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  1. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    47
    Hannabery (Quakertown/Allentown): just re-entering the geothermal realm. They have excellent service staff. I'm following up with them as primary at this point as they have installed two houses for us and we've been their customer for 20 years, but they currently don't have dedicated well drilling companies/loop providers (we had to find a good one ourselves, and if we use Hannabery, we need to manage the interactions between the loop and the internal gepthermal stuff). Note: the well driller we are planning to use is Mayer's Well Drilling (Pottstown, I believe). They did our domestic well, and do a lot of commercial geothermal loops.

    Also have a quote coming from Jeff Smith (I believe Warrington/Doylestown). He is associated with a driller, and seems to have much more direct geothermal experience. We haven't used him before, but he was recommended by ClimateMaster. When he came out for the site review, he answered all questions very thoroughly and seemed knowledgable.

    Final decision will wait on responses (design plans) from both. We hope to get installed by August / September at latest.

  2. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    16

    What Part of Country

    Quote Originally Posted by insearchof View Post
    I am just starting to investigate geothermal options for my existing home. Current system is heat pump which is over 25 yrs old... it is HORRIBLE.

    I would love some recommendations on the contractors you are dealing with.

    Thanks!
    InSearchOf... answers
    I am a fairly large residential dealer in Ohio. We have done quite a bit of geo-I can help you.

  3. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eastern PA
    Posts
    68,944
    Quote Originally Posted by insearchof View Post
    I am just starting to investigate geothermal options for my existing home. Current system is heat pump which is over 25 yrs old... it is HORRIBLE.

    I would love some recommendations on the contractors you are dealing with.

    Thanks!
    InSearchOf... answers
    What county are you in? I am a geothermal equipment rep and I sell to contrarctors in some SE PA counties.
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  4. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eastern PA
    Posts
    68,944
    Quote Originally Posted by dzenzel View Post
    Hannabery (Quakertown/Allentown): just re-entering the geothermal realm. They have excellent service staff. I'm following up with them as primary at this point as they have installed two houses for us and we've been their customer for 20 years, but they currently don't have dedicated well drilling companies/loop providers (we had to find a good one ourselves, and if we use Hannabery, we need to manage the interactions between the loop and the internal gepthermal stuff). Note: the well driller we are planning to use is Mayer's Well Drilling (Pottstown, I believe). They did our domestic well, and do a lot of commercial geothermal loops.

    Also have a quote coming from Jeff Smith (I believe Warrington/Doylestown). He is associated with a driller, and seems to have much more direct geothermal experience. We haven't used him before, but he was recommended by ClimateMaster. When he came out for the site review, he answered all questions very thoroughly and seemed knowledgable.

    Final decision will wait on responses (design plans) from both. We hope to get installed by August / September at latest.
    Unless there are two of them, Jeff is a wholesale rep who sells to the contractor.
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  5. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    53
    Great thread -- this is my upcoming winter project.

    I have a house in the New Hope area and I have been thinking about geo to replace my two very old oil units. No NG available -- trying to figure out how to go has been difficult

    Someone just spoke of Hannabery last week!!

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eastern PA
    Posts
    68,944
    Quote Originally Posted by yeldog View Post
    Great thread -- this is my upcoming winter project.

    I have a house in the New Hope area and I have been thinking about geo to replace my two very old oil units. No NG available -- trying to figure out how to go has been difficult

    Someone just spoke of Hannabery last week!!
    A well known and very reputable company.
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  7. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    53
    Thank for the additional info on Hannabery.

    This house is a very old converted church and is a strange project - but I do not want to hijack the thread.

  8. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    47
    back to original question for a minute.....I'm expecting some designs to review later this week.

    While they are doing the vertical bores for geothermal, does it make sense to slightly oversize the loop? ie, put an extra well (or some extra depth on each bore) per loop?

    I guess pump sizing might be impacted, but I am more worried about making sure that the loop can handle a full winter with reasonable EWT. There was a good case study in ohio (google Measured performance Geothermal.... its a PDF 60 pages) that illustrated effects of loop size, etc..... but it didn't address deliberately going larger (or how much larger) and the impacts.....

    thoughts?

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    86

    Model with appropiate software

    Quote Originally Posted by dzenzel View Post
    back to original question for a minute.....I'm expecting some designs to review later this week.

    While they are doing the vertical bores for geothermal, does it make sense to slightly oversize the loop? ie, put an extra well (or some extra depth on each bore) per loop?

    I guess pump sizing might be impacted, but I am more worried about making sure that the loop can handle a full winter with reasonable EWT. There was a good case study in ohio (google Measured performance Geothermal.... its a PDF 60 pages) that illustrated effects of loop size, etc..... but it didn't address deliberately going larger (or how much larger) and the impacts.....

    thoughts?


    While it won’t hurt (except in the pocket book) to drill deeper, you can also increase efficiency by using geo clips to separate the pipes in the borehole and the use of thermally enhanced bentonite grout to back fill. In fact these measures may result in shorter loop lengths.

    As with heat gain/loss analysis, loop designs should be modeled with the appropriate, recognized software that can account for most any variable with the click of a mouse.

    SR

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    3
    Vendor should be able to size system for you and yes if you can afford it bigger is better. I installed a horizontal slinky hybrid and the design called for 4,800 linear feet of pipe in 2 trenches 4 pipes per run (600 ft run per trench) starting 150 feet away from the house at the manifold. Modified this by not using the manifold outside ( brought all 3/4 inch pipes into house and put manifold there, I used the distance in the trench to the field to insert one slinky in the run down and then ran 4 trenches each one about 150 feet long overlapping each loop of the slinky part way over the last. Not as efficient but less excavating. So I changed the total amount of pipe to 5,500 feet (1,100 feet per line and beefed up the pump to handle added lengths. Also used stone dust to protect plastic pipe and improve thermal transfer. All this was done by calculation to make sure it was right. I did it by hand but you should be able to have vendor calculate the risk reward to deeper or more bore hole. Why not horizontal? NO room??

  11. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    47
    We have about 4 acres available in the back yard (behind house) and around 1.5 acres in front. So horizontal was an option, but I think in general the decision came down to aesthetics with a slightly smaller yard destruction factor :-) They are still going to tear up quite a bit for 3 loops covering 10 tons, but far less than the space needed for around 7000-7500 feet of horizontal....

    I'm probably far more analytical than I need to be, but have been opting for caution even if it costs a little more initially, as The loops seem to be the hardest part to keep playing with.

    Once I get the plans, I'll post, and re-review, as I would like to get a situation where each of the loops are OK for full-time use through the winter without too much of a seasonal EWT drop into freezing territory.

    We will probably setup a datalogger since this is becoming as much an experiment for me as it is a real project for heating/AC :-)

    I guess to summarize my assumption, you "can" oversize the loop (and the pumps) but make sure not to oversize the actual units GSHP too far to avoid all the bad stuff (short-cycle, etc).......

  12. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    161
    If the contractor isn't really experienced with geothermal I would stay away from them. Another red flag is them suggesting a separate loop for each unit. 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. Also, 150 ft/ton is based on having poor geology at your house. 90% of the time the geology is better so your ground loop is bigger than necessary. This will allow higher EWT in winter and lower EWT in summer.

  13. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    47

    Stepping in - good or bad?

    Well, I'm starting to receive information about a proposed ClimateMaster Design. I'm very afraid of what I am hearing vs what I am reading.

    Lets assume for a moment that my Manual J is correct, and that I absolutely need one 5-Ton and two 2.5 ton units. The 5-ton unit to cover the lower level of a two-story home (one area with 26 ft ceiling), and the two 2.5-ton units to cover each half (front-half, back-half) of the upstairs.

    My stated goal very clearly was: I don't want any more OIL backup or Aux running in winter, and 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", and agreed.

    Loop lengths suggested were:
    700 ft for the 5-ton loop
    300 ft for the 2.5 ton loop
    (wait a minute! they undersized the unit to 2 ton!)

    I am not convinced that will keep things off aux all year in SE Pa (Quakertown area). I am telling the Driller that I am changing the specifications:
    The 5-ton unit will have 3 bore holes, 300ft, 1in tube, total 900ft.
    The 2-ton units will be up-sized to the Tranquiliity 27 036 units.
    The 2.5/3 ton unit loops will be at least 2 bores at 200ft, totalling 400 ft min each loop.

    Q: Am I wrong in pushing that sizing be based closer to heat load for the geothermal instead of cooling?

    Q: Am I wrong in pushing longer loop lengths to assure that EWT stays more stable over the season(s)?

    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?


    Then came the thermostat discussion.
    I wanted Humidity control and they recommended the Honneywell VisionPro 8321. Today, when the paperwork came, 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?

    Also, on the discussion of Aux (although I realize my demand for no-AUX is slightly on the eccentric side), I asked questions about lock-out of AUX and kept getting a strong sales pitch of "there are only so many hours each year that are below XX degrees, requiring AUX...... is that just a sales guy hedging that his design did not meet requirements?

    If anyone is willing to review everything for me, I can scan the Manual J, the Geodesigner analysis, and what pieces I have of the quote (related to equipment) for some feedback....?

    Any thoughts? I don't want to be considered the "hard-nose" customer from hell, but thought my requirements were clear, and after reading so many case studies and forums like this, I am really afraid that I haven't received a fully solid proposal. (I am still waiting for a second proposal to come in about a week).

    Q: Just how can someone tell if what is proposed is going to work as expected? Has anyone actually forced a real ClimateMaster Engineer to come on-site and validate the proposal or installation? Can I force a guarantee of certain performance requirements? Is that normal to do?

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