New geothermal installation on a spring system & incorporating wood heat

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Darrel Wright, Oct 17, 2019.

  1. Darrel Wright

    Darrel Wright New Member

    Hi brand spanking new member here, trying to do his own system, in maybe a little bit of a weird situation here in Northeast Ohio. Just looking for any advice and help I can get. I have a contractor friend that has dealt with geothermal a fair amount, but he's also crazy busy and may not be able to help me for a while.

    What I've got:
    - A 4-ton Comfort-Aire and QT flowcenter that I just picked up used for $800. It's 8 years old and was in service for 5. Tested and working well.

    - A house on a communal spring system that serves 6 other houses. The spring and buried 7000 gallon cistern is on my property, at the top of the hill, about 6 feet of head above where it comes into my house through a 1" line. The spring has about 5gpm flow, and on average 80% of that flow is overflow into a creek.

    - A gasifying wood boiler that circulated water to the plenum of an old oil burning furnace and used it's blower. Wood has been basically my only source of heat except for an electric space heaters or two for the last 8 years. I just ripped the furnace out and now just have the coil there in the ducting. As we speak I have no operating central heat at all. And 3 little girls and a wife.

    A 350 gallon stainless tank I'm planning to use as heat storage for the wood boiler, and put in a domestic hot water coil in there.

    What I ideally want to do:
    Get this all working together. Have the Geothermal unit provide a base load of heat using the excess flow from the spring coming directly through the house water supply, running that flow back out to the creek. Have the wood boiler and storage doing the "top off." Eventually I'll probably either do an improvement on spring flow by combining another spring or drilling a vertical field, but for now that 4gpm average daily flow is it (though it's fine to use the way oversized cistern as a buffer, maybe 4000 gallons of it.)

    What I know I don't know:
    Given the unit specifies 1.5 gallons per minute per ton (=6gpm) can I draw that directly from my 1" water inlet by putting in a T before the check valve and house pressure pump? Or will the pressure pump and flow center fight?
    Do I need the flow center at all considering it's pump and dump except really "flow and dump" since the spring already provides some water pressure?
    Can the blower on the unit be cycled on by the wood boiler circuit, or are these geothermal units too "smart" to rig the same way I did the old oil furnace blower?

    What I don't know I don't know:
    How could I know? You tell me!


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