Principles of operating a Geothermal Heat Pump

Definition of a Heat Pump

Simply stated a heat pump is an electrically driven mechanical device which absorbs heat energy at one location and transfers it to another. Geothermal heat pumps use the natural heat storage ability of the earth or the earth’s groundwater to heat and cool your home or business.

Energy can exist around us in the form of heat, light, mechanical, electrical or chemical energy, and although energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can be changed from one form to another and moved from place to place. A heat pump derives its name from its ability to “pump” or move heat from one area to another.

Heat pumps do not produce energy by themselves any more than a well water pump can produce water by itself. The well pump needs to be attached to a source of water before it can pump any water. Similarly a heat pump will not produce any heat if not connected to an energy source such as the earth; however, if an energy source is available and the heat pump is able to tap it then vast amounts of energy can be moved at very little cost.

In fact, the principle of a heat pump is summarized in diagram below.