Ground source heat pumps work in the same fundamental manner as all heat pumps (including refrigerators, air conditioners, freezers, etc.). They move heat from one area to another. The advantage that ground source heat pumps have over standard heat pumps and air conditioners is that they use the relatively stable and moderate temperature of the earth or groundwater to transfer heat to or from a building. On average, ground source heat pumps move 3-4 times more energy than they consume in heating mode and 5-6 times more energy than they consume in cooling mode.
Solar cells, also called photovoltaic cells, convert sunlight directly into electricity. Today, electricity from solar cells has become cost competitive in many regions and photovoltaic systems are being deployed at large scales to help power the electric grid.
Solar water heating turns sunlight into a cost-effective way to generate hot water for residential and commercial buildings. Solar water heating systems collect the thermal energy of the sun and use it to heat water in homes and businesses. The systems can be installed in any climate to reduce utility bills and are composed of three main parts: the solar collector, insulated piping, and a hot water storage tank.
Wind energy systems harness electricity through the use of wind turbines – rotary engines that produce energy through the winds action. Turbine technology has evolved significantly and with thoughtful design considerations, effective wind energy systems may be integrated into residential and commercial properties. Large utility scale wind farms are also becoming more common to help power the electric grid.
Off-grid power systems can supply electricity the same as a utility grid in an urban area. A properly designed system often times can provide better reliability, power quality and power quantity compared to that of grid-tied power.
A Microgrid delivers the most secure power possible. A microgrid utilizes controls to strategically choose among multiple sources of power and supply loads as needed. Sources of power may include the utility grid, solar power, battery power, and conventional generators. Microgrids are typically employed at mission critical sites such as airports, fire stations, IT datacenters, remote locations, and any application where power quality is paramount.