New research shows that installing a hybrid geothermal heat pump system can significantly reduce the cost of implementing geothermal heating and cooling. The hybrid system reduces the peak capacity of the ground loop, making a smaller, less expensive ground heat exchanger feasible.
The Energy Center of Wisconsin with assistance from the University of Wisconsin Solar Energy Laboratory collected annual operating data on three working hybrid system installations. The economic and environmental impact of the hybrid approach was to compared it to other HVAC system designs. This data was used to investigate what contributes to an effective hybrid design.
Using project results, the Energy Center developed tools for HVAC system designers to use to assess the benefits of hybrid geothermal on specific building projects. The study was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Alliant Energy and Madison Gas and Electric. Download the final report at www.ecw.org/hybrid.