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Thread: geothermal

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    cincinnati ohio
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    My local supplier carries climatemaster products and im looking for some local info on payback & eer . They also gave me the name of a company that would drill & install the piping . Mine would have to be drilled since I im on a small parcel . I been told the payback is very fast . Whats the lifespan of the loop and the unit itself . Depending on what I can learn on here , I might wait and see how bad my gas bills going to be here in southern ohio . I did a load on my houses several years back and I think it was 56k heating and 29k cooling . I currentley have a 5 yr old a/s 82% gas d/f on a slab . Thanks Bh
    My avatar is a picture of a Goodman Silencer .....These were commonly used in Goodman country ....Photos by hvac tech ( PaysonHVAC )

  2. #2
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    Mar 2005
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    South/West of Quebec in the other part of Canada
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    not familiar with climate master, but if you were to search government energy web sites you might find some answers you are looking for. Ground piping has a lifespan of 50 plus years..

  3. #3
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    Mar 2003
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    PA/DE area
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    Bob,shoot me an e-mail I made a sheet for my area comparing the fuels,I can shoot it to you.
    It's NOT the BRAND,it's the company that installs it!!!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    NE PA
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    698
    Bob:

    I have got a few Climatemaster installs under my belt now. The unit is a great unit and should serve a long time, generally 20+ years. Advantages of having the unit live indoors, and few moving parts is a large part of the equation.

    You mentioned "wells". There are two types of systems that use "wells". One is open loop, where you drill one or more water wells and use the pumped ground water for the source. The other is a closed loop utilizing "vertical loops" This uses drilled holes to contain a vertical loop of pipe which contains a coolant that is circulated for the system. The pipe is coupled to the ground with a special concrete mix that is pumped into the boles after the loop piping is inserted. The open loop systems are known to have a much higher maintanance and failure rate. This is due to the problems of poor water chemistry as well as water carried contaminents. The closed loop is a much better choice for long life and reliability.

    Make sure the installer does a good review/analysis of the loop requirements.

    You should be very happy with a geo system. Payback is anywhere from 5 to 15 years, depending on the energy costs, the complexity of the installation and of course the dealers final price. EERs are over 20 and you have the further comfort/efficiency advantage of never having a defrost cycle, compared to a conventional heat pump. Also make sure you get the "desuperheater" option. This will give you around 2000 btu/hr for domestic hot water, summer and winter. Best option, no matter what type of hot water heating you have today, is to add a 50 gallon hot water heater. It does not get any power hooked up to it. It is plumbed in the cold water inlet to the existing hot water heater. The heat pump will circulate through this new tank and heat it up and provide preheated water to the existing HW heater. It is the best way to extract the most "waste" heat from the geo unit, at a very reasonable cost.

    paul

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Vancouver Canada
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    996
    Check out this site: http://www.nextenergy.ca I have installed a few of their units, work real well. We use only open loop systems in my area as we are all on wells anyway.

    Will have to try that set up with the Desuperheater, have always just plumbed them into the existing tank, always considered them mostly a waste of time and money. Using it as a preheater makes a lot more sense.

    [Edited by Black Adder on 10-22-2005 at 01:57 AM]
    "Go big or Go Home"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
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    11,808
    open loop black, you will get way more btu/ ton installed than close loop then. How warm is the well water there pushing 50F?
    The way we build has a greater impact on our comfort, energy consumption and IAQ than any HVAC system we install.

    http://www.ductstrap.com/

  7. #7
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    Sep 2001
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    Vancouver Canada
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    Wells average about 52 to 54 degrees. Get great efficiency at these temps. Just gotta watch the condition of the water or you can run into some real problems with scaleing etc.. with open loop. Well drillers are often too cheap to put a screen in the well, have seen some issues with units installed without sand filters. Always put one inline now.
    "Go big or Go Home"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    The Isle of Long
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    611
    Was wondering what most Geo guys use for valving on open loop systems. I generally use solenoid valves with a Well tank and pressure sw. operating the well pump. This type of system can be noisy at times. Have also used balancing valves with individual relays bringing on the well pump. This type of system tends to be quieter.
    Learning is a lifelong process

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
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    With that warm a temp Black, you could pretty much size them for the whole heat load, the auxiliary heat would be a warning sign that they heat exchanger was scaling up!
    The way we build has a greater impact on our comfort, energy consumption and IAQ than any HVAC system we install.

    http://www.ductstrap.com/

  10. #10
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    Sep 2001
    Location
    Vancouver Canada
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    996
    We use slow opening solonoid valve on the outlet side of the unit. Submersable pump in 6" well casing, only issue with noise that we find is the flow valve inline, tend to make a bit of a whistleing noise when running wide open. Insulate the crap out the lines seems to help.
    "Go big or Go Home"

  11. #11
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    Mar 2003
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    PA/DE area
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    High iron in my geo well, used Richdels now use Tacos, recommend closed loop,you will not have water related problems.My ground source(water related problems only)has left my wife wondering how could I sell these things to people and stay out of jail.I tried to explain that remember when you wanted window treatments(they call them that because they cannot charge you as much if they call them curtains)and she could not used why we needed more wells,the one we have is fine.
    It's NOT the BRAND,it's the company that installs it!!!!!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Piedmont Triad area of North Carolina
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    2,300
    Bob, look into DX Geothermal [www.amgeo.com]. They make residential systems that utilize refrigerant loops versus water loops. The loops are copper, not plastic tubing/pipe and carry a lifetime warranty. There are no water pumps and no heat exchangers to scale up, plus there is no transfer loss. This adds up to higher efficiencies [20-25% more] than water source systems. They have fewer controls and moving parts, which means less maintenance/repair costs.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    NE PA
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    698
    Dakers:

    I am always surprised by the claims made about direct transfer geo heat pumps. They were much more popular some years ago and have been fading away.

    As to the claims of 25% higher efficiency, I believe that is way, way overstated. The only efficiency difference is the circulator power, and that is offset by the higher compressor load due to pumping losses in the long freon loops.

    One often misstated point is that water based systems are less efficient due to the poor heat transfer of the buried plastic pipe. While it is true that plastic is not a great thermal conductor, it turns out that the thermal conductivity of most ground is 10 times worse than that of the plastic pipe. The dirt in contact with the pipe may transfer heat quickly to the lines, but the heat flow in the dirt to maintain the temperature is very poor. This is why so much contact surface area is needed per ton. If you have insufficient area, localized freezing or heating of the dirt in contact with the pipes, which quickly diminishes efficiencies.

    Another problem related to the poor heat transfer of the ground is that it is difficult to spread the heat transfer over a long enough length of copper line containing refrigerant. The result becomes localized tenperature extremes in the loop and reduced efficiencies. It leads to what was called the "tundra effect" in some direct transfer systems, due to localized deep freezing along parts of the trench, in moderate cold periods. The water based systems are actually better matched to the heat transfer of the dirt.

    The last issue is the life of the copper in the ground in some areas due to corrosion. Many times the tubing is plastic coated to protect it from corrosion, but damage to the coating in some aggressive soils can lead to short life.

    If the direct transfer systems were so much better and cheaper to install, wouldn't you think there would be more of them on the market ?

    paul

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