Ground Loops in , Wisconsin, Geothermal Applications

You need a new heating and cooling system. Maybe you’re partial to the idea of a new Geothermal HVAC. Whatever the situation, you probably want to know a bit more about how geothermal works.

Geothermal HVACs variously cool and heat your home by extracting ground temperature. This can be done because of an underground system called a geothermal ground loop.

Ground loops are,in essence, just a system of pipes buried in the ground. Several basic types of geothermal loop systems are used for heating and cooling conventional residential and commercial]26] buildings.

It works when antifreeze fluid travels through these plastic pipes to transfer heat effectively and efficiently down to a heat pump in your house.

There are four different kinds of ground loops: Open Loop, Pond Loop, Horizontal Loop and Vertical Loop. All four are split into two distinct categories: either they’re open loop systems or closed loop systems. The right system for your house is contingent on your building and the environment surrounding it. Household systems mostly use vertical or horizontal loops.

Below are more specifics on each kind of ground loop.

Closed systems, which include vertical, horizontal, and pond loops, continuously circulate water through them.

Vertical ground loops are used commonly in residences because, unlike horizontal loops, they don’t take up a lot of space. They’re installed by drilling small-diameter holes in the ground that extend 100-400 feet deep. Then pipes are driven into the holes and connected below the ground to form the vertical loop. Next, additional pipes are attached that carry fluid to the indoor system to transfer the desired temperature from the ground.

A horizontal system needs much more space but is actually not as expensive since it uses 2 straight pipes placed 6 inches down in the ground over an area of ¼ to ¾ acre.

In order to have a pond loop system, you obviously must be near a pond, lake, pond, or well. Coils are installed vertically and anchored to the bottom of the water source. Water is then moved through more pipes beneath the earth to a pump, where the heat is withdrawn and cool water is reintroduced to the pond. Still, in order for this system to work, the water can in no way be be acidic or else pipes will erode and filters will need to be replaced often.

The major difference between open and closed looped systems is the open loop’s need for a plentiful source of groundwater, a well or a pond, for instance. From there, it directly pumps water into the heat pump unit to be used in heating and cooling your dwelling or other structure.

Used water is disposed of in one of two ways: through surface drainage or water re-injection. In returning the water back to the earth, it’s worth mentioning that pollution is not a by-product. The only difference in water that’s processed through a geothermal heat pump is a modest change in temperature.

Before you install an open loop system, it is essential to know whether a well or pond has enough water to power your geothermal heat pump, and that it won’t exhaust a neighbor’s well source. Make sure you check with your local contractor on whether there’s enough water at hand to warrant installing an open loop geothermal heating system.