John Robb: Radical Energy Innovation Here Now

05 Energy, Blog Wisdom
John Robb

RC ENERGY TIDBIT: Leveraging the Earth for Heat/Cooling

Resilient energy leverages the terrain.

Resilient guerrillas/warriors leverage the terrain they are fighting on to the max.  In our case, we want:

  • plentiful, low cost (hyper efficient) energy that
  • uses a process that’s inexpensive to maintain and is
  • under our control (not subject global supply chain factors and limited to locally available labor).

The way to do that is through the installation of geo-exchange systems.  These systems run water through plastic pipes buried in the ground.  Since the ground (below six feet or so) remains at a constant temperature (50-65 degrees) year round (it’s a heat sink), this circulation process will heat or cool water to the ground’s temperature.  This allows heat pumps that run 2-3 times more efficiently and cooling that is dirt cheap.  For example:

Here’s a note from Australia on a recently built hospital. Lithgow hospital uses 1/3 less energy as any other hospital in the state and it’s heating/cooling system requires less maintenance.  It also eliminates noise and the risk of Legionnaires disease (an added bonus).

See Also from John Robb:

Reinventing Fire maps pathways for running a 158%-bigger U.S. economy in 2050 but needing no oil, no coal, and no nuclear energy.”

Virtual power plant market set to zoom.

International Academy of Astronautics says we need to start building an orbital solar power system.