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Deep Lake Water Cooling for Residential (?)

Brad White_9
Brad White_9 Member Posts: 2,440

Singh is right about the environmental agencies taking issue. I think it is more of an issue with compressorized components.

Lake Source Cooling at Cornell extracts cold water deep from near the bottom of the lake, runs it through plate heat exchangers and returns water that is still pretty cold, to the top of the lake. This is unlike what most condenser water systems use where the water is returned near 95 degrees....

Granted this is is hardly a scale your boss needs -or is it? :)

U.Mass Boston, near me, uses sea water as condenser water and have so for years. I rather doubt they could make a new plant that way today.


  • Paul Rohrs_4
    Paul Rohrs_4 Member Posts: 466

    My boss is building a cabin on a lake and he asked me about geo-thermal and integrating the "Deep Lake Water Cooling" principles.

    Instead of a "Pump & Dump" Geo system, can we use the lake for our source? Is this legal, and/or feasable for small-scale residential projects? Filtration seems like it would be a primary concern as well as temperature gain in the lake.

    I have googled as much as I can and it seems to be centered around large (and I mean LARGE) commercial projects.

    Is there any supplemental information out there that I should be looking at?



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  • singh
    singh Member Posts: 866

    Try getting some info from them.
    You may need to get approval from DEC or the like, they really don't like
    when you add or subtract degrees from the body of water.
    I would be concerned with filtration and flow. Let's say at 8GPM, you can add
    the numbers and see how many thousands of gallons are flowing thru there.
    Why not a sunken closed loop? Less maintenance issues.You may still need approval, now with the glycol in the loops.

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  • jp_2
    jp_2 Member Posts: 1,935

    do you mean the DEQ? dept environmental quailty?

    then theres the local health dept. I'd be real surpirsed if 'they' will let you do it.
  • JackFre
    JackFre Member Posts: 225
    I worked at Cornell on their

    chilled water system many years ago. This new system is neat and from what I hear is working well. We used to (1980)do lake/pond water supply for water to water units by not pumping the lake water but laying a looong coil of pipe in the bottom of the lake and doing a closed loop supply to the HP. Worked really well. having said that, in some areas, if you took water out of a stream/lake/river ran it thru a hx and dumper it into the same spot 6" downstream, you may have to do a "Water Quality Resources/Impact Report...or whatever it is called. Look before you leap!
  • I use 56 degree well water

    it cools off my house, and then waters my lawn and garden, all at once. I get unlimited water from my point driven well. Don't forget you may be able to use all that water to heat your house with a heat pump also. Bob Gagnon

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  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 2,666
    lake water

    I can remenber about 15 years ago looking at a job with one of my boss which thew HO wanted to use water cooled condensers for his many a/c systems that where to be used in his mimi mansion even with a desinent sized small lake may be10 to 15 acres the DEP would not permit him to use the lake water there where issues with raising the water temp in the lake in my area i have heard of many talk about it but it seems that every body gets shot down by the comtrolling goverment agencys as with everything it would seem there are some real safety and maintance issues espically contaimation with surface and and run off contaimation and being that maintance cannot be forced and the only time most call for maintance is when it 's broken peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • GMcD
    GMcD Member Posts: 477
    Do the economics

    It might be cheaper to use a set of closed loop geo-exchange pipes/coils dropped into the water under the dock. Still needs environmental approval since the temperature of the geo-exchange system has to fall within the natural water temperature seasonal fluctuations as the "natural" lake water. The closed loop geo-exchange fluid will have to be pure water with no chemical treatment in case of leaks so as to avoid lake water contamination/pollution.

    You'll need to compare the costs of a closed loop geo system with a water to water heat pump system, vs direct lake water , filtration, pumping costs, pipe lengths etc., and the heating source (unless the direct lake water system was going to power a water to water heat pump in the first place). Given the maintenance requirements of direct water body use, I think the "sure thing" is the closed loop geo system with the coils anchored under the dock deep enough to avoid winter ice.
  • JimGPE_23
    JimGPE_23 Member Posts: 11
    You betcha!!!

    I worked on a project where the client pumped water out of a stream and dumped it back into the same stream. While out of the stream the water never left copper piping. The Environmental Protection Agency measures the effluent ONLY and said there was too much heavy metal contamination of the effluent and made them clean it up. No amount of test results of the incoming water would make the EPA give it up - it had the same levels of HM, but the client had to clean up their effluent.
  • Christian Egli_2
    Christian Egli_2 Member Posts: 812
    You'll boil away the lake, stock it first with lobster.

    Scott Phillips of the PBS fame wood working show who lives here in the greater Dayton region has been showing the construction of his new home in the latest episodes. The one I once saw was all about his geothermal scheme.

    It consist of a plate coil exchanger the team dangled to some polyethylene pipe and sank in the middle of a large pond on the property, then there is the heat pump, and then there is the... air handler. Works fine, but not radiant. :(

    Where there is a lake involved by proxy. We once wanted to tap into a government owned irrigation water main that passed on the property. Tap out, tap in, and through a diverter loop get the clean earth friendly renewable energy. Guess who pooed on the idea. As a result, the now vexed property owner was able to force the state into moving the big pipe. With four extra 90 degree elbows, over all these years, I can't imagine how much extra electricity this extra restriction flow has cost in pumping power. But we didn't want the irrigation water to be thermally contaminated. So much for saving the environment. :(

    About 12 years ago, our local power company was still operating a big power plant just south of downtown. Its rejected heat went into a cold source provided by the local river. Worked for years, all the fish were happy until the EPA came around and made a scandal over how the muddy aquatic life was being stewed alive in the boiling hot water of the river downstream the plant. It could have been lobster for all we know.

    In a discriminatory fashion, the EPA mandated the waste heat should be dumped into the atmosphere, right under the noses of our friends the birds. It's fair, because birds can defend themselves, they can vengefully shoot back at statues and freshly waxed cars. Anyway, the plant being land locked there was no place for the cooling towers; the whole place was demolished; and then we had the black out.

    What's fascinating is that the plant was so called creating a rolling boil from the low dam all the way down to Cincinnati, probably even down the Ohio river and the Mississippi on to New Orleans. We were boiling everything away.

    Now, with the offending plant removed, locals here would be able to enjoy the sight of floating icebergs with attending polar bears. At last. It was going to be so exciting. A proper natural restitution.

    Well, as anyone could have guessed, the river did cool down, not much, it regained its ordinary temperature (which follows the earth temperature). Success. But only a short lived success, because, about a mile downstream nothing changed. Probably because of evaporation and the massiveness of the earth itself and its temperature power, the big electric plant only had a very limited impact on the river. If you ask me, the fish were enjoying their steam heat just as much as we do. So much for saving Nemo. :(

    But, we humans are a caring kind. We care for the little children. NCR, the National Cash Register Company had its big factories here in town. There was a power plant and the waste heat was partly dumped into the company swimming pool. Imagine that, boiling the little kids alive. We couldn't have that nowadays... and we don't anymore either. So much for saving our industry. :(

    In a more positive note, our local Art Institute has announced it is going to rebuild its mechanicals and will use ground water pumped from a well and returned to the storm sewer. I think your plan to use the lake makes lots of sense, but I am not the one who matters here. I hope you get what works the best for you, any which way, living next to a lake is nice no matter what.
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