Geothermal Help

johnson_20July 25, 2006

I am in the process of deciding which system to go with for my new home. I live in SW Michigan. I have three different systems that I am looking at in the decision making process. First, yard space is not an issue however I am looking to only spend in the $16,000 - $17000 range for the geothermal. The first system I have looked at is a Waterfurnace E048 open loop @ around $13000 additional $3400 for closed loop. The second system I am looking at is a Tranquility Two Stage Geo (I believe is Climate Master?) open loop @ $14,200. And the third system I am looking at is a GeoExcel GT054 by Geothermal Design Associates, Inc. - open loop @ $13,475 and closed @ $16,970. I guess my big question is should I go with the closed loop if I can afford it? With the open loop I do have a pond I can drain into - how much water is acctually sent to the pond in say 1 day? Also, I am a hearing that there is more maintnance with the open loop system. Please help. Also, let me know if you need any more information that I may be leaving out. Thanks in advance. Oh, and the closed loop systems are not DX as the intitial cost of those are way too high for me (copper is EXPENSIVE lately)

Nate

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fsq4cw

If your soil is ph neutral, then a DX (closed loop) system may in fact be the least expensive system to install and run. No circulating pump, no mineral build-ups and substantially lower drilling cost due to bore holes being 40% shallower  that buys A LOT of copper!

If you already have a well that can supply enough water AND you air-condition a lot, then perhaps you should look at an open loop passive cooling heat pump.

Perhaps more research is in order before committing.

SR

Here is a link that might be useful: how-efficient-is-it-magazine.com

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 12:35AM
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johnson_20

I had a Earthlink DX system priced at almost $24,000 - way out of my price range. I guess I will do some more research. Thanks for the help.

NJ

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 8:44AM
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fsq4cw

We have a Nordic DX geothermal heat pump and just love it!

Has a Manual J analysis been done on your home? How many BTUÂs (or tons) of capacity do you need for heating? Sounds like the units youÂve been looking at are either 4 & 4 1/2 tons. That being the case, (IÂm presuming) $24k may not be out of line.

I strongly suggest and encourage further research. Keep us posted  good luck!

SR

Here is a link that might be useful: Maritime Geothermal

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 11:17PM
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johnson_20

Yes, 4 ton closed loop and 4 1/2 ton open loop - A couple other things that may be of concern - 1. The water level is kind of high in the area - we can only go down about 3' for the basement - when test digging it started to puddle at about 6' - will this effect a horizontal closed loop system? 2. How much water will I need to discharge (open loop) if I have it run off into a pond? For some reason I can't imagine the water continuosly running in the pond - it would over flow wouldn't it? I am clueless as to how much to expect. 3. How likely is it that an open loop system can become clogged due to ground water issues (scaling, pipe build up etc.)? As of now I am leaning towards the closed (not DX - again too expenive at this point for me - it would be my first choice but it is out of my range) loop. For some reason I just feel as it will be more reliable. I am also leaning towards the WaterFurnace brand. If I go with open loop then I am thinking Tranquility Two Stage. I am going to contact a few more people in the area with geothermal systems and do some more research. And, thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions and offer suggestions. This is a large investment for me and I want to do the right thing. Thanks much,
NJ

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 9:08AM
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fsq4cw

The size of your system is determined by your building requirements as determined by a Manual J or other accredited analysis of envelope heat gain and heat loss. This is irrespective of all other factors including heat pump type (air source or ground source) or loop design.

Water is never a problem, except perhaps during installation; in fact itÂs a big benefit, even more so if itÂs running, as this adds to the efficiency of the ground loop.

An open loop system will probably have to discharge approximately 10 gallons per minute. ThatÂs approx. 14,400 gallons per day!

An open loop system would have to be inspected regularly and de-mineralized periodically. Discuss this with you contactor as to frequency and price. Closed loop systems do not require this, however periodic analysis of the circulating fluid is still required to verify anti-freeze content level and fluid integrity. DX systems do not require any of this.

If air-conditioning comprises much of you space-conditioning requirement, consider an open loop passive cooling geothermal heat pump:

http://www.how-efficient-is-it-magazine.com/geothermal-passive-cooling.html

I also strongly urge you to contact an accredited IGSHPA installer in your area.

SR

Here is a link that might be useful: IGSHPA, International Ground Source Heat Pump Association at Oklahoma State University

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 10:56AM
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gerhard469_earthlink_net

I am thinking of implementing a closed deep pond system into my house that is going to be build next year. Since I live right at the lake, it seems to be the best solution for me. Is there a web page or does anybody have a list of manufacturers of such systems?
Thanks

    Bookmark   October 19, 2007 at 6:06PM
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fsq4cw

Re: Gerhard Ritter

Any manufacturerÂs closed loop GSHP should be fine. See who has the best customer support. WaterFurnace may be a good choice.

SR

Here is a link that might be useful: WaterFurnace

    Bookmark   October 21, 2007 at 6:49PM
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