What is Geolar?

Geolar

Geolar is theGeolar Overview 2 first commercially viable process for achieving Net Zero Carbon Footprint for household operations in residential homes.  It is the only method that can economically achieve Net Zero Carbon Footprint in Minnesota.

Geolar brings together two renewable energy technologies to achieve Net Zero Carbon Footprint:

  1. Geothermal to eliminate the burning of fossil fuels at the home site
  2. Solar to provide clean renewable electricity to run the geothermal system and all other house hold operations

Geothermal + Solar = Net Zero Carbon Footprint

—–Free Estimate—–

Geothermal

Using the energy of the sun stored in the ground, Geothermal eliminates the burning of fossil fuels for heating and hot water.

Picture1

What is Geothermal – 10 Min Video

A geothermal system’s contribution to Net Zero Carbon Footprint is to eliminate the burning of fossil fuels at the home site. At 300 to 500% efficiency, geothermal is also the most energy efficient system for heating, cooling and hot water.

According to the EPA, geothermal is the most cost effective, efficient, and environmentally friendly heating and cooling system. It is also the most comfortable heating and cooling system.

Geothermal runs on electricity and is largely produced by power plants burning coal or natural gas. So a portion of the savings at the home site is shifted to the burning of fossil fuels at electrical power plants. It is unable to reach net zero carbon footprint on its own.

But add a solar energy system and you can run a geothermal system on clean renewable electricity making net zero relatively easy to achieve.

Geothermal + Solar = Net Zero Carbon Footprint

 

Geothermal 101

Geothermal is a proven technology that has been in use since the 1940’s. While the US has been a slow adapter of geothermal, 70% of the homes in Sweden and Switzerland, countries with climates very similar to Minnesota, have geothermal.

What is Geothermal?
How It Works
Economics

 

Solar

Using the direct energy of the sun, solar provides clean, renewable electricity for all of the electrical needs of the home, including its geothermal system.

Solar energy is the cleanest and most abundant renewable energy source available. Over the last several years the productivity of solar panels has increased and costs have decreased. This advance in technology makes it possible, and economically feasible, to achieve net zero electrical usage in most homes.

But Solar cannot achieve Net Zero Carbon Footprint while the home still has a fossil fuel system for heating and hot water. Trying to heat, air condition, and produce hot water with electricity would quadruple the size and cost of the solar array.

Adding geothermal to the solar array eliminates the burning of fossil fuels and reduces the electrical demand for heating, cooling and hot water between 300% and 400%. This makes achieving Net Zero relatively easy to achieve.

Geothermal + Solar = Net Zero Carbon Footprint

 

How Solar Works

Photovoltaic (PV) devices generate electricity directly from sunlight via an electronic process that occurs naturally in certain types of material, called semiconductors. Electrons in these materials are freed by solar energy and pv-cellcan be induced to travel through an electrical circuit, powering electrical devices or sending electricity to the grid.

Types of Arrays

Residential solar arrays are typically either roof top or ground arrays.

Roof Top arrays place the solar panels on top of a residential roof. The size of the array is limited by the size of the roof and the direction the roof is faWestlake Solarcing. Size determines how many panels can be placed on the roof. The direction the roof is facing determines how much sunlight each panel will receive.

A roof that faces due south with no obstructions will generate the most electricity per square foot of roof space. A roof that faces east or west will require considerably more panels because each slope of the roof only receives a portion of the sunlight each day.

Ground Arrays become the option when the roof cannot provide ground-mount-frontenough solar panels to achieve net zero. In a ground array, the panels are mounted in a framework that is anchored to the ground with footings. Arrays can be place anywhere on a lot as long as it is south facing without any obstructions. Because they require a framework with footings, ground arrays are typically 10% to 20% more expensive than roof top arrays.

Geolar Installation

Installing Geothermal and Solar are two very different processes that do not overlap. Therefore, Geothermal and Solar can be installed at the same time or at different times.

Customers with existing geothermal systems can easily add solar to the home to achieve net zero carbon footprint. Once the solar equipment is installed it will supply electricity directly to the geothermal system.

Customers with existing solar can easily add geothermal to their home. Once the geothermal system is installed it will run on solar. Adding geothermal to a home typically increases the KWH usage over an existing fossil fuel systems. This may push the KWH requirement for the home beyond the existing system limits. In this case, the geothermal system will still eliminate the burning of fossil fuels, but may not achieve Net Zero Carbon Footprint without expanding the size of the solar energy system.

Retrofit Applications

Geothermal and Solar can be installed in existing homes of any age or style. Retrofit installations must be designed to work within the existing design and condition of the home. Therefore, it is strongly recommended by geothermal and solar organizations that you pick a certified and experienced installer for retrofit installations. Click on the following link for more information on selecting a geothermal installer – How to Pick a Geothermal Installer.

New Construction

Installing geothermal and solar energy systems during the new construction of a home has the advantage of adjusting the design of the home to maximize the these systems.

New construction allows for geothermal designs that maximize performance and comfort. A common design in new construction combines a forced air heat pump for heating and cooling with a hydronic heat pump to provide in-floor heating in the basement, bathroom and garage floors.

Putting solar panels in a new construction design can maximize roof space, direction and pitch to create the ideal conditions to maximize solar energy system performance.

—--Back—–