Renewable energies are an energy resource that has become increasingly important over the years, especially in the last few years. We are immersed in the greatest energy crisis, so looking for solutions that allow us to save in our homes, such as stoves or some energy source of this type, has become a totally necessary alternative.
Photovoltaic energy, aerothermal energy, or underfloor heating are options that are already well-known to users. But, do you know what geothermal energy is? Today, we will tell you about this renewable energy that many people don’t know about.
What is geothermal energy, and how is it used in heating?
The first thing to know is that geothermal energy is a renewable energy source that uses the heat generated by the earth, that is, the energy stored in the form of heat in rocks, soils, and groundwater. In this way, we get a source that helps us generate heat and cooling and domestic hot water for our home.
This type of energy also has a great advantage over other renewable fuels in that it is constantly generated regardless of the time of day or weather conditions, in addition to being respectful of the environment and helping us to obtain significant savings in our home.
Types of geothermal energy for heating
There are different ways to classify the types of geothermal energy, although the most common is establishing categories based on the temperature reached in the geothermal reservoir. These are explained below:
- High temperature geothermal energy. Since the drilling is deep, these are reservoirs with temperatures higher than 150 °C. This type of geothermal energy allows the direct transformation of water vapor into electrical energy.
- Medium-temperature geothermal energy. Here, the reservoir temperature ranges from 100 to 150 degrees. In this case, a volatile exchange fluid is used to produce electricity, which will feed the power plants.
- Low temperature geothermal energy. These reservoirs have a temperature of between 30 and 100. The heat content obtained in the subsoil is insufficient to produce energy, so it is used for thermal applications, heating, etc.
- Very low temperature geothermal energy. Finally, we have a reservoir with a temperature of less than 30 °C and a light perforation. This type is used for heating and air conditioning of houses, although a geothermal heat pump must be used for it to work properly.
As you can see, those that operate at higher temperatures are the ones that provide energy to power plants. In comparison, those at lower temperatures are sufficient to provide energy for a house.
How does geothermal energy work?
As we have just seen, in a normal home, geothermal energy can help us to obtain energy solutions ranging from heating to domestic hot water, being one of the most complete alternatives that we can find. But how does this type of energy work?
Geothermal energy installed in a house has three different elements:
- Heat pump. It is the one that is located in the interior to obtain heat during the winter and cold in the summer; it can be single-phase or three-phase.
- External circuit. It is the one that is in contact with the ground to absorb the heat that is present in it and to be able to transform it into energy for our home.
- Inner circuit. Finally, we have the circuit exchanging heat so we can use it in our home or building. Most of the time, this process is usually done through a radiant floor installation.
These elements must be installed by a company specializing in this type of system.
How much can we save by using geothermal energy?
Finally, we still have to answer one of the most interesting questions: the savings we can achieve through geothermal energy. In this sense, the first thing to know is that this installation usually has a rather high price since we are talking about between 10,000 and 40,000 euros.
However, the cost of a geothermal system can quickly pay for itself thanks to the savings it will bring us, which can be more than 1000 euros per year in a single-family house. This means that our investment with its installation can pay off in between 5 and 7 years.
As you can see, this energy alternative is very interesting, and we hope this article has helped you get to know it a little better.