Sep 6, 2008

RE: Geothermal (Ground Source)

Subject: geothermal question

I am interested in what type/brand geothermal pump you are using? I have looked into pump and dump, found the cost is significant for what geothermal can do to reduce consumption and cost. Theoretically one should do everything possible to not use fuels, but the systems are expensive! so I would like to know if you have built your own components, etc, other tips to cut costs or build alternative noncommercial geothermal system.

Next week we are getting a Trane 5 ton unit with ground source heat. We are using as ground piercing technique that does not require trenching yet lays 940 feet of pipe 8 feet underground. We could have even run the pipe under a wetland through the water table, but it would have crossed a neighbors property.

I wanted solar and tried my best to get a system that would deliver the heat needed. It was not feasible, working with today's suppliers. Not many were creative enough for me and were off-the-shelf installers. My installer now is working with me to design a solar heat pump hybrid. After the system is in and we go through a season I can run a solar heat exchanger off the incoming ground source and augment the efficiency.

Expensive, yes. $25k by the time we are done. But is will pay off in 5 years from what we were using which was electric hot water/AC and heating oil. A solar array would have been at least that after retrofitting it to a forced air system. One system was priced at $60k. Ground source heat is the best alternative to solar we have here and is the most compatible with solar when we finally install the evacuated tube array I am designing.

BTW, the heat pump also heats our potable water and air conditions the house at 400% efficiency. It is also as close to an autonomous heating system you can get this side of solar and consistently dependable day or night.

Finally, I do not have time or experience to build my own. We should have done this two years ago and it would be half paid for by now. With super insulation, closing off unused rooms from heat, and lowering our ambient expectations, we will reduce our footprint and our externalized costs on the environment. After 15 years and three houses, this is the system that works now and with whatever hybrid system we decide to use when we go solar.

Thanks for asking.

Daniel Halsey

1 comment:

Piglet Cutter CWD,CPI said...

Pump and dump is a thung of the past as it wastes our water supply.

Closed loop systems circulate the same water throught the system without wasting any water.

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