Understanding geothermal loops

Learning about Geothermal designs, based on available space, geography and other considerations:

Loop Types:

Horizontal Loops

  • This configuration is usually the most cost effective when adequate yard space is available and trenches are easy to dig.  Pipes are placed in trenches that range in length from 100 to 400 feet.
  • Horizontal ground loops are easiest to install while a home is under construction.  However, new types of digging equipment that allow horizontal boring are making it possible to retrofit geothermal (WaterFurnace) systems into existing homes with minimal disturbance to lawns.

Vertical Loops

  • These are the ideal choice when available land surface is limited.  Drilling equipment is used to bore small-diameter holes from 75 to 300 feet deep.
  • Vertical loops require less piping than horizontal loops because the deeper in the earth is cooler in summer and warmer in winter.

Pond (lake) loops

  • These are economical to install when a body of water is available.  Coils of pipe are simply placed on the bottom of the pond or lake.
  • Pond loops used in a closed system result in no adverse impacts on the aquatic system.

Open loops

  • These use groundwater as a direct energy source.
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