structure air.
Pramodsharma
Champion Author Richmond

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 7:26:44 PM

and I am still not understanding what Geothermal Engineering is?
PDQBlues
Champion Author San Diego

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 6:05:31 PM


California has several geothermal plants, and they all seem to work quite well.
sydb7
Champion Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 1:43:27 PM

This is an alternate source that needs to be looked into!
evowner
Champion Author Salem

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 10:13:17 AM

Technology has been around over a century.
CocoPaz
Champion Author Santa Barbara

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 9:40:40 AM

Now THIS sounds interesting.

We are praying for those of you on the East Coast.
geezrtek
Champion Author Michigan

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 8:48:16 AM

Let a hundred flowers bloom.
skinsfan125
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 8:27:48 AM

good
ModelWarships
Champion Author Missouri

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 7:44:10 AM

yuck
tutaw
Champion Author Kentucky

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 7:39:49 AM

makes sense
Tutootin
Champion Author Toronto

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 7:26:38 AM

mitchells, Great information. Thanks!
Sethyl
Champion Author Miami

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 7:26:25 AM

test it on a small scale
bar1035
Champion Author Charlotte

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 7:13:05 AM

See the packards42 comment for a price check
40mpgsaturn
Champion Author Wisconsin

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 7:09:06 AM

You would still need a generator or back-up batteries.
ss70
Champion Author Detroit

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 7:06:07 AM

It is toooooo expensive .
mattymattmatt
Champion Author Scranton

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 7:02:37 AM

ok.
truckpdlr
Champion Author Tucson

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 6:59:05 AM

OK
dopster
Champion Author Toledo

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 6:58:49 AM

Our geothermal resources should be taken more seriously.
scooterbug1
Rookie Author Tennessee

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 6:55:14 AM

geothermal is not being taken seriously JMO
zimowski
Champion Author San Jose

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 6:55:04 AM

Not a good idea in earthquake zones.
packards42
Champion Author Washington

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 6:54:45 AM

We check out Geothermal systems and the price was 6 times high efficiency heatpumps.
STLcardsfan
Champion Author St. Louis

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 6:53:18 AM

See if it pans out
Diesel_Ram
Champion Author Dallas

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 6:51:15 AM

Dosen't seem like anything new?
Kato51
Champion Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 6:51:08 AM

Interesting. Why not give it a try.
BillHeatherL
Champion Author Alberta

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 6:49:37 AM

geothermal systems have been around a long time
Hangnail309
Champion Author Manitoba

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 6:49:31 AM

this system still relies on the electrical grid for power to operate.

peanutsMN
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 6:48:22 AM

And needs electricity to run.
gasman50
Champion Author Portland

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 6:47:47 AM

time will tell.......
doncNJ
Champion Author New Jersey

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 6:47:05 AM

Do you remember dome homes?
dm9667_23
Champion Author Pennsylvania

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 6:45:31 AM

interesting
jimgraham
Champion Author Akron

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 6:45:21 AM

And the savings keep on coming - till the electric goes off. Unless you have a backup power supply for the pumps and fans.
MrLuigi
Champion Author Massachusetts

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 6:44:44 AM

Geothermal is a very neat concept, saw a program on tv about it, would love to have it!
rasprout
Champion Author Tacoma

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 6:44:38 AM

Interesting...
speedraider
Champion Author Orlando

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 6:44:36 AM

ok
Rick01
Champion Author Utah

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 6:43:20 AM

Wall Street will find a way to keep a lid on it.
ruca2012
Champion Author San Diego

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 6:42:30 AM

oh well
mitchells
Champion Author Montreal

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 6:42:14 AM

I LOVE my Geothermal system at my house, nothing located outside, no noise like an air sourced heat pump, and it works all summer and winter (doesn't stop working when the temps drop below -8C).

It also works much more efficiently than an air sourced system. In Winter, the ground is always above freezing, so it can easily pull more heat out of the ground, compared to outside air temps, where as the temps fall, they become less efficient until -8C, when they stop working completely.

In Summer, they are more efficient, because you're only trying to dump excess heat into the ground which is at about 15C, instead of trying to push heat out of the house when the outside temps are 30-40C, where the hotter it gets outside, the harder it is to push the heat outside, because of the temperature differences.

Only thing these people need to realize, is even with geothermal systems avoiding outside damage, it still doesn't work without electricity.
Legend1500
All-Star Author Midland Odessa

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 6:42:05 AM

Interesting concept
scrossi
Champion Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 6:41:48 AM

Time will tell.
bluebird1
Champion Author Toronto

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 6:41:07 AM

Its a good point in favor of Geothermal(except its still driven by electrictiy - ie. a heat pump) that I've never seen or considered. Still the damage from storm/fire/flood would be minimal.
Also, had'nt heard of oil tanks issue from Sandy either other than extremely washed out areas.
...and to many posters like Jammer asking 'what does it have to do with fuel prices' - It's obvious, if use less fuel for heating/cooling (yes there's electricity generated with the stuff too) then should leave more for transportation, which should help prices. If only we can solve the paper bbl/gal. stranglehold & get back to physical supply/demand changing prices.
mnbeancounter
Champion Author Minnesota

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 6:41:04 AM

good news
GGAlbo
Champion Author Detroit

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 6:40:55 AM

I like to see more geothermal energy!
Don20
Champion Author Oklahoma City

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 6:40:20 AM

I will bet another Sandy, will screw that system up also. You can't mess with mother nature.. Its like tornados, you live with it or move..
CorvairHaven
Champion Author Cleveland

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 6:40:15 AM

Stormproof? I don't think so.
Tiernan2012
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 6:40:14 AM

Nothing is completely storm proof. Geothermal could be a slightly more secure alternative, but costs need to be considered as well.
kulwicki7
All-Star Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 6:40:01 AM

finally geothermal is being taken seriously!
Chinto12
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 6:39:07 AM

apples and oranges
olebufnav
Champion Author Omaha

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 6:38:45 AM

If installed when a building is first constructed, they can be cost effective. As later add-ons, very expensive.
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