DX geothermal

doogan123April 10, 2007

I am very interested in a DX system and have found the following 4 DX manufacturers sites online. To-date have spoken to reps from 1 of them. I would love to hear from anyone who has experiances with any of these companies.

ECR technologies based in Florida ( ECRtech.com)

ECR industries ( Advanced Geothermal) ( advgeo.com)

Earthsource energy solutions (American Geothermal(AMGEO.com)

Nordic ( Nordicghp.com)

The first one, from what i can tell is somewhat of a pioneer and pretty big, unfortunatly, the one installation i did find, was a disaster and ended up in court. I would love to hear from anyone using this system. You can always have a bad installation and this may not be a bad system.

The second one is smaller, based in PA. I liked the sales rep and am meeting with him again this weekend. He has promised me many names of people that i can talk to that have it installed.

Earthsource, seems to be a third party company recommended by american geothermal Via link on their site. I have not spoken to these yet. Again, I would love to hear from anyone that has this system

Nordic - well from detailed posts and information here from one gentleman (thanks), it seems like a fantastic product, however the closest dealer is hundreds of miles from me. Unfortunatly i don't think its an option

As anyone who is researching this knows, its a challenging task. You are thinking about spending alot of money on something that you obvivously know should work, however there are alot of people that really don't understand the design or installation process. At this point, I firmly believe that a DX system is the way to go, however untill i determine which is the best system and find a good designer/installer, i am still on the fence.

thanks

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fsq4cw

Doogan:

IÂm the Âgentleman (thank-you!) who loves his Nordic DX GSHP. I would highly recommend them to anyone, IF your soil is ph neutral AND, IF, you can get it PROPERLY installed.

If there is no one in your area to do this, donÂt agonize over it, itÂs not worth fretting about. Just go with a conventional closed loop liquid system and something like a Climate Master or any other well-known brand of HP that is widely installed in your area. IÂm sure youÂll be very happy.

Installed properly there is virtually nothing that can go wrong with a liquid closed loop HDPE plastic system. Just make sure you get this circulating pump business done right so youÂre not consuming more power than needed.

BOTTOM LINE: Be cautious about DX in Connecticut; I have heard of problems with DX in your state because of soil ph! Be sure of your soil ph. Yes I love the DX system, but if I were you, I would choose the BEST geothermal installer in your area and just go with the Âtried and trueÂ, even if they are more expensive than anyone else. ItÂs not that I donÂt care about money; itÂs that I care more about not having to revisit a project after it done.

IMO

Steve

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 1:42AM
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greenguy400

Hello all;
I have worked with both ECR and Nordic GHP systems and have installed both. If you have questions about them, please post them here. There are huge differences in the products and the way they perform.

Guy

    Bookmark   April 19, 2007 at 9:04PM
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doogan123

Guy,
Thanks for your response. My main question is what are your thoughts on the ECR system, what are its strengths and weaknesss(I am assuming you are referring to the ECR technlogies out of Florida Vs the ECR industries system)

Are you familar with the company and their ethics..?

thanks

    Bookmark   April 19, 2007 at 9:27PM
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fsq4cw

Re: greenguy400

I would be interested in you detailing the difference in quality and efficiency between the ECR and Nordic HPs, based on your experience. Which would you choose; why?

Thanks,

SR

    Bookmark   April 20, 2007 at 7:31AM
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armstrr

In Ontario there is a grant worth up to $4500 for an installed geothermal system so i have a couple of outfits coming to quote me.

I have read about the dx systems and thought they would be the most efficient, but looking at the EER and COP the DX systems don't seem to offer better effficiencies.

The climate master and Next Energy (are they the same product?) have an EER of 27 and the Waterfurnace have even better #s at an EER of 30. i don't have prices on all of them yet but supposedly the WF unit is $13K Cdn (no labour or other parts!! ouch).

I see lots of great responses about Nordic, but their #s aren't that great looking, even their new two stage: i would have thought it would be a lot closer to the WF and Next Energy two stage units.

Any comments or info?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2007 at 10:34AM
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greenguy400

1.) EERs (& SEERS's)only indicate a/c function efficiencies.
For use as a heating system, COP's are the indicator that is important.
2.) Waterfurnace does not make DX ergo their COP's refer only to the actual geothermal unit. When you add in the large pump needed for an open loop system or the smaller circ pump needed for a closed loop system, the actual total power use goes up and thus the COP of the "system" will go down.
3.) Nordic COP's are accurate and CSA certified taking into account the (average) cooler ground temps in Canada.
4.) The audit software (elite) that ECR recommends to it's dealers (for the few who seem to actually use it) does not not include backup heating costs in it's forecasts. When the audit software is used and ECR is selected, the company supplied data does not show all the power actually needed to run the system in most climates, ie north of florida. This means that the straight electric heat that is used to supplement the DX system in cold weather is not indicated on the forecast estimates of system running costs.
5.) Getting a good installer is the hardest part of the decision to put in one of these sytems. Having completed an ECR installers course would not instill a lot of faith for me. (I have done it) Look for someone who has a an extensive geothermal background, is igshpa INSTALLER CERTIFIED (not just a member) and then has become involved with DX and has at least 10 installations under his/her belt. Ask if they have full time, permanent staff with geothermal training. Even good questions are only as valuable as the integrity of those answering. If a rep from a company comes across as a cheesy car salesman, show him the door.
6.) There are 2 ways to deal with high PH levels:
cathodic protection and zinc annodes attached to the ground loops.

Guy

    Bookmark   April 21, 2007 at 8:00AM
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greenguy400

The new EcoEnergy grant for geothermal in Canada is $3500. If you live in ontario you will receive an additional provicial rebate of 3% of the total price, not including ducting. Retrofit only.
ECR does not conform to C448 standards, which is stipulated to qualify for the grant.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2007 at 8:08AM
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pyropaul

When were the geothermal grants announced in Canada? We installed a retrofit in 2005 (and a new system in a new house in that same year) - it would be nice if the grants are retroactive. We did get a $3200 EnerGuide grant on the retrofit (we went from 22 to 82 on the scale used - most of the improvement was from the GSHP). It is frustrating that the utilities do not offer any special tariffs for people who heat using either a GSHP or an ASHP - unlike many in the US.

Paul in Montreal.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2007 at 9:38AM
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fsq4cw

Re: pyropaul

The grants are as of April 1st, I believe. This is the Conservative ecoENERGY Retrofit - Homes program  far more intelligent and generous than the Liberal EnerGuide for homes program.

Thank-you Paul Martin for the mere pittance we received!

WeÂll see if Hydro Quebec still wants to kick in double the federal rebate (minus the conversion from another form of heating energy to electricity).

SR

Here is a link that might be useful: ecoENERGY Retrofit-Homes Program

    Bookmark   April 21, 2007 at 10:36AM
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doogan123

A couple of more questions,

Guy - Since you have installed more than one type of system, Is the ECR system a good system, if installed correctly?

What is the C448 Std in Canada - and does it mean the ECR system has deficiencies, or it just meets a different set of standards for the US..?

This is a difficult question to answer, however, all things being equal, can anyone give an average estimate of how much per ton to install a DX system(Drill, Copper and Geo unit to the point of handoff to house distribution system)

Has anyone on here supplemented a Geo system on extreme cold days with a simple wood burning Stove, with a back boiler to supplement the heat requirements..? I am not sure this is even possible, however these are very common in Europe

I will be including a wood burning stove in my remodel - and i use them frequently during the winter - So lighting it on extra cold days would not be a problem

thanks everyone

    Bookmark   April 21, 2007 at 9:49PM
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greenguy400

Ref : A couple of more questions,

Guy - Since you have installed more than one type of system, Is the ECR system a good system, if installed correctly?
I will not say good or bad.
I will say that many companies certified as trained by the ECR people did not know enough to do a proper install.
I would say the water modules are expensive, noisy and caused us many service calls.
One distributor told me that in his very large region, every job that various certified ECR installers had put in had call-backs. He blamed it on poor installations.

What is the C448 Std in Canada - and does it mean the ECR system has deficiencies, or it just meets a different set of standards for the US..?

...It is a standard, just as UL is a standard in the US.
I am not sure if they would or would not be able to pass it.

This is a difficult question to answer, however, all things being equal, can anyone give an average estimate of how much per ton to install a DX system(Drill, Copper and Geo unit to the point of handoff to house distribution system)
Too many variables to make a meaningful est.

Has anyone on here supplemented a Geo system on extreme cold days with a simple wood burning Stove, with a back boiler to supplement the heat requirements..? I am not sure this is even possible, however these are very common in Europe

Sure. But size for no fireplace to meet code.

I will be including a wood burning stove in my remodel - and i use them frequently during the winter - So lighting it on extra cold days would not be a problem

    Bookmark   April 23, 2007 at 7:22PM
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doogan123

Guy - thanks for your replies.

What Geo system, in your opinion do you feel is a good system ( again obvivously it has to be installed correctly)

its a shame that there is such a cloud over these systems in general...... I feel that the all the poor installations by people who do not understand them or how to design/engineer them has led to this juncture....

    Bookmark   April 23, 2007 at 10:28PM
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urrout

>>The new EcoEnergy grant for geothermal in Canada is $3500. If you live in ontario you will receive an additional provicial rebate of 3% of the total price, not including ducting. Retrofit only.
ECR does not conform to C448 standards, which is stipulated to qualify for the grant. Do you have to have an energy audit to qualify for this or can you claim this just for having it installed.

>>The grants are as of April 1st, I believe. Can you tell me where you got this date. The page you link doesn't state this date, only when it ends.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2007 at 11:18PM
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fsq4cw

"The grants are as of April 1st, I believe.
Can you tell me where you got this date? The page you link doesn't state this date, only when it ends."

Bottom of the page says: "Date modified: 2007-03-31", which was also the last day of the EnerGuide program.

You will need to have an audit done; theyÂre not going to just hand you over a cheque. Call an energy advisor or one of the toll free numbers for more info.

SR

    Bookmark   April 25, 2007 at 12:29AM
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moose_2007

Don't know if fsq4cw is still looking at this thread, but just type in 'ecoenergy retrofit grants'. the first site states the grants are from April 1, 2007 until sometime in March 2011. These grants are for retrofits. Does anyone know if any thing is available for new house construction?

    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 4:57PM
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fsq4cw

Hi Moose

This just came up in a conversation today with the Canadian GeoExchange Coalition. For the construction of a new home in Quebec built to ÂNovoclimat standards, you can receive up to $5500.00; $2000.00 from Hydro Quebec and $3500.00 from the Feds.

Check with your local utility for detailed info. Make sure you do everything Âby the bookÂ! Keep an eye on the link below which will surely be updated very soon.

SR

Here is a link that might be useful: Natural Resources Canada-Office of Energy Efficiency

    Bookmark   May 5, 2007 at 12:12AM
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