Geo-Thermal A/C

aross60July 8, 2004

Need suggestions on what is best in geo-thermal A/C - closed loop- - open loop - direct contact -??? In summer its 90 - 95* 80 to 90% humidity and A reguler A/C unit consumes power by the truck load. I have lots of 72* water, water sand starts at 5ft. down to 150ft. 20 to 30 GPM possible. I am thinking open loop heat exchanger unit, any comments would be appreciated.

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One or two issues ago, Home Power Magazine published a very complete article about geothermal systems. Let's see if I can find the link.....

Oh well, I found out that it's issue #99. If you e-mail me your address, I will send you a copy of it. Or, you could just go to your public library, or download it (for a $5.00 fee) from their website. Below is the link to the $5 download option.

Here is a link that might be useful: Home Power Magazine issue #99

    Bookmark   July 21, 2004 at 10:15PM
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I just ran across the fact that President Bush has geothermal heat/AC at his ranch in texas. Articles said he has ranch vehicals run on propane, rainwater cistern irrigation, and is restoring native plants. When you see him cutting and burning brush he is removing invasive plants that are competing with natives. Since you are in Texas too, I wonder if any Texas newspapers/television stations have articles on what Bush uses at his ranch. Bet he uses the best product

    Bookmark   July 28, 2004 at 7:53PM
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Is he a survivalist or an environmentalist?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2004 at 10:55PM
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First of all Flowerkitty, I might be from TX, but I am no fan of President Bush. It's too bad that he does not promote or encourage the wonderful ideas he uses in his ranch. If you ask me, I could give you HUNDREDS of reasons not to vote for him and how HE is the original "Flip-flopper".

Anyway, the State of Texas does publish a wonderful booklet (online) about rainwater harvesting. Here is the link:

Here is a link that might be useful: Rainwater Harvesting Booklet

    Bookmark   August 7, 2004 at 10:02AM
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I own a Waterfurnace brand closed loop system. It works great and the specs claim even greater efficiency with an open loop. I didn't really have that option, as I recall state law does not allow me to draw water from the water table for such an application. As is obvious, when the closed loop is pushed, either way, the temperature of the loop goes up on a/c, down on heat and the unit has to "work harder" to put/take heat from the loop. That said, it works for "you" at the other end, that is, as the closed loop departs from the earth temperature, the loop can pass more BTUs per unit time. I don't have the thermal interation equation(s), but it is clear that an open loop looks more like an infinite source/sink than does a closed loop. I'd go with an open loop if it were possible.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2004 at 3:22PM
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Since texas is hot and *dry* you have the option of a swamp cooler which uses evaporating water to cool the air instead of a coolant cycle. The price of running may be comparative or even less than a geothermal system, and I'm certain the installation will be less complex and cost less.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2004 at 7:22PM
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Thermal A/C and heating can save you up to 40% on your energy bills. I am currently looking to buy a new home and when I do I will put in a Heat loop. Where they save you money in on electricity. Because it takes less energy to cool down you house because the air is cool or heated by the ground. In the State of Texas Geothermal Closed loop wells and A/C Heating is regulated by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. If you are thinking about putting in a system, you can find out the status of the contractor by going to the website prior to committing to a contract. Good luck and enjoy.

Here is a link that might be useful: TDLR Website

    Bookmark   October 16, 2005 at 9:23PM
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I was just reading through this thread and noticed that it's actually an old one and I had replied some time ago. I also noticed that I made an error. I'm not so convinced a swamp cooler would be any good with such high humidity as they depend on evaporation. I'm sorry if I've confused anybody, please ignore my original post.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2005 at 8:58AM
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bbgunn seems to be dialed in to the state. The problem I have found, is the local yokels are not equipped to do anything that is out of the ordinary. When I asked multiple city governments in my area of Texas about geo, they never returned calls, and just hung up the phone. Netmetering is a big thing in California, but in a state that pionered the laws on net metering, it is not done. If you ask Austin about net metering, they point to the utility providers. The utility providers cannot spell net metering. From my standpoint, a trained HVAC person, the State of Texas talks a good game, but can't perform worth a damn. Forget about all that you hear about Austin. It just don't happen in the burbs.

As a side note, I have worked on energy conservation for the last 10 years. I am currently working on a solar generator for the home. I am a member of the Texas renewable resources group, that has branches all over the state. Geo is good, but very expensive. I would suggest a simple change of condensers to a water cooled system. Much cheaper to install with most of the benifits of geo, but the installation cost is 1/6 of geo. Look at 'Allied Thermal Systems' '' in Austin area for an example. Commercial methods save considerable operating costs.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2005 at 12:08AM
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lazypup comment that Texas is hot and dry is not entirely correct. While it may be extremely arid in W.Texas just the opposite is true on the Gulf Coast of Texas. In Corpus Christi it is not uncommon to have triple digit temps with 85 to 95% humidity.

I took my initial training in HVAC at Del Mar Tech in Corpus Christi nearly 20 years ago, and they were teaching an extensive class in Geothermal Heat pumps as well as AC Desuperheater Heat recovery to generate domestic hot water.

While geothermal is just now gaining public attention, the technology is very old. In fact, there are variations of geothermal cooling that predate Air conditioning entirely.

Over the years I have moved a number of times, and each time I installed a geothermal system on my own home, in Texas, Florida, Massachusetts and currently in W.Pennsylvania. While there are some variations in the engineering required in each temperate zone, for the most part it all remains fundamentally simple. The biggest problem the average homeowner will encounter is finding an installer who knows even the basics. For the most part the HVAC industry as a whole is sitting on their hands and conducting the same old business as usual methods that they received from their grandfathers.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2005 at 7:08PM
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