Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

District or Utility Scale Geothermal

sellears
sellears Member Posts: 3
I am looking at the possibility of putting in utility scale geothermal for a new development of about 250 "homes" in our community. I am the Dir. of Public Works and so will be coordinating all utility planning/design/install for this development. Looking for examples of similar-scale projects in the ground throughout the US or abroad and also looking for consultants with experience in planning and vetting the concept. Located in Southern Wisconsin. Thanks.

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 20,440
    Get in contact with Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota. They have recently installed and commissioned a complete geothermal heat pump system for the entire campus, replacing a steam/hot water system.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Erin Holohan Haskell
    Erin Holohan Haskell Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 1,982
    @sellears, I recommend you contact geothermal expert Jay Egg (https://egggeo.com/).

    And here's a residential community in Austin, Texas that's on a GeoGrid: https://www.whispervalleyaustin.com/ecosmart/
    President
    HeatingHelp.com
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 1,911
    I think HongKong distributes sea water.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 20,440
    Folks, he's talking Wisconsin... not Texas or Hong Kong. A very different problem.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    Zman
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 1,911

    Folks, he's talking Wisconsin... not Texas or Hong Kong. A very different problem.

    If you can distribute enough ground water; if the system does not end up with too cold or too warm water during lifetime of system; then what's so problematic about Wisconsin?

    My guess is that OP will learn how economic his idea is.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,121
    Big project. The cost of the underground will be big $$$$$
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 20,440
    jumper said:

    Folks, he's talking Wisconsin... not Texas or Hong Kong. A very different problem.

    If you can distribute enough ground water; if the system does not end up with too cold or too warm water durin @Eg lifetime of system; then what's so problematic about Wisconsin?

    My guess is that OP will learn how economic his idea is.
    Purely a matter of getting enough capacity in the cold weather. The system I mentioned has several hundred wells, all over the campus. As @EBEBRATT-Ed said. big dollars. I believe I'm correct in saying that an alum with even bigger dollars (the college has a few) was involved.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,121
    We did a geo job about 10 yeas ago and as far as I know i still is working well. But this was a restaurant probably had about 30 tons of cooling and heating. The groundwater loop took a lot of space
  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 682
    Before I retired I started two (2) H B Smith boiler which were part of a newly installed geo-thermal heating system. at the Laurel valley Elementary School in Ligonier, Pa. You could call them for answers as to how the system performed. The Engineering firm that designed that system and many others was The H F Lenz Company with offices in Johnstown, Pa; Conneaut, Ohio; and Pittsburgh, pa. They may be able to help you with the planning or recommend someone in your area that could provide the information or help that you desire.
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 1,911
    Two kinds of geothermal. Loop transferring heat with ground. Or pumping water from lake or well to return somewhere elsewhere. I presume OP is talking about latter?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 20,440
    The one which I mentioned in Northfield, MN is loops in deep wells, transferring heat from the ground. It is a closed loop system, yes, but unlike some closed loop systems with a grid of pipes at some relatively shallow depths, this is the type with the loops in grouted deep wells.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    ethicalpaul
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 18,208
    edited September 2021
    Districtenergy.org is the trade association. Some projects in Canada also. Here is a map of systems from that site
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 1,911

    The one which I mentioned in Northfield, MN is loops in deep wells, transferring heat from the ground. It is a closed loop system, yes, but unlike some closed loop systems with a grid of pipes at some relatively shallow depths, this is the type with the loops in grouted deep wells.

    Why not have individual well for each home?

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 20,440
    jumper said:

    The one which I mentioned in Northfield, MN is loops in deep wells, transferring heat from the ground. It is a closed loop system, yes, but unlike some closed loop systems with a grid of pipes at some relatively shallow depths, this is the type with the loops in grouted deep wells.

    Why not have individual well for each home?

    Eh? It's a college campus -- not individual homes. You have all the academic buildings as well as ... I think 10 dormitories. 1300 students in residence. More or less.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • psb75
    psb75 Member Posts: 636
    Jamie, jumper is referencing the original poster's application of "geo" for a 250-home development.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 20,440
    edited September 2021
    Sorry. I had sort of assumed that @sellears , the OP, was interested in a district system for the development and that he or she had very good reasons for that preference...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • leonz
    leonz Member Posts: 682
    edited December 2022
    sellears said:

    I am looking at the possibility of putting in utility scale geothermal for a new development of about 250 "homes" in our community. I am the Dir. of Public Works and so will be coordinating all utility planning/design/install for this development. Looking for examples of similar-scale projects in the ground throughout the US or abroad and also looking for consultants with experience in planning and vetting the concept. Located in Southern Wisconsin. Thanks.

    =================================================================

    First off;

    who is promoting this insanity? Who is building these homes?
    Have these homes been sold already by a developer on an
    existing road or street with no existing water, sewer, gas or
    electric service??

    Are there existing 34,500 volt three phase Delta to 4,000 volt single phase
    feeders along the street or streets?

    Are there 6 inch natural gas mains nearby that will be extended and tapped into
    to provide the decatherms needed to provide natural gas service if it is needed?

    I am sure the 106 utilities in Wisconsin will have a lot to say about this as
    these electric and gas providers will have a great deal to say about it in one
    way or another as it will affect their business

    A lot is going to depend on the local utility and whether it is a municipal utility,
    investor owned utility or a co-operative utility.

    If you have an investor owned or co-operative utility, I do not see
    this happening for the obvious reasons as it will affect their business
    and stockholders.

    Your municipality would have to become your own separate municipal
    utility if it is not one already.

    After many years of application filings, many public hearings and appeals
    for this "development" after the utility presses its case against it you may not
    succeed and you would have spent millions of dollars and the local taxpayers
    will end up footing the bill for this and a pitchfork, shovel, rake and torch party
    will be called for as the cost of this will be an albatros looped around their necks
    for years to come.

    My thoughts on a lousy day.
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 663
    15 month old thread. I wonder how the project is going?
  • Sal Santamaura
    Sal Santamaura Member Posts: 460
    leonz said:

    ...My thoughts on a lousy day.

    What made you describe yesterday as "lousy?"
  • leonz
    leonz Member Posts: 682
    Dealing with 5 things at once including no working phone and an oral surgeon/witch doctor with bones in her nose, a parrot feather head dress, rattle covered in parrot feathers and a fire with plenty of sulphur.