# question about vertical loop plumbing

Discussion in 'Vertical and Horizontal Loops' started by chrispitude, Jan 15, 2011.

1. ### chrispitudeNew Member

Hi guys,

I have an idle question... Is there any efficiency advantage to running the plumbing in either of the ways shown below?

Just curious... thanks!

2. ### Palace GeoThermalWell-Known MemberIndustry ProfessionalForum Leader

Wells piped in series have higher head pressure than those piped in parallel, so you spend more on pumping costs.

I can't think of any advantage to doing wells in series.

3. ### chrispitudeNew Member

Hi Dewayne,

Note that both are piped in parallel - it's just a question of how the plumbing runs to the tees. I'm curious if there's any advantage to the first method. When two 12V batteries are wired in parallel, the wiring is run according to the first method so that each battery has both a short run and a long run. I wondered if the same thing would apply to loops.

4. ### Palace GeoThermalWell-Known MemberIndustry ProfessionalForum Leader

Sorry Chris, I should have paid more attention.

For two boreholes, there might not be much difference.

However for three or more the correct way to pipe the loops is called a reverse return header. This equalizes the pressure and flow across the loops.

I hope this helps

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5. ### Palace GeoThermalWell-Known MemberIndustry ProfessionalForum Leader

here is the photo

6. ### chrispitudeNew Member

Ahh, cool! That looks like it matches the first diagram I posted (in the ordering of the tees), although my final pipe routing was a bit different. It makes sense to me that there's not much difference with only two wells, but there would be more difference with more wells.

It's pretty cool that fluid dynamics and electrical engineering use essentially the same math (voltage == pressure, current == flow). I remember in college that we used to reduce some flow problems to resistive networks, then we'd apply Kirchoff's circuit laws, etc. Of course, don't ask me to do that now - it's been way too long!

7. ### AMI ContractingA nice Van Morrison songIndustry ProfessionalForum Leader

Chris,
I think we're forgeting the most important part of all.....
your first picture tears up more of the lawn and takes excavator longer......what could possibly be the advantage of that?
Joe

8. ### chrispitudeNew Member

Hi Joe,

You raise two good points. In my case, it's new construction so yard damage is no big deal. However, extra excavation time would indeed be needed. Any efficiency gains would have needed to be enough to offset that in the break-even calculation. Thanks for pointing that out!

I see no difference between the "first" and "second" methods.
They're topologically identical. Physically, the "second" method
uses slightly less pipe -- and significantly less trench.

BTW, the "second" method could also be described as each
having "both a short and a long run." It's just the degenerate
case in which "short" and "long" happen to be equal.

Last edited: Jan 16, 2011

There also may be an advantage to having both manifolds in one trench in case a leak needs to be found (less digging.)

11. ### chrispitudeNew Member

Hi Looby,

Looking at my diagrams again, I realized that you are right and there is not really any difference. The scenario I was thinking about was where someone connects a charger to both terminals of battery #1, then jumps battery #1 to battery #2 in parallel. In this case, it's an unbalanced current situation since battery #2 has extra resistance to both terminals. However, this is not what I drew.

geome and AMI Contracting also point out some practical concerns about cost and extent of digging, and ease of future maintenance.

At this point, my curiosity is satisfied and my question is answered. For my simple 2-well system, the tee plumbing is already pretty optimal. Thanks everyone for answering my question!