A geothermal heat pump is powered through one of four basic ground loop types:
A horizontal ground loop field is a solution for homes or buildings that sit on at least 1/2 acre. By using chain trenchers, backhoes, and/or trackhoes, loop installers dig 4 – 8 feet below ground, with trench lengths stretching 100 – 300 feet per ton.
A vertical ground loop field is an option when less land area is available. Boreholes are drilled by a drilling rig at a depth of 150 – 300 feet per ton, with high-density pipes placed in the boreholes and backfilled with a sealant.
The pond loop system utilizes a nearby body of water at least 1/2 acre big and 10-to 12-feet deep. Pipes 300 – 500 feet long are coiled and anchored just above the bottom.
Open loop systems work with a supply of high-quality well water. A typical home requires 9 – 15 gallons of water per minute. A river, drainage ditch, or pond close by is needed for discharge.
See the ground loop basics with this quick video:
Geothermal and solar are the perfect pair. The efficient operaiton of a geothermal system lowers the electric demand for the home or building.
With flexible payment plans and savings on heating, cooling, and hot water costs, along with low system maintenance, and, of course, federal and local incentives, geothermal isn't just a viable option for most home and building owners, it's a no-brainer.