Basic Geothermal Energy Sources
Closed-loop systems circulate a water-based solution through a
"loop system " of small-diameter, high-density polythylene
underground pipes. Closed-loop systems can be installed
horizontally, vertically or in a pond. Open-loop systems use an
existing water well or surface water. Whether the system is open or
closed, heat is transferred to or from the structure, regardless of
outdoor temperature, to provide year-round comfort.
used when adequate land surface is available. Depending on
geothermal system needs and space available, pipes are placed in
trenches that range in length from 100 to 400 feet.
ideal choice for a geothermal heat pump when available land
surface is limited. Well drilling equipment is used to bore
small-diameter holes from 100 to 400 feet deep.
Pond (Lake) Loops
economical to install when a large body of water is available for
use by the geothermal heating and cooling system. Coils of pipe
are simply placed on the bottom of the pond or lake to capture the
Open Loops (Well-Water Systems)
ideal conditions, an open-loop application can be the most
economical type of geothermal system. These use groundwater from a
well as a direct energy source.
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