Multiple questions about loop design and AUX heating

Discussion in 'Geothermal Loops' started by Designer_Mike, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    ^^^^^Goes of to find old issue of MEN that tells about a guy in france that heated his house with his compost pile and miles of srd11 HDPE pipe.
  2. urthbuoy

    urthbuoy Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader


    Families use to live above their livestock. We're just starting to catchup to that now.

    Oh, and Mike. They're called ponds:) They work.
  3. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    ^^^^^Goes of to find

    ...his pasport, (now needed to get into Canada or back in to USA?).

    Chris: I never refuse to look at old knowledge. The Romans had radiant heat. I did not find the old magazine I sought, but seem to remember an issue with pitch fork tines and the HDPE on that French house.
  4. hgf

    hgf New Member

    Back to part of the original question -

    I have scanned over 3 pages of posts including the beer and manure ( some inhaling?? going on) and comments about Romans and living above animals and would like to get back to the design theme.

    I have ruled out all the storage options and am looking at getting a gethermal system hopefully next summer. My wife and I just built our retirement home and because of timing and other things, we had to install a propane forced air system for last winter. I want to add geo to that and now have a contractor I feel can do the simple geothermal. My question relates to the potential to use the loops to add heat to the input side. I like the idea of solar panel and a wood boiler on/in my shed - 125 feet away being able to supplement the heat system. Is it practical to put a wood boiler on part of a geo loop and use the extra heat to
    supplement pulling heat from the ground. I would want the boiler to be able to provide additional heat as desired. I know the intake temperatures would require it to circulate before it got heated much but with a 80-100 BTU wood boiler, it seems practical. When I didn't want to go out the ground could provide the heat as needed and would recover faster without the need for the full load. I have plenty of space, tons of free wood and no desire to go out at 5:00 am to stoke the fire. This is our second winter coming up and with last year being warm and only using 750 gallons of propane with a house under construction, I don't see the heat load as being huge. The boiler and the cost of insulating the line from the pole barn to the house is the highest additional cost that I am aware of. Seems realistic but no one in the business wants to try to do it. I am not sure if control valves would even be needed for the loops.

    I am concerned about heating /cooling costs escalating over the years and want to get the system to run as efficently as I can. Any one have suggestions for better controls that can be used with a computer to control run times,- cool more in the morning before it gets hot -
    interfacing with weather forcasts as well as seasonal conditions. We are not a set and forget family, and have a much wider comfort zone than most thermostats provide. Our home gets lots of solar gain on sunny days but the thermostat doesn't anticipate for that.

    Thoughts or resources to get ideas from would be helpful. Are colleges worth contacting? my initial contacts went unanswered. Are there ways on this forum to get into the deeper discussions. I have already run the pool idea and the buried tank is out of the question also.
  5. urthbuoy

    urthbuoy Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader


    Is it practical to use a wood boiler to heat a ground loop?

    Short answer. No. It is a complete waste of btu's and expensive to plumb. Dump the heat as a primary or secondary heat in to a buffer tank system. Commercial systems can decrease loop sizes by using supplemental heating, or more commonly cooling, schemes. This capital savings can make sense.

    Plumbing wise, wood boilers are considered open systems. This means they introduce air to plumbing systems. Things fall apart quicker with air in the plumbing. To do it right you require about $10k in plumbing setup (hx, additional pumps, etc). We are doing such a system right now - wood backup.

    Tekmar controls can handle the control of multiple heat pumps, boiler backup, and so on.
  6. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader


    More wood boilers.

    Wood boilers are for those of us that like; cutting, splitting and moving fire wood. It is better served if you own the trees.

    The trick with geothermal systems is to keep the lift of temperature increase as small as possible. If one adds warm to very hot water to the mix plumbing and controls become very difficult and therefore expensive.

    I am at a point in my life that firewood is off my dance card. I therefore have a bias.

  7. hgf

    hgf New Member

    Thanks for the insight. It seems practical but if even $5,000 for controls are needed, I'd be 80 before I reached break even.
  8. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Last edited: Oct 16, 2012
  9. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    OK, I'll play, I helped Mike and his heat pump came from OH

    I have yet to see what Mike built except in pictures. I will get there if I am east and the world in Ohio does not have more emergency issues than I can solve by phone and have to go rushing back.

    One of the reasons not to mess with adding BTUH to the loops, (this assumes you can build a loop field that will supply your proposed system), is that the best BTUH lift in temperatures for any heat pump is a small one. The lower the delta T, the lower the fuel requirements for the machine to do it's change of state magic using the refrigeration cycle.

    Please re-read what Joe typed to you.

    If you are not offended, I will tell you your dream control is available and in production. I spent two days learning about how it works to injection pump the wood fired boiler heat into the delivery side of the system, while allowing your geo at 400% to run 24/7. I have been designing these systems since Jimmy Carter was president, I have a clue or two. The neat thing about this new control system is that it supports radiant cooling.

    I thought we had put this thread to bed awhile ago. So here is your new input.


    ps. "Where in the Wild World of Sports" are you?
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2012
  10. Kogashuko

    Kogashuko Member

    Nothing to do with this thread but funny statement.

    The difference is, the Iphone will burn your house down on purpose when Apple becomes self aware.
  11. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader


    How are you? How goes the home improvements. I got your PM and sent you a reply. Did you get it?

    Stay in touch I had a dream about a developed natural spring I converted to a geo loop field in Ohio. We poured the water into a polly tank and filled the tank with loops. On your house we could get double duty from that giant well without withdrawing water just heat. We would not disturb the nature of the well, while using to heat the home. We could also use water to water equipment to a buffering tank to allow the heat extraction from a full project sized machine to do a good job for the addition and allow future add on.

    I must forward to my daughter, who lives inside the beltway, your concern about Apple's becoming self aware. She has a major concern about Google going to the dark side.


    Last edited: Mar 9, 2013

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