FAQ. Practical geothermal piping questions

Common geothermal piping installation related questions and answers.

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Geothermal Piping FAQ

We have gathered a selection of few interesting geothermal piping questions and answers. If the answer to your question is not here please email us at info@hellogreenplanet.com for assistance.

 

Should I install an Open Loop System or a Closed Loop System for my geothermal application?

The decision of avoiding the upfront cost of a closed loop system and choosing instead an open loop system is very tempting for most homeowners that own a good size well, pond or have large body of water nearby to use. Keep in mind that an open loop system will use near a million gallons of water per year.

If you have the option of using an open loop system then you first need to consider during the planning stage if local codes allow you to dump returned water from your system back to the environment. Second consideration should be if the water meets the quality needed to circulate through your heat pump with out hurting it over time creating corrosion. Because of the large volume of water it requires per year, some people are concerned of natural water source depletion, although there is many areas in the nation that still have plenty of ground water sources.

After installation some problems that can arise over time are: Filtration system might need to be installed due to the constant large amount of water circulating, chemical flush to release the system from debris and minerals.

If you are using a well some problems could be: constant maintenance or well malfunction for overuse. Development of iron bacteria which cannot be resolved and clogs the well.

On the other hand a closed loop system will require the use of land near the site and it will require drilling for vertical installations or trenched for horizontal installation, the quality of the ground should be considered. You can also use a body of water with at least 6 feet of water for a  close loop configuration. For the closed loop system we only recommend the use of HDPE pipes.

Heat fusion tools and professional installation will be needed to close and seal the HDPE loop.

This system is more expensive upfront but if HDPE pipe is used, you will enjoy decades of a reliable circulating system backed up by a strong warranty. It is also important to mention that underground pipes have no effect on established nearby landscape.

 

Can I convert my geothermal Open Loop Application to a Closed Loop Application?

Yes, we believe that it’s better to install a closed loop system upfront but yes, your system can be converted after installation.

 

How does a water closed loop compares to a ground closed loop?

They both have very similar operating temperatures and efficiency but the water closed loop, if near the home, could have a lower installation cost.

 Are there any problems with ground freezing in some areas of the country?

If the system was properly designed, with the proper length per ton and if the pipes were buried at required depth there should not be a problem.

 What is the average fluid loop temperature in the closed loop system?

Your system can run efficiently with as low as 28 degrees fluid temperature. Higher temperatures of 55 and more could be expected depending on the area of the country and time of the year.

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