The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ranks geothermal systems as the most cost-effective space conditioning systems available. Lower operating and maintenance costs together with the system’s long life give geothermal systems the lowest life cycle cost in the market.
Geothermal earth loops come in several different configurations depending on space availability and soil properties. Loops can even be located under parking lots, landscaped areas or any number of locations.
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Vertical loops utilize boreholes drilled to an average of 250 feet. Once the loop pipe is inserted into the bore, it is grouted using a Bentonite mixture for maximum thermal conductivity. Vertical loops are ideal when space is limited.
Horizontal loops utilize trenches dug to an average depth of four to six feet. Horizontal loops are the most cost-effective loops to install.
Lake loops utilize a heat exchanger placed at the bottom of a pond or lake, or other large body of water. Lake loops are an extremely cost-efficient loop system.
Most commonly known as an “open loop”, groundwater systems pump water out of a nearby body of water or water well, and then discharge the water into another body of water or well. Groundwater systems usually employ a heat exchanger inside the building to keep the water building water loop separated from the groundwater. This prevents any contaminates from affecting unit performance and extends system life. Groundwater systems are often the most efficient as the groundwater is always at the same temperature year-round.