History of Geothermal Technology
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True geothermal technology, tapping the heat from the earth’s core, is nothing new. Yellowstone and Hot Springs Arkansas were health spas for Paleo-Indians 10,000 years ago, and ancient Romans heated their baths and homes with hot springs.
Heat pump technology took quite a bit longer to develop. It was Lord Kelvin who, in 1852, developed the concept of a heat pump, which utilized the energy absorbed and released during a "Phase Change" of a liquid to a vapor, and then back to a liquid.
Heat pump technology was first put to use in the late 1940’s when Robert C. Webber was experimenting with his deep freezer. He noticed that the colder the setting, the hotter the outlet pipe. It wasn’t long before he started using that excess heat for his family’s hot water, and since he had more of it than he needed, he also started blowing fans across heated pipes to heat the home. Mr. Weber also conceptualized using the constant temperature of the ground to do the same thing, using freon gas piped through buried copper pipes.
The first Ground Source Heat Pump (GSP) was developed by Ohio State University Professor Carl Nielsen for use in his home in 1948. The 1950’s saw a rise in the development of Water Source Heat Pumps for the commercial and industrial markets, which today represents a thriving and super-efficient technology.
Modern Ground Source Heat Pumps’ basic design evolved from these Water Source pumps, and their popularity began to grow rapidly in the 1980’s. Today Ground Source Heat Pumps are a favorite source of renewable energy around the world
because of it's reliability, and flexibility in meeting the needs of heating, air conditioning and hot water.
The International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA), headquartered at the University of Oklahoma, offers training and certifications in GSHP technology, design & installation, and promotes high standards in the marketplace to insure that GSHP installations live up to their promise.
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