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06. Safe fragrances
05. DNA mass information store
04. Garden mounds for permaculture
03. Silver as high-tech material
02. Micro needle transmits medications and light
01. Electricity storage in gravity systems

12. An eye on space hazards
11. Water purification through freezing
10. Solar shingles
09. Trinary code
08. Vegetation-based battery materials
07. Indoor position location
06. The interface industry
05. Hypersonic aircraft
04. Re-usable glass packaging
03. Vein patterns as personal ID
02. Magnet making bacteria
01. Ultra-light solids

12. Ultrasound in water
11. Projected touchscreen
10. Electric airplane
08. Glass hard disc
04. Nuclear hazard
03. Clearing “sewer soap”
02. Water harvesting
01. Tea bag size personal water filter

12. Human powered water transport
11. The Technium
08. Bio-remediation of oil spills
07. Cleaner coal
05. Oil spill remediation
04. Solar towers
03. Brain-computer
02. Biodiesel producing bacteria
01. Hydrogen producing bacteria

12. Levitating living organisms
11. A new blue
10. Polymer magnets
09. Electric vehicle batteries
08. Implantable cancer monitors
07. Algal biofuel
06. Geo-Thermal Heat Pump
05. Battery powered roadster
04. Fenestration
03. Text to voice
02. Implantable ID chips
01. Air cleansing building material

12. ebooks
11. Energy Harvesting
10. Private space-flights
09. Virus identification chip
08. Bio-fuels
07. Electronic financial trading
06. Bio-remediation
05. New tech agriculture
04. Manufactured Hotels
03. Magnetic Induction
02. Genetic Vaults
01. Solid-state lighting

12 Bacteria in agriculture and industry
11. Blue revolution
10. Electronic nose
09. Nuclear sarcophagus
08. Shape shifting technology
07. Thought activated technology
06. Green is cool - make me look green
05. Electronic 'drugs'
04. Super-canals and super-ships
03. Environmentally friendly technology: greens versus grays
02. Agriculture: food,fiber and fuel
01. FPGA floating-point performance surpasses microprocessor

08. Energy sources for electricity compete
07. Universal interface (UI)
06. Magnetic levitation
05. Light pipes
04. Storage of electricity
03. Automotive engines
02. Molecular assembly
01. Introducing Technoscan Newsbriefs

Vol. 4, No. 6, June 30, 2009
ISSN 1932-3018

Geo-thermal heat pumps
Positioning this technology in the
Functionality Grid
Reformatted from: Van Wyk, Rias J: Technology - A Unifying Code, 2004, SMG, Cape Town, p.34. Based on: Ropohl, Gunter: Eine Systemtheorie der Technik, 1979, Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich and Vienna, p.178.
This Newsbrief deals with the cooling and heating of residences using heat pumps. Although they essentially distribute energy, they compete with energy producers. In terms of the Atlas of Technological Megatrends they are included in the functionality of energy transport.
Three technological trends draw attention to developments in this area.
  • The search for renewable energy sources
  • The low environmental footprint
  • Increasing synergy with other heating and cooling devices
The essential feature of a heat pump is that it circulates fluid or gas from one temperature zone to another - from a source zone to a target zone. In so doing it changes the temperature in the target zone. In the case of residential heating most heat pumps use the consistent subsurface temperature of the earth, at a depth of 1.5 meters, as the source zone. This temperature is consistently 10 degrees centigrade (50 degrees Fahrenheit). Heat pumps are used to heat homes in the winter and cool them in summer.
Quite spontaneously heat pumps have been increasing in popularity. In the USA the share of energy derived from heat pumps increased from 2006 to 2007. (U.S. Government, Energy Information Administration, December 2008.) This is contrary to the share of renewable energy in overall use; it declined by 1 percent over the same period.
Technology explorers should monitor the growing market share of heat pumps. This growth will be encouraged by more efficient devices, and by combining heat pumps with creative systems for heating, cooling and fresh air. In Sweden small geo-thermal heat pumps provide six times more energy than derived from wind power. (Rehact:

© Rias J. van Wyk, 2013. Editor.