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Autonow Posted - 08/09/2018 : 10:50:25 AM
Has anyone done anything with geothermal cooling? On initial investigation the installation cost looks high and lots of permit restrictions. Most use a heat transfer fluid of some sort. even water has its issues. But why do we need to be so complex. What do you think of just blowing some air through a buried pipe? Seems simple enough and cost vs payback may be reasonable, Any thoughts? It may not be a total solution but every penny ads up
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MichaelCarter259 Posted - 11/01/2018 : 04:08:12 AM
Geothermal Heating and Cooling is often referred to as Geoexchange, Geothermal, or Ground Source Heating and Cooling. They all mean the exact same thing, so don’t get confused by these names being interchanged.Its about geothermal power (involving power plants generating electricity).
Geothermal works because the ground beneath our feet is warmer then the outside air in the winter and cooler in the summer. Inserting a series of small pipes into the ground allows heat to be transferred to and from your home. In this process heat is not created, it is transported.
Geo Posted - 08/11/2018 : 1:20:34 PM
I looked into turning my heat pump system I had used for nearly 40 years into a geothermal system. There were two reasons I didn't do it. First the cost was quite high and the return on investment period unreasonably long - I don't like anything with ROI exceeding five years. Second, all my heat pumps (I won't name their well-known manufacturer) seem to have had progressively shorter lives, probably due to cutting corners to lower their cost and manufacturing many parts off shore.
While my first pump lasted twenty-two years, the second one lasted eight and the third one only five years. It was always the compressor that died - and while the compressor had been guaranteed, its demise messed up the entire system causing the potential repair even with a free compressor to cost more than a new pump. So, instead of buying the fourth pump, two years ago I switched to a natural gas furnace and a dedicated A/C. My annual operating cost was cut by half.
Heat pumps efficiency drops with the air temperature. Around the freezing point they become essentially pure electric (expensive) heating. They may be great in California or some other place with mild climate. Here in Canada, after forty years of monitoring their performance, I don't think they are so great. Whether geothermal installation helps much for heating I don't know. The evaporators would have to be buried quite deep, since the ground freezes in my location about three feet.
EVIL Teken Posted - 08/11/2018 : 10:41:22 AM
The concept of Geo Thermal cooling / heating makes sense but for most doesn't pencil out over the long term. More specifically the hardware will have failed long before the ROI has been seen. If energy savings are the key driver I would encourage you to read up on and adopt as many Passive Hause techniques. Doing so will offer the most savings along with shorter ROI.

Building a home from scratch following all of the Passive Hause techniques depending on the region you live in will add 30~45% more to the final build costs. I implemented as many of the building techniques I could during the development process of my home. I immediately saw those savings and have continued to reap those benefits for the last ten years.

My next major project is to install a passive solar heat collector to reduce even more energy during the extreme cold winters here in Canada.

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