Ground Loops in Charleston, South Carolina, Geothermal Applications

You’ve just gotten or are thinking about purchasing a a new heating and cooling system. Maybe you’re considering a new Geothermal HVAC. If so, you very likely want to know a bit more about how one works.

Geothermal HVACs variously cool and heat your home by extracting ground temperature. This is possible because of an underground system called a geothermal ground loop.

Ground loops are,in essence, just an underground pipe system. A few basic sorts of these systems are used for heating and cooling conventional residential and commercial]26] buildings.

Antifreeze fluid flows through the pipes to get heat fast and efficiently up to a heat pump in your house.

Typically used are four different types of geothermal ground loops: Open Loop, Pond Loop, Horizontal Loop and Vertical Loop. All four are split into two distinct categories: either they’re open loop systems or closed loop systems. The best system for you is determined by the specific building and its environment. Residential systems mostly use vertical or horizontal loops.

Below are further explanations of 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 take up a significant amount of space. They’re positioned by drilling small holes in the ground to a depth of 100-400 feet. Then pipes are driven into the holes and connected below ground to form the vertical loop. Next, additional pipes are attached that channel fluid to the indoor system to transfer the needed temperature from the ground.

When compared to a vertical loop system a horizontal system requires a lot more space but actually doesn’t cost as much because it uses only 2 straight pipes set 6 inches in the ground over an area of ¼ to ¾ acre.

In order to have a pond loop system, you obviously must be close to a pond, lake, pond, or well. Coils are installed vertically and
secured to the bottom of the water source. Water is then moved through more pipes belowground to a pump, where the heat is extracted and cool water is put back into the pond. Nevertheless, in order for this system to work, the water can not be acidic or else pipes will corrode and filters will need replacing often.

The big 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 example. From there, it directly pumps water into the heat pump unit to be used in heating and cooling your house or other structure.

Typically, used water is disposed off in either of the following ways: through surface drainage or water re-injection. In returning the water back to the earth, it’s worth mentioning that there is no pollution generated. The only difference in water that’s processed through a geothermal heat pump is a negligible change in temperature.

Prior to installing an open loop system, it is essential to know whether a well or pond contains enough water to power your geothermal heat pump, and that it won’t deplete a neighbor’s well source. See that you check with your local contractor on whether there’s enough water in the vicinity to go ahead with installing an open loop geothermal heating system.