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geo thermal heating and cooling

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A.J.
A.J. Member Posts: 257
Don't put it in a high tempeture baseboard job O.K. but that about a new radiantly heated house? I ggow up servicing oil boilers but with crud about to top one hundred dollars a barrel I am taking a look at alturnatives for my customers.

Comments

  • steven E.HEAT
    steven E.HEAT Member Posts: 47
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    Why aren"t there more heating heads pushing to sell more ground source h20-h20 heat pumps???? especially wradiant systems.
  • scott markle_2
    scott markle_2 Member Posts: 611
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    h-20

    what does h-20 signify?

    Although I'm curious I'm also a bit skeptical of GS heat pumps, here in N,Y (I believe)the need for A.C is often more a failure of good architecture than a climate requirement. So I take efficient A.C off the plus list. I guess I'm just not sure that the electric grid needs more creative ways to grow larger. Also I think if you take a real hard look at it from a environmental perspective. Burning natural gas in a low nox load matching condensing boiler may be better than burning coal, damming rivers,generating nuclear waste etc. all with an average utilization efficiency of perhaps 40%(generation/transmision). even if our appliance (heat pump) is capable of 300%-400% utilization of those UNDERVALUED KW's

    I have to believe it to sell it, and it's more than what's the cheapest thing to run for me. Help me see the light I'm open minded, I think.
  • Rich L.
    Rich L. Member Posts: 414
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    I'm a believer!

    I installed just such a system in my new house last year and love it. I have all radiant heat designed for 120 degree max temps. I have a water coil in an air handler for cooling. After my first year in my house I'm averaging $129 per month for my electric bill. This is EVERYTHING in my house, heating, cooling, lights, washer, dryer, cooking, well pump, etc. It's my only utility bill. This is in Iowa with a design temp of -5 degrees and 2240 sq ft main level with a walk out basement. We couldn't be more pleased with the system. I installed it myself (I do it for a living, not a DIYer) and the rebates literally paid for the geo unit (unit only). I feel with these kind of utility bills this system is going to have a very reasonable payback, in fact I'm already realizing it with my low utility bills.

    For more information on these types of systems check out the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association. They have some awesome training available. I am a member of The Iowa Heat Pump Association wcich has a great conferance with two days of training every March. If you're interested it's a great place to learn more.

    Rich L
  • Dave_4
    Dave_4 Member Posts: 1,405
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    I don't have a GSHP and...

    my numbers are even better than yours!

    At 15-cents per KW, and over 7,000 degree days for heating, never mind the rocky granite and ledge-rock.

    My total cost for #2 fuel oil and the electric to run it and all the circs. is under $400 a year!

    Mine includes domestic hot water, 365/24/7.

    GSHP's are NOT the answer for most - but for those that it is, the life expectancy is relatively poor, finding folks who know how to diagnose and repair, without simly being parts changers with GSHP's are very few and far between. With places like Atlanta suffering huge droughts, one can only wonder how GSHP's will be impacted.

    My gut hunch suggests less than 5% of all heating could take "advantage" of GSHP's. And the advantage would be slight.
  • steven e. heat
    steven e. heat Member Posts: 10
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    heat pumps

    all geo designers do not use open loop heat pumps and drought conditions dont have an impact. and degree days are not the basis for design. the bin method is used for residential design.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,157
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    I've done a few

    Just finished a DX system connected to radiant. Upfront cost is high, the equipment is very noisy, the well driller hit caves about 40 feet down and they had to go to a huge pit in the front yard.

    The geo side installer tells me he is seeing problems with the ground warming in the summer to the point of not getting enough ac capacity.

    I suppose with a pond or lake it could work out better. Still that compressor noise. Having to listen to that for heating and cooling would drive me nuts.

    And it still uses dirty coal fired power in many areas.

    hot rod
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Paul Rohrs_7
    Paul Rohrs_7 Member Posts: 173
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    Clarification - Ken

    Ken,

    I'm led to believe his house is ALL electric, all appliances, heat, light, power, the works. So, you would also need to amortize all electric bills for apples-to-apples comparison? Yes? Let's then run degree days coupled with load calc to level the playing field and his numbers might not be as skewed as you are wanting them to be.

    All electric Geo KW vs #2 fuel oil - "The Showdown", cue bad trailer music....

    Respectfully,

    Paul
  • steven e. heat
    steven e. heat Member Posts: 10
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    heat pump

    direct exchange eeeeeeeeeeehhhhhh. These systems are known for changing soil temps. much more rapidly .the loop thermal conductivity is great. borehole spacing,borehole depth and soil therm. conductivity is critical.the is a nice product manufactured its called a pond plate.need a deep pond for heat and can use a shallow for ac if enough capacity.
  • A.J.
    A.J. Member Posts: 257
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    Radiant & geothermal

    When I was at Warm U last summer there was a contrator that all he and his guys did was to install and work on geothermal radiant. The only problem he had was keeeping up with demand, that was in Pittsgurgh. Change is hard but I think this is going to be well needed shot in the arm for the radiant industy.
  • Rich L.
    Rich L. Member Posts: 414
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    YES ALL ELECTRIC!

    Yes to clarify, this is my ENTIRE utility expense. To compare this to only an oil bill is definately apples to oranges. Add in your entire electric bill and water bill, but you can leave out phone and cable :)! I'm also heating my domestic water with this system via the desuper heater when the units running. I'm not sure where you come up with the short lifespan claims? The average expected lifespan of todays units is 20 - 25 years. (Data from IGSHPA, Internationa Ground Source Heat Pump Assoc.) I know there are 50 year old boilers and furnaces still operating out there, maybe that's where the comparison is coming from? One thing I didn't make clear above is that my basement is the same size as the main level and radiantly heated also. 2 inches of foam underneath.

    Hot Rod, on the noise issue I was very concerned up front about that. It's turned out to be a non-issue. The unit I used, Hydron Module, is completely insulated on the inside of the cabinet, I'm sure most are. It's located in the mechanical room of the basement. The main floor to the basement is insulated for the radiant floors. It's under the kitchen area and you really have to stop and listen carefully to hear if it's running. If there's a conversation going on or a TV or radio on you can't tell at all. In the bedrooms on the other end of the house you can't tell by listening if it's running or not. I know if I had forced air it would make much more noise than the Geo unit.

    I too had to laugh at some of the claims of not using fossil fuels! Get real, I know where my electricity comes from. Within a 30 mile radius of my house there are several coal burning plants, 1 natural gas fired power house and a nuke plant. I like to consider the fact of transfering heat either from the ground or to it depending on the season. In a way it's a solar system and I'm using the biggest solar collector of them all, the Earth!

    As far as working on them there's is no big challenge there either. If you do AC you should be able to do a heat pump. There are of course a few differences, but the principal is the same, moving heat from one place to another. There are some great classes available for it, I've been through the UA's and it was great. The biggest thing with a heat pump, checking refrigerant pressures is a last resort only, every one is a critically charged unit. If you open the system or work on one that has leaked, after repairs you must weigh your charge back in! As little as 5% off on your charge and your reversing valve MAY not wark properly and your efficiencies will begin to drop off. Their temp outputs are a great fit for radiant.

    We have one HVAC company in Eastern Iowa that switched to only geothermal installations several years ago. They had a waiting list of over 3 months for a new installation the last time I talked with them!

    It may not be for you but after tons of research I decided to go this route on my new house and couldn't be more pleased. I'll let you know if I still feel the same way ten years down the road!!!!

    Regards, Rich L
  • steven E.HEAT
    steven E.HEAT Member Posts: 47
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    geo thermal heating and cooling

    dear rich
    do you have a direct exchange system or do you have a water coupled system ?
  • [Deleted User]
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    Initial cost....

    is the BIGGEST detractor. Everyone WANTS to be green, until they find out how much it's going to cost to do it right, then they start looking for alternatives.

    If the base cost (theoretically speaking) is $10.00 per square foot of conditioned space, a full blown 100% GSHP system with proper capacity is $30/square foot (here in COLO).

    To appease the green customers, here in Colorado, we offer to size the system for the AC load, and use the heating capacity to augment high efficiency gas fired modcon boilers. Its a perfect fit, and falls somewhere between the 10 and 30 dollar PSF range.

    Additionally, we offer to configure the system for additional GSHP capacity, so that in the near future, when the rest of the industry gets its act together (drilers and HX maufacturers), they can increase the percentage carried by geo.

    Besides, cooling is where this stuff really shines. If the unit is rated for 5 tons (60K btuH), rest assured that that is in the COOLING mode, NOT the heating mode. It has been my experience that you will get roughly 80% of the listed capacity in heating mode. And its all written, right there in black and white, buried in and under tons of numbers...

    It's not for every one, yet...

    We've experienced early compressor failures on over half of the jobs we've done. We were told by the factory rep that we were trying to run them too hard and hot. We started out using the surface mounted aquastat that comes on the buffer tank, only to find them going off on high head and toasting compressors. So we switched to a solid state set point control, and compressor issues seem to have faded for now.

    It seems to me that that industry (GEO EXCHANGE) has a LONG way to go before it is on the same class as say a good mod con boiler. They're just now starting to use scroll compressors instead of recips, and if the compressor is SO sensitive to high temperature/head pressure operation, you'd THINK that they at least put their own operating limit control in the control logic to avoid stressing their delicate compressors.

    To their credit, they (the unnamed maufacturer) have stood behind all of the failed compressors.

    But I think there is a lot of room for improvement, and I intend to test a system of my own design at my future home in Heeney Colorado, which I've dubbed Hydronica...

    5 each 1 ton compressors with ECM motors all tied to the same heat exchangers.

    Hydronica will have, a hydrogen fuel cell generator (5 KW electricty, 7 KW heat), a sealed combustion varible output wood pellet boiler, solar PV, hydronically cooled, modulating/condensing boilers (on VELCRO), the experimental GSHP, seasonal energy thermal storage systems (water and earth), off peak DC energy storage system using state of the art nano technology batteries, a small experimental wind turbine, electric radiant windows, and Warmboard floors for heating and minimally required cooling.

    My energy loads will be less than 10 btu's per square foot per hour, so I intend to produce more energy than I consume.

    But I digress...:-)

    ME
  • steven E.HEAT
    steven E.HEAT Member Posts: 47
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    geo thermal heating and cooling

    from what i understand co------ compressor company is launching a variable speed compressor.this year.
  • Rich L.
    Rich L. Member Posts: 414
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    Not dx

    Hi, Steven, I have a water to water-open system. I wouldn't recommend the open system to everyone, a little more maintenance, yearly de-liming. Up front cost saved me about $4,000 over a loop field though.

    I did check out the direct exchange systems briefly, interesting, but chose not to go with one of those.

    Are you a contractor or home owner? Thinking about building a home or venturing into geo installs? It took me a little while to embrace the technology but the more I researched it the more excited I got about it. As a mechanical contractor we've done some large geo jobs, one school we did has over 300 tons of heating and cooling, water to air system. From the energy they saved they figured they paid back the conversion in 3-1/2 years! And before they didn’t have A/C! How can a person not be excited about that?!!!!!

    Note* the 3-1/2 year figure came direct from the school, Wilson Middle School, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • [Deleted User]
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    It's OK to say their name....

    COPELAND. There, see, nothing happend to m
This discussion has been closed.