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  1. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Dallas (Plano), TX
    Posts
    168
    Quote Originally Posted by dzenzel View Post
    ... they are planning 3 loops (1 5-ton, 2 2.5 ton) using 1" piping.... approx 150ft vertical bore per ton.

    We are in SE Pa and in approx 6000 sqft.
    I am surprised that it is more cost economical to put in 3 separate loops, versus 1 big loop.

    I have 2 units (WaterFurnace Envision 5 and 3 ton) of similar performance to your ClimateMaster units. In my case, they're hooked up to one borehole field designed to handle 8 tons.

    I'm at 300 feet vertical bore per ton, using 1" pipe - I live in Dallas area.

    3400 sf home.

    Best regards,

    Bill

  2. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Dallas (Plano), TX
    Posts
    168
    Quote Originally Posted by dzenzel View Post

    We will probably setup a datalogger ...
    I have a data logger on my GSHP system - see http://welserver.com/WEL0043/ . Two WaterFurnace Envision units, 2 stage, variable speed, 8 ton vertical well field.

    Easy to implement.

    Best regards,

    Bill

  3. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Dallas (Plano), TX
    Posts
    168
    Quote Originally Posted by brent View Post
    ... I always design my systems with a single ground loop.

    ... When you have multiple systems in a home one always runs more than others. When a single unit runs then it can use the full ground loop. For example if you have a 2.5 ton unit running with a 10 ton ground loop. This will allow higher EWT (winter).
    This is exactly the case for me - often my (two) units run separately, into the full loop.

    Best regards,

    Bill

  4. #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Dallas (Plano), TX
    Posts
    168
    Quote Originally Posted by dzenzel View Post
    ... I wanted the variable fan / multiple stage compressors for better control of humidity and airflow. I was told the Tranquility 27 was the "way to go" ...

    Q: If the Manual J says 2.5 Ton units, and they undersize to 2-ton for both upstairs ones, wouldn't I be better off sizing up and counting on the dual stage to avoid short-cycling in cooling? as long as I get the heat capacity?

    ... they are recommending a ClimateMaster one that does not include any monitoring of the Humidity, or control of the fan speed for humidity? Why would that be better? They are claiming that the climatemaster one provides better "fault-condition" reporting? Does anyone know if this is even close to true?
    Like the WaterFurnace Envision units, the ClimateMaster Tranquility units also probably have very large surface area evap coils, which contribute a lot to humidity reduction. I don't have any difficulty keep my inside RH around 40%, without any special humidity control efforts.

    I'm learning that a common practice in the Dallas area for GSHP sizing is to size the units such that they stay in 1st stage for virtually the entire time. While I'm guessing the rationale is that the more favorable 1st stage COP/EER performance offsets the additional initial cost, I actually don't know why this appears to be a design practice.

    My guess is the ClimateMaster unit has in it an Emerson Comfort Alert diagnostic module, as do the WF Envision units. And my further guess is the ClimateMaster tstat is manufactured by White Rodgers. I believe these two companies have partnered in some manner such that the diagnostic info from the Comfort Alert module is displayed on the White Rodgers manufactured tstats.

    In the case of WaterFurnace, I was required to use WF branded White Rodgers tstats because of this feature. WF refused to allow for any other tstat. Supposedly because of this wonderful diagnostic capability.

    You may have a similar situation with ClimateMaster.

    Also, your ClimateMaster GSHP units may not have any external speed control capability, available for hook up to humidistat control. My WF Envision units do not have external speed control capability, and thus no compatibility with humidistat control.

    Best regards,

    Bill

  5. #31
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Poestenkill, NY
    Posts
    769
    Quote Originally Posted by brent View Post
    I always design my systems with a single ground loop. I'll give you my reasoning. When you have multiple systems in a home one always runs more than others. When a single unit runs then it can use the full ground loop. For example if you have a 2.5 ton unit running with a 10 ton ground loop. This will allow higher EWT (winter). This can reduce the amount of time on aux heat. On the coldest days you still have enough ground loop if all units are running.
    I agree 100%.

    Do one loop, a little cheaper and a little more efficient - what more can you ask for?

  6. #32
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    47
    Thank you everyone for all the great feedback and discussion on this topic.

    I have to admit I have learned a so much....It also appears that as old as geothermal is as a technology, vendors and contractors that really understand it well are hard to come by. We put a lot of trust in Hannabery (a company that we have been a customer for 20 years), a company that is clearly not mainstream geothermal, so there have been challenges and some heated discussions on a daily basis. The second contractor we had in for quotes is silent, so he must also not have been very into geothermal either.....They certainly can almost all do load calcs (questionable at best).... but ask for the technology that they don't necessarily put in enough... and wow!

    In a week or so, I'll start a new thread about our current experience, what we are probably going to "cave in" to.... and the highlights/lowlights of just why customers need to be "cautious". We decided we "want to do it - geothermal", so are likely going to do the stupidest thing possible.....install something that a vendor argued-down, and sit around uncomfortable with the decision....waiting for it to fail just for the chance to say "I told you so...."
    :-(

    Yes, I deliberately said "cave in".... I know that pros hate it when a customer thinks he knows more about a professional's area of expertise..... but I've experienced so many short-cut decisions that barely meet requirements, its been frustrating. If you had a customer that doesn't really question the mark-ups, labor costs, etc.... would you argue "down", because of an ROI (return on investment) issue that is clearly something that is the customer's responsibility? (as in just how much AUX / Emergency usage a design should accommodate for? Yes, I know cooling capacity/climate/humidity issues exist....but when told explicitly to design for heat, would you design low-end for cool? and then tell a customer that 2-stage systems help? when 2nd stage will likely only cover the cooling)

    An entire thread can be about the right of a customer to have requirements that you believe are unrealistic vs. sizing vs. doing the right thing. I'm sure there is frustration on both sides.

    Needed to vent..... thoughts?

  7. #33
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Poestenkill, NY
    Posts
    769
    I think your frustrations are founded - especially in this regard:

    You asked for a system that will require no back up heating. That is extremely possible - we design geothermal for commercial applications at my firm with no back up boiler or resistance heating routinely.

    If they are trying to convince you that you "need" a back up heat system - they are providing an in-adequate design. The flip side is - insuring you have enough well to never rely on another heat source increases the installed cost greatly,and honestly you may never realize a ROI with a large enough well. This is what the installer may be trying to impart on you.

    But, the customer is always right.

    By the way, resistance electric back-up (as a few have mentioned) makes me cringe - but our electric cost might be much different than yours, regionally...

  8. #34
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Dallas (Plano), TX
    Posts
    168
    My opinions:

    1. Clearly, don't put it in, spending tens of thousands of dollars, until you've found a contractor you're comfortable with.

    2. Increase your chances of finding a contractor you're comfortable with by:

    a.) widening your search radius.

    b.) asking major manufacturers to recommend a contractor to you (i.e., WaterFurnace has 'Territory Managers' that will recommend contractors in most cases).

    c.) talking to drilling companies directly, and asking who they recommend - the drilling companies will typically know who's got satisfied GSHP customers.

    Best regards,

    Bill

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