who out there geothermls?

Re: who out there geothermls?

PostBy: steamup On: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:52 pm

mudman wrote:hey, did not know if anyone of you guys have a geothermal out there (i love my coal personally :punk: ) my father heats with propane and really needs to get away from it. 1100 sq ft ranch, furnace and hot water and bill was over 500 for about 6 weeks. i personally have a hand fired furnace. mentioned they make stoker furnaces or boilers, but still, he really wants geothermal. and yes, he knows it will not be cheap, he understands that. we had a few questions for you guys:

1.how much did you pay?

2.overall experience (heat/cool good, parts hold up, ect)

3.how long before you start seeing savings/ payback time?

4.would you do it again

thank you for reading, and as always, stay warm


I have been involved with several geothermal projects on a commercial scale. I usually don't get involved with residential but I am familiar with several installations.

1. They are not cheap. The two most popular ground heat exchange methods are bore holes with tubing or slinky method. Bore holes are more popular around my neck of the woods as the well drillers have the equipment to make these. Slinky method requires a large excavation. See attached photo.

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Expect to pay $7,000 to $10,000 for a system installed for a 1,100 sq. ft. house. Maybe more. Best thing would be to get a contractor to give a quote.

2. There are more moving parts with heat pump systems. Main concern is the compressor as this runs for both heating and cooling. Typical life cycle of a heat pump refrigeration compressor is 15 years but longer life is possible.

3. Pay back is dependent on what you pay for electric vs. propane. Average coeffiency of performace of a ground source heat pump is 3 btu's of heat moved to 1 btu of electric. Some more efficient model are 4 to 1. Use a fuel cost calculator for electric vs. propane and divide the electric cost per kwh by 4. This will give you a ball park. It may or may not be cheaper than propane. If you have to replace the heating system anyway, the payback will be quicker as you only use the cost premium for geothermal in the payback calculation.

4. Most installations are for new or substantially remodelled construction where the building is highly energy efficient. I know people that are very happy with their system and would not change.

Personally, I would investigate energy conservation measures for the house and heating system first. Air leakage is the highest load on any heating system. Caulk, foam in a can and weatherstripping can have very, very fast paybacks. Investigate high efficiency heating equipment also. Depending on how efficient his current system is, a high efficiency furnace may be a good investment.

And yes, they work well above the mason-dixon line.
steamup
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman-Anderson AA-130, Keystoker K-6
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: HS Tarm 502 Wood/Coal/Oil
Coal Size/Type: pea, buck, rice

Re: who out there geothermls?

PostBy: Uglysquirrel On: Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:53 pm

I vote Steamup the Geotherm expert of the forum!!
Uglysquirrel
 
Stove/Furnace Model: Pocono

Re: who out there geothermls?

PostBy: Cheetah On: Sat Feb 21, 2009 12:10 pm

Freddy wrote:The latest ones using wells don't even use the water in the well. They drill the well, run a pipe down it & back up, then fill the well with grout (concrete). The only reason for the well it to exchange heat from the water in the pipe.


That would be a vertical loop closed system. They still make what is called an open loop system which takes water from one well, runs it through a heat exchanger, and injects it back into the ground through another well. Their big selling point is reduced installation cost. They can work but they can also have problems that make them more expensive in the long run.
Cheetah
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Surdiac
Stove/Furnace Model: Gotha 713


Re: who out there geothermls?

PostBy: Yanche On: Sat Feb 21, 2009 12:37 pm

Cheetah wrote:
Freddy wrote:The latest ones using wells don't even use the water in the well. They drill the well, run a pipe down it & back up, then fill the well with grout (concrete). The only reason for the well it to exchange heat from the water in the pipe.


That would be a vertical loop closed system. They still make what is called an open loop system which takes water from one well, runs it through a heat exchanger, and injects it back into the ground through another well. Their big selling point is reduced installation cost. They can work but they can also have problems that make them more expensive in the long run.

Here in Maryland you would never get a permit for such a set up. It's a no no to put water back in the ground. Too many possibilities for some type of failure that would put contaminants in the return water, thereby polluting the ground water. A well driller will not drill a well without a permit.
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

Re: who out there geothermls?

PostBy: Cheetah On: Sat Feb 21, 2009 1:01 pm

Yanche wrote:Here in Maryland you would never get a permit for such a set up. It's a no no to put water back in the ground. Too many possibilities for some type of failure that would put contaminants in the return water, thereby polluting the ground water. A well driller will not drill a well without a permit.


There are many places outside Maryland that do allow such a set up. I was not saying it was a good idea, just that it is done. After reading the horror stories about some open loop systems I would never consider having one.

http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/consumer/y ... opic=12650
Cheetah
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Surdiac
Stove/Furnace Model: Gotha 713

Re: who out there geothermls?

PostBy: Cheetah On: Sat Feb 21, 2009 8:34 pm

Hey Steamup,

Seeing you with the train I was wondering if you knew of any forums for hobbyists interested in steam power? I have been thinking for some time that it would be fun to build an electrical generator powered by a small steam engine. The savings on electric would help pay for the coal and the waste heat would heat the house.

Bruce
Cheetah
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Surdiac
Stove/Furnace Model: Gotha 713

Re: who out there geothermls?

PostBy: gitrdonecoal On: Sat Feb 21, 2009 9:49 pm

thank you thank you everyone for your input. it has really been usefull information. tell ya all, this site rocks! :band: . im goin over to the parents house tomorrow to show them all of your suggestions and keep ya all posted in what he decides. some guy stoped out this mourning and took some information from him. not so much as getting measurments and such for an estimate, but instead taking info of past fuel costs and such to show him how quick, or slow a payoff would be x ammount of years down the road. thanks all.
John
gitrdonecoal
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90
Stove/Furnace Make: USSC
Stove/Furnace Model: Hotblast 1557

Re: who out there geothermls?

PostBy: Freddy On: Sun Feb 22, 2009 7:51 am

Cheetah wrote:They still make what is called an open loop system which takes water from one well, runs it through a heat exchanger, and injects it back into the ground


I have no idea why anyone would do that now. Once they discovered that a closed loop system not only works, but costs substantially less than drilling two wells, open systems stopped being used.

I might add... my buddy that bought the AHS coal boiler is a well driller. He looked long and hard at geothermal heat. He can drill wells for the cost of the fuel, yet he came to the conclusion that geothermal did not make financial sense. Of course in some other state where electricity is half the price of here, it could be a different story.
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Re: who out there geothermls?

PostBy: Yanche On: Sun Feb 22, 2009 2:28 pm

Freddy wrote: I have no idea why anyone would do that now. Once they discovered that a closed loop system not only works, but costs substantially less than drilling two wells, open systems stopped being used.

Well sourced heat pumps are used where there is not enough real estate for the ground coil. My county government just built a new library which uses multiple wells for the ground sourced heat pump. There was not enough area to install a ground coil even if they used the area under the parking lot. I talked to the design engineer and he said he didn't want to take the risk of having to dig up the parking lot to make a repair to a ground coil.
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

Re: who out there geothermls?

PostBy: arcticcatmatt On: Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:47 pm

I have a coworker that installed geotherm in his house. Cost him 16k and he did all the work.

I am not impressed with its performance, at least for the winter numbers he shared with me. The only thing it is doing his semi-preheating his incoming water for his baseboards. He said (it was 20 outside on this day) that the incoming water temperature from the loop was 38 degrees. He then has a heat pump that heats it to push to the baseboards. That baby runs off and on at 7,000 watts!!

He showed me all of this online as his updates to the internet and he can check all stats at work. It even shows him his baseboard temps. Pretty neat. His electric bill was not pretty neat, it was over 3 times mine!

Doing the math.. it was a waste of money.
arcticcatmatt
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska Kodiak Stoker II

Re: who out there geothermls?

PostBy: Freddy On: Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:08 am

Yanche wrote:Well sourced heat pumps are used where there is not enough real estate for the ground coil.


I wasn't talking well source vrs ground loop, I was talking open loop...two wells....vrs one well with grout. The two well system takes water from one well & returns it to the other. The grout system uses one well instead of two. The same water is used and re-used as in a ground coil, but there is no coil. It's just one pipe down the well and back up. No digging up larger areas, no spending money on two wells. Grouting is much, much less per foot then drilling.
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Re: who out there geothermls?

PostBy: steamup On: Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:27 am

I have seen both open well and vertical bore systems used.

I know of one person that used an open well system and was unhappy because it took too much electricity to pump the water out of the well. It takes more horsepower to pump water in an open well system. However, I know of a nursing home that uses geothermal that is sitting on an large aquafer. They went down 50 feet and could pump 1000 gpm out of the well. The run the water through a heat exchanger and re-inject it back into the ground 200 feet away from where they pump it out. That system works but does struggle under full load when it gets really cold out.

The vertical bore where the use closed loop piping inside the bore and grout the piping in place is more common as it is a closed loop. It takes less pumping horsepower and less maintenance. Also, you don't have to worry about hitting a poor producing well as with the open loop.

I know of another person that has a new 2000 sq. ft. house with a vertical bore system. He has (3) 375' deep bores with parallel piping back to a manifold in the house. Last I knew, he was happy with the system.

Geothermal has to looked at carefully to see if payback warrents the investement. Electrical rates must be low to make it cost effective. Don't even bother looking at it unless you have a very well insulated building. One of the advantages of geothermal is you have air conditioning also.

There are tree huggers out there that are all over geothermal because the think it is a "Green" system. Because most of our electricity comes from coal fired plants, I don't believe it is any more green than just burning coal directly to heat your house.
steamup
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman-Anderson AA-130, Keystoker K-6
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: HS Tarm 502 Wood/Coal/Oil
Coal Size/Type: pea, buck, rice

Re: who out there geothermls?

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:11 pm

steamup wrote:They went down 50 feet and could pump 1000 gpm out of the well.


Do you mean 1000 GPH? 1000 an hour would be about 16.6 per minute, 1000 GPM would be a bit much from a well and would take about 40 HP to pump @ that rate. That might be about $80+ a day to run the pump depending on your KWH rates.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: who out there geothermls?

PostBy: steamup On: Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:42 pm

Yes, 1000 gpm. Pumps on variable frequency drives. Large nursing home, commercial application, many heat pumps. The 10" dia. stainless steel well point screens cost $5,000 each. There were two supply wells and two injections wells. Mighty impressive flow.
steamup
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman-Anderson AA-130, Keystoker K-6
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: HS Tarm 502 Wood/Coal/Oil
Coal Size/Type: pea, buck, rice

Re: who out there geothermls?

PostBy: geoTom On: Mon Apr 06, 2009 3:13 am

I just cant believe all the confusion on geothermal on this discussion. First or all I wana let everyone know I am in the geothermal field and have been working with it for 15yrs. I used to work for the biggest geothermal company in the Midwest. I serviced systems all day. The biggest problems I came across is people not installing and servicing these systems correctly. First of all geothermal is installed all over the place in canada Iceland and so forth. So anybody who says it don't work up north is wrong!! Also for the guy wanting to use a geothermal boiler. The guy you talked to at the home show doesnt know much about this. There is a new geothermal boiler that climate master came out with last year that produces 140 degree water. This is a awsome system and is being install a lot in eruop. If anybody would like some real answers on geothermal feel free to contact me. I know 1,000 of customers in the midwest and this includes chicago area, who have been using geothermal for awhile and are very happy with it. THe only people who are not happy with it are the ones who had a normal heating and cooling contractor put in this system and didnt know how to work on it. Please contact me with any ?'s @ <removed dead link> thank you Tom
Last edited by Richard S. on Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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geoTom