Ground Loops in Mitchell, South Dakota, Geothermal Applications

You’ve just purchased or are mulling over getting a a new heating and cooling system. Maybe you’re considering a new Geothermal HVAC. Whatever the case, you undoubtedly want to know a little 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 series of pipes buried in the earth. There are several basic types of geothermal loop systems that can be used for heating and cooling standard residential and commercial]26] buildings.

It works when antifreeze fluid travels through these plastic pipes to move heat fast and efficiently to a heat pump in the house.

There are four different types of loops: Open Loop, Pond Loop, Horizontal Loop and Vertical Loop. All four fall into one of two categories: either they’re open loop systems or closed loop systems. The best system for your house is dependent on the specific structure and its environment. Residential systems typically use vertical or horizontal loops.

Below are more specifics on each sort of ground loop.

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

Vertical ground loops are used typically in residences because, unlike horizontal loops, they don’t have to have a significant amount of space. They’re installed by drilling small holes in the ground that go 100-400 feet deep. Then pipes are placed into the holes and connected below ground to form the vertical loop. Next, more pipes are attached that carry fluid to the indoor system to transfer the desired temperature from the ground.

A horizontal loop system has to have significantly more space but is typically not as expensive because it uses only 2 straight pipes set 6 inches in the ground in an area of ¼ to ¾ acre.

In order to make use of a pond loop system, you obviously must be close to a pond, lake, pond, or well. Coils are installed vertically and affixed to the bottom of the water source. Water is then conveyed through more pipes belowground to a pump, where the heat is pulled out and cool water is put back into the pond. However, in order for this system to work, the water can in no way be be acidic or else pipes will decay and filters will need to be replaced often.

The major difference between open and closed looped systems is the open loop’s need for an adequate 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 home 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 there’s no pollution. The only difference in water that’s processed through a geothermal heat pump is a minor change in temperature.

Prior to installing an open loop system, it is critical to know whether a well or pond has enough water to power your geothermal heat pump, and that it won’t drain a neighbor’s well source. See that you check with your local contractor on whether there’s enough water available to justify installing an open loop geothermal heating system.