Geothermal heat pump installation

skyking

Lifer
Nov 21, 2001
22,008
4,773
146
I've been at my brother's new place installing a geothermal horizontal ground loop system.
I was able to use the company's equipment to do the job.
geothermal28.jpg


I have a thread over at another forum explaining the process.



http://ecorenovator.org/forum/geothermal/1575-new-geo-system-install.html#post13675
 

alfa147x

Lifer
Jul 14, 2005
30,056
98
91
Those PowerShots always surprise me when it comes to image quality. I need to buy me a P&S one of these days...
 

Squisher

Lifer
Aug 17, 2000
21,207
66
91
Geothermal is just the bee's knees. If I had skyking free labor I'd be all in. What was the drain pipe for?
 

skyking

Lifer
Nov 21, 2001
22,008
4,773
146
Soil is fairly dry at 6' down. When you are compacting soil, it should be at an optimum moisture that varies according to soil composition.
I figured that good compaction equals good conduction, so I devised a scheme to keep things moist. I will hook any downspout drains and yard drains to the grid of drain pipe, located at 3' above the poly tubing.
 

DougoMan

Senior member
May 23, 2009
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I'm surprised you only had to go down 6'. I thought those systems went down like 50'.

Looks cool.
 

ahenkel

Diamond Member
Jan 11, 2009
5,359
3
81
You can go vertical, but drilling can get a lot more expensive. We looked at it when we went to upgrade my grandpa's loop but he's got the land so we just went with a double 1200 foot loop.
 

Nebor

Lifer
Jun 24, 2003
29,582
12
76
That would be a vertical system.

Yeah, I have one of those in Louisiana and it blows. I have to have an additional air conditioner for the upstairs part of the house. I think it wasn't dug deep enough.
 

wwswimming

Banned
Jan 21, 2006
3,702
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0
geothermal28.jpg


what is the pipe made of ?

it looks like plastic because of the way it's bending.

does the thermal conductivity of the tubing material not matter so much in a system like this ?

i could understand copper and aluminum might be expensive, but steel could be cheaper, though with rust issues.
 

skyking

Lifer
Nov 21, 2001
22,008
4,773
146
What's the real world cost and area needed for it? Thanks.
If I recall properly, it gets hot everywhere in S.C.:D
Let's say a typical home needs 4 tons of cooling there.
600' of poly pipe per ton, 1 square foot per foot of pipe, a 2400 sq. foot hole.
Slice that any way you want, 60 x 40, 30 x 80, 20 x 120, even longer trenches but it gets to be a hassle IMO.
Another area about 20% larger nearby to stack the dirt.
It is not suited for most city lots that is for sure.

You can get a kit from these folks for less than 10K. If I were billing for this, my portion for this job would be in excess of 3K.

http://ingramswaterandair.com/heati....html?osCsid=1f469667ddbc94df96733d88885f894a
 
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vi edit

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 28, 1999
62,387
8,154
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I'm a bit scared of geothermal. Both people I know that have it had their exhangers crap out in 7-10 years to the tune of like $4000. Eek. Maybe the indoor tech is improving but I'm not totally convinced on it's lifetime savings.
 

highland145

Lifer
Oct 12, 2009
43,317
5,746
136
If I recall properly, it gets hot everywhere in S.C.:D
Let's say a typical home needs 4 tons of cooling there.
600' of poly pipe per ton, 1 square foot per foot of pipe, a 2400 sq. foot hole.
Slice that any way you want, 60 x 40, 30 x 80, 20 x 120, even longer trenches but it gets to be a hassle IMO.
Another area about 20% larger nearby to stack the dirt.
It is not suited for most city lots that is for sure.

You can get a kit from these folks for less than 10K. If I were billing for this, my portion for this job would be in excess of 3K.

http://ingramswaterandair.com/heati....html?osCsid=1f469667ddbc94df96733d88885f894a
Hot? Yes. 90's this week and no rain. My lot is 75'x150' with a house in the middle and a 12x20 outbuilding. Looks like a no go for me.

Is the $$ savings over the live of the unit/install worth it?

I really like the idea. Maybe one day if we move.
 

vi edit

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 28, 1999
62,387
8,154
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Hot? Yes. 90's this week and no rain. My lot is 75'x150' with a house in the middle and a 12x20 outbuilding. Looks like a no go for me.

Is the $$ savings over the live of the unit/install worth it?

I really like the idea. Maybe one day if we move.

That's when you go verticle. They drill several holes that are a couple hundred feet deep, drop in your exchange loops and then fill with concrete. Takes up a couple sq/ft per hole. Small footprint....big price tag.
 

Nebor

Lifer
Jun 24, 2003
29,582
12
76
That's when you go verticle. They drill several holes that are a couple hundred feet deep, drop in your exchange loops and then fill with concrete. Takes up a couple sq/ft per hole. Small footprint....big price tag.

I don't think the holes are nearly that deep, are they? I thought they were ~60ft.
 

vi edit

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 28, 1999
62,387
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I don't think the holes are nearly that deep, are they? I thought they were ~60ft.

Vertical installs are 75-500 feet. The deeper you go, the more temperature you can exchange by surface area.
 

skyking

Lifer
Nov 21, 2001
22,008
4,773
146
But that system you are using is down deep enough to get the benefits of what a vertical would offer?

What temps would you be pulling from that?

Nice looking soil btw :)
Below 3 feet the soil temperature averages 53 degrees.
This system is better than a typical vertical system because with vertical the tendency is to skimp on loops, they are so pricey.
 

paperfist

Diamond Member
Nov 30, 2000
6,517
280
126
www.the-teh.com
Below 3 feet the soil temperature averages 53 degrees.
This system is better than a typical vertical system because with vertical the tendency is to skimp on loops, they are so pricey.

That's pretty impressive. If I had a loop like that I would only need the boiler to heat the water another 15 degrees. That's got to be a huge cost savings.