DOE invests in geothermal heat pumps

The U.S. Dept. of Energy has announced that nearly $50 million from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act will be spent on the expansion, testing, and certification of geothermal heat pumps.



 Nearly $50 million from the American Reinvestment and

Recovery Act (ARRA)  will be used to enhance the

production of geothermal heat pumps, according to U.S. Dept. of Energy secretary Steven Chu


Geothermal pumps, which take energy from the surface of the

Earth in order to move heat both in and out of buildings, are more efficient

than the air-source pumps that tend to be found in commercial buildings. The

efficiency is based on the pumps' ability to reduce the electricity demand of a

structure while also lowering the cost of utility bills. An increase in

geothermal pumps also may lead to the creation of new jobs and reduce

dependency on fossil fuels.


The investment by ARRA will be used in three primary areas. The

first, innovative technology demonstration, will be a series of demonstration

project that use at least 50 tons of heating and cooling capacity in various

weather conditions and climate zones. The second area is lifecycle cost tools, which

will help in figuring out the possibility of a project by bringing together and

looking at different data related to cost, performance, and installation. The

final one is national certification and accreditation, a program for educating

and certifying workers in the geothermal heat pump industry.

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