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The Geothermal Heat Pump uses contact to the ground to transfer energy, instead of a noisy outdoor unit with a fan, passing energy to the air. There are 4 basic ways to achieve this:

1) Closed loop system: (Most Common) Utilize a small circulating pump and lots of piping in the ground to transfer energy to or from the earth. Typically requires 500-600 lf of pipe in contact with the earth for every ton of load. Can be installed in horizontal ditches (requires lots of ditching and room in your yard), or vertical bores typically 250-300’ deep that can be spaced 20’ apart, so smaller areas can handle substantial energy loads. PROS: Long life, high dependability. CONS: Higher up front cost

2) Open loop systems: Basically take water from the ground, (well water) use it to heat or cool your home, and then dump the water, to a pond, ditch, or sometimes to an injection well, the opposite of a water supply well, that returns water back to the aquifer it came from, un touched, other than warmer or cooler than it’s original temperature. PROS: Lower up front cost CONS: Water waste, system subject to ground water chemistry, adds load to water well.

3) Pond loops: A closed loop similar to an in ground loop, but uses piping on the bottom of a pond for heat transfer. PROS; Lower up front cost CONS: Need a pond close to house!

4) Pool loop: Not fully accepted in the geo community, but still effective. Similar in concept to the pond loop, but uses your swimming pool for extracting or depositing heat. Your pool will super cool in the winter (45-49 degrees) but warm early in spring, and stay warm later in fall for extended swimming season. Depending on size of pool, may require a ground loop to supplement, and a pool evaporative cooler in summer. . PROS: Lower up front cost, Helps heat pool in early/late season CONS: May over heat pool in summer, pool alone may not handle heat load.


Installing Ground loops is ...well … a lot of digging work.

Geothermal Energy for Home

Drilling bores to convert this existing home to geothermal

Drilling is the heart of the geothermal business in Texas.

Rolls of geothermal “U loops” ready to slip into 250’ bore holes

Pond loop geothermal loop system, installed before pond is filled, in this case. This system is for a 3000 sq ft home.

A geo unit installed on a commercial job. Note the circulating pump, and service flush valves.

The basic principle...moving heat to and from the ground

Ditches for 4 bores are backfilled to last 12” and then metallic marker tape is installed for future location, if necessary, by meter.

This job was installed not in vertical drilled bores, but in long horizontal trenches. This job used four trenches, 5’ deep, 220’ long, with 4 pipes in each trench.

Ditching from this new home to the 4 loop geothermal vertical well field

An 11 ton pond loop system being floated out before filling with water to sink. Note loops are weighted with blocks to barely float when dry, and sink when filled.

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