Heat pumps are high-efficiency electric heaters that take heat from the air or ground and concentrate it. Currently, extracting geothermic ground heat typically involves costly processes such as boring holes deep into the ground or laying long lengths of pipe underground. Enerdrape, a start-up at EPFL in Lausanne, has come up will a simpler way to extract ground heat from both new and existing structures.
The clean-tech spin-off of the Swiss Institute of Technology of Lausanne (EPFL) has created a modular, prefabricated panel technology that can turn any kind of new or existing underground space into a source of ground heat for a heat pump. The panels can be used in conjunction with a heat pump to warm in the winter or cool in summer.
The video above gives a short overview of how an underground carpark can be used to heat an office block.
Around 50% of global energy consumption relates to heating and cooling buildings, 78% of which currently comes from polluting sources, according to Enerdrape. Converting even a small proportion basements to geothermic heating could have a significant impact on global emissions.
Enerdrape website (in English)