Types of Geothermal Loop Systems
Closed Loop Systems
This system consists of three different versions: Horizontal, Vertical and Pond. Usually a closed loop system will circulate an antifreeze through the pipe system and at the point it meets the system’s heat exchanger, heat will be transferred from the refrigerant in the heat pump to the antifreeze solution. As it’s name indicates: liquid heat transfer is delivered inside a closed loop.
Horizontal Closed Loop System
An easier installation that requires more land space. This type of installation requires “trenches” dug horizontally where the pipes will be laid. Each trench will need to be at least four feet deep. The ideal installation will have two rows of pipes, the first one buried at six feet and the second at 4 feet. You can also laid them parallel side by side at five feet deep in a two foot trench.
The Slinky method will allow less pipe space installed per feet and the same results. This method is ideal where space is limited like in residential areas and helps cut down installation costs.
Vertical Closed Loop System
This type of installation is suitable for commercial applications or any application where land space is not available to meet the space needed for the loop. With this application it will also be easier to preserve the landscape condition.
In this system numerous holes of four inches wide are drilled in the ground at a depth of one hundred to four hundred deep. Two pipes connecting at the bottom (U-Bend) will be placed in the holes and then connected on top through horizontal pipes to the geothermal heat pump.
Pond Closed Loop System
The most economical installation if your body of water meets all the requirements needed for operation. In this system the pipes going from the heat pump to the water body run buried in ground and connect to the loop system submerged at least eight feet under water to avoid freezing.
Open Loop System
This type of system will need to meet local codes and regulations (water quality, discharge) when planning it. In this system a large body of water or well is used as the heat exchanger fluid that circulates through the heat pump heat exchanger. After circulation the water returns to the ground though a well, surface discharge or recharge well.