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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Lower mainland bc.
    Posts
    105

    Can geothermal heat be stored in the earth?

    This is a interesting question I think, some one asked once but lost the thread. Can radiant heat from heat panels on the roof be stored underground, then retrieved to heat for example the house, or hot water?

    Thanks a bunch!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    2,609
    Trane was experimenting with something similiar in the mid 1970s. They were heating a slury that was similiar to concrete, that would never set. I believe the stuff also had a lot of salt in it. The problem was it had to be mixed to distribute the heat evenly, that used almost or more energy than was captured. Don't think they ever found something that had a large BTU storage ability, in a compact size, that didn't have to be mixed.

    Horizontal Ground Source heat pumps loops do that to some extent.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Virginia Beach VA
    Posts
    46
    Quote Originally Posted by lortech View Post
    Can radiant heat from heat panels on the roof be stored underground, then retrieved to heat for example the house, or hot water?
    You could store some heat in the ground but the losses will be very high. Better to store the heat in water in a well insulated tank. If it needs to be underground, it is possible to have below grade insulated hot water storage. Lots of people heat their home with solar radiant (hydronic) systems, do you have an unusual situation?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    ky
    Posts
    181
    Drake's Landing Canada

    http://www.dlsc.ca/borehole.htm


    a solar thermal energy earth storage community

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Lower mainland bc.
    Posts
    105

    All I can say is WOW

    Did you guys read the last paragraph of this document??

    http://www.dlsc.ca/borehole.htm

    I know, if a medium takes a long time to heat to its maximum heat absobtion potential, it can also take a long time to give off heat. But this last paragraph is interesting. Takes three years to reach maximum heat absorption yet, will give off enough energy after the third year, to heat a house for a entire winter.

    I do not know what is the take on this, but I bet physics minded people would like to know.

    I wonder what the cost would be to put something like this in?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    ky
    Posts
    181
    the system is actually has two storage parts. one using Tank filled with glycol mix. another the bore hole fields.

    The solar collector has enough capacity to heat up the house and the first storage tanks. but since the bore hole field is vast it act just like giant heat sink. for the first 3 years
    the bore hole field capacity is probably in the order of 100x of the first storage tanks

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Eastern Shore, MD
    Posts
    799
    it alreadys happens...via the sun.

    if you want more heat transfer, you dont need more heat, you need something that transfers heat better than high density polyethylene.... see www.advgeo.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    2,609
    I wonder what they do where the ground is acidity, like here in Maryland where it can eat up a "L" pipe in five years. Also how do they protect the system from lightening, and transcents, we've had holes blown in under ground copper pipe at work!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Float'N Vally, MS
    Posts
    1,876
    Quote Originally Posted by madhat View Post
    I wonder what they do where the ground is acidity, like here in Maryland where it can eat up a "L" pipe in five years. Also how do they protect the system from lightening, and transcents, we've had holes blown in under ground copper pipe at work!
    1) Some type of cathode protection
    2) You can't fight mother nature....
    Life is too short, Behappy!
    TFMM

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Atlanta GA area
    Posts
    21,763
    Quote Originally Posted by madhat View Post
    I wonder what they do where the ground is acidity, like here in Maryland where it can eat up a "L" pipe in five years. Also how do they protect the system from lightening, and transcents, we've had holes blown in under ground copper pipe at work!
    I think I would stick with the water loop... Water (or water/glycol mix) in some kind of plastic or vinyl/plastic or special tubing... probably would last a lot longer than CO directly in contact with the earth.

    Someone correct me if I am wrong: A WF system installed by a special contractor (with the proper WF certs) can have a 50 (yes fifty) year warranty on the horiz loop??? That in itself would be worth a lot of the high cost of the install.

    Also... I heard WF may be bringing out an inverter drive compressor Geo system sometime in 2012... anyone know anything more about this? Reason I ask is I may be looking at a GEO system in 2014.
    GA-HVAC-Tech

    Quality work at a fair price with excellent customer service!

    Romans Ch's 5-6-7-8

    2 Chronicles 7:14

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Eastern Shore, MD
    Posts
    799
    Quote Originally Posted by madhat View Post
    I wonder what they do where the ground is acidity, like here in Maryland where it can eat up a "L" pipe in five years. Also how do they protect the system from lightening, and transcents, we've had holes blown in under ground copper pipe at work!
    im in maryland and there have been DX systems here for over 20 years without issue. cathodic protection.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Eastern Shore, MD
    Posts
    799
    Quote Originally Posted by ga-hvac-tech View Post
    I think I would stick with the water loop... Water (or water/glycol mix) in some kind of plastic or vinyl/plastic or special tubing... probably would last a lot longer than CO directly in contact with the earth.
    Where do we get copper? The ground? If earth destroys copper, then why do we have copper after 4 billion years?

    The copper fields have a LIFETIME warranty on them.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Atlanta GA area
    Posts
    21,763
    Quote Originally Posted by Gross View Post
    Where do we get copper? The ground? If earth destroys copper, then why do we have copper after 4 billion years?

    The copper fields have a LIFETIME warranty on them.
    Down here in GA... CO water lines from the street to houses rot after 20-30 years... and no... it is not from the inside out. Folks NEVER replace with CO anymore... always with PVC or some miracle pipe.

    BTW: WHO warrants the loop? The warranty is only as good as the co offering it. As I understand it... WF is the one that warrants the loop... (please correct me if I am wrong). Gotta remember: A local contractor may not be there next year... or when he retires... or when his son takes over and chooses to change the name and not honor previous warranties.

    IMO: one should always be wary of warranties... rather use old fashioned common sense about them.
    GA-HVAC-Tech

    Quality work at a fair price with excellent customer service!

    Romans Ch's 5-6-7-8

    2 Chronicles 7:14

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