Combining Geothermal Heating and Solar Power

The renewable energy debate often focuses on comparing and contrasting green technologies like solar power and geothermal heating and cooling. Which is the more cost-effective alternative? Which is best for the environment? While solar power is clearly the more popular of the two resources, there are plenty of people (ourselves included) backing geothermal. Obviously, we believe that geo has the potential to be as widespread and well-known as solar, and that, one day, it will be.

All of that aside, there are some people that don’t think quite so linearly. Rather than comparing the two technologies, some homeowners have combined them. But how? How do you combine a geothermal heat pump and solar panels to increase the efficiency of your heating and cooling system? Let’s take a look.

Now that’s what we call an efficient home! As you can see, geothermal and solar don’t necessarily have to be opposing alternatives. In the right climate, they can work in conjunction to cut costs (70-80% in the case above) and preserve our natural resources. Not to mention, your home tours with guests will be a little more interesting!

Do you know anyone that implements a geothermal-solar system? If so, tell us about it!

Comments (7)


  1. Champion AC San Antonio says:

    We recently installed our first geothermal system a few months ago and let me tell you it was a learning experience. Being in San Antonio, it is very effective from an energy efficiency standpoint, but it is extremely hard to install the loop. Clay is extremely dense and tough to carve through.

    We’ve also installed a few Sun Source Solar air conditioning systems from Lennox and our customers are very happy with their energy savings and cooling performance. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Sacramento Solar Companies says:

    I think that any energy source that is renewable and doesn’t harm the environment to create is definitely better than what we are using now. I’m an equal advocate of both geothermal heating techniques and solar power.

  3. Andy says:

    My wife and I plan to have a new house built next spring/summer. We have almost all of the bids in from different contractors. Our goal is to have a grid tied solar panel system for electricity and a geothermal ac unit. So far, all the numbers are looking good. As long as a contractor doesn’t blindside us with something super expensive it looks like we will be able to have both systems installed in the house. You are more than welcome to take a look at it if you want

  4. Sam Welch says:

    We just installed a Tranquility 27 geothermal with four wells at our home here in Chesapeake Virginia (December 2012) as an improvement to our Carrier gas furnace - which is now the back-up heating system and the full time air handler. We will install a 20 panel 4,700 watt Westinghouse photovoltaic system next month (February 2013). Our calculations show that the grid tied Westinghouse system will just about neutralize the cost of running the HVAC system as well as the house lighting. Let us know if we can offer any outcomes reports…

    • ted says:

      I am looking to build new house on Long Island with solar/geo and was wondering how your system worked , pro’s /cons etc .

      Thanks Ted

  5. K says:

    SAM WELCH: I looked at the climatemaster web site and the tranquility systems you mentioned. A 6 ton unit requires 21,000 watts of electricity. How are you getting that out of your solar system? I was about to give up, then saw your post. Also, what is the starting surge requirement for your heat pump? How many ton pump did you get?

  6. Allen Doerksen says:

    I live in southwestern Manitoba Canada. I have a ground source geothermal system to heat my shop and house. I have had a idea of setting up a solar collector to warm the water that is come from the ground heat source. Normally in the fall the water would be 5-8 degrees C and in the spring it would have dropped down to -1-4 degrees C. Would it not be profitable to warm that water up to 10-15 degrees with a solar collector? Is there a limit to how warm the water can be that is going into a geothermal system?

Leave a Reply