Frequently Asked Questions

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Would a Geothermal Heat Pumps use ground under the home or air as the heat sink or source? The outside air temp. vary from 110F (43 C) to 30F (-1C). ROM (Rough Order of Magnitude).

Geothermal Systems are not "Air to Air" heat pumps; therefore Geothermal Systems "would" depend on the ground or water temperatures surrounding the home, which will stay relatively constant throughout the year. When using an open loop system the water will remain stable because the system is pulling in new water, whenever the system is operating.

How does Geothermal balance the load on the ground mass?

When using a loop the ground mass surrounding the loop pipe will cool all winter and be heated all summer making for a balanced system. The sizing of the system to the heat loss and heat gain is important when considering land mass heating and cooling. The ground loop temperature will vary based on the loading factors. Depending on your area, with a closed loop system, the temperature of the ground will swing between seasons. For example in the Detroit area, the temperature can swing from approximately 50 degrees For at start up down to 34 degrees F at the end of the first winter. At the start of cooling season, the ground temperature is at 34 degrees F, can go up to approximately 70 degrees F by the end of the first summer and the balance is started.

How much & what type of refrigerant is used?

Geothermal Heat Pumps are commonly shipped with a self-contained charge of R22, which is commonly used throughout North America. With the exception of direct expansion systems, the freon charge level is very low 6 to 10lbs per a 6-ton system. There is a new environmentally friendly refrigerant being used and offered by some manufacturers, which is called R410A. There are also other types of freon coming on the market but R410A is the most prevalent today. It is considered the new environmentally friendly answer, so far. R12 is a thing of the past already. R22 is generally available in most all states. Geothermal systems generally use approximately 1.1lbs or R22 per ton.

Do you provide thermal exchange factors that allow heat load transfer estimations?

Yes, many companies can and commonly do a simple heat loss calculation to offer you a general idea of equipment sizing. We call this a "quick quote". This is generally done for budgeting reasons.

What are the noise levels of Geothermal Systems?

Geothermal systems are very quiet when compared to other systems on the market. Some manufacturers use 1" of insulation in all systems as compared to 1/2", which is the industry norm. Since the system is sitting inside the basement, crawlspace or hanging in the ceiling, the noise factor is a prime consideration and the systems are designed with noise as a primary design factor.

My Geothermal System is operating very well in Heating, but in the A/C mode the unit will run for 5 minutes then the unit goes out in high pressure, any ideas?.

Since the system runs for 5 minutes we could assume the water flow is probably OK, however, the water controls and head pressure or other control should be checked for fouling. The most probable cause is that, the system is either overcharged or there is contamination in the TX line between the TX Valve and water coil. Or the by-flow filter/dryer is plugged on the A/C side. The pressure switches and input should be checked to be sure it is not a false lockout. It is common to charge you system based on superheat or in many cases the charge is weighed in. The superheat would normally be set at 13 to 15 for reciprocal compressors and, 17 to 20 for scrolls in the heating mode. The superheat can fluctuate slightly in the cooling vs. heating mode. When installing a system in a retrofit situation the superheat may need to be adjusted to deal with ight ducting. A superheat adjustment should always be done in the heating mode with appropriate water flows and filters in place. Tight/undersized ducting will show up in the cooling mode. The cooling mode is the most susceptible to over charge and duct sizing problems.

We have an electronic thermostat with our Geothermal System. The thermostat works great except that the fault light does not come on when a fault does show up on the internal circuit board.

There is a Z terminal on the electronic board that must be hooked up to an LED terminal in the thermostat.

When my system starts up in cooling the unit will not keep running and when the service person by passes the A/C reset the system goes out on low pressure.

The system will either be slightly under charged or more likely the air coil itself has become dirty with dust or a coating or the filter needs cleaning or replacement. Although air filters are there to collect dirt in the air sometimes the dust can circumvent the Filter and cause coil fouling. The air coil should be vacuumed from the filter side of the system. Or the air filter should be changed.

New Zealand has a power supply of 230volts, 50hz, single phase. "Can Geothermal Systems run on that power supply"?

Geothermal Systems are designed to run on either 230, 60hz, single phase or 230 ,50hz, single phase. The systems will run on either frequency, however when purchased for 230, 50hz the outputs are re-rated to reflect the slower speed. The re-rating means that we would down grade the output by 17 to 18%, but the efficiency is increased because we are running larger compressors at a slower speed, thereby un-loading the system.

What is the price of a unit?

Geothermal Systems come with many different options, therefore broad based pricing is difficult until you get to know the components that are available. What we would generally do is to send some sample pricing laying out the options. We would normally send pricing on an average sized system for an "open well" and a "closed loop" for comparison.

What sort of pipe is used with a closed loop system?

On a "closed loop" system the Loop Pumps which are normally externally installed as the industry norm are internally installed, pre-wired and pre-fused. Therefore the only external parts on a closed loop are two 3 way purging valves. The type of pipe that is generally used is fuse-able, High Density, Polyethylene pipe.

In a "liquid to liquid" system: Is there any emergency heat (electric coil or element) available? How many Kilowatts?

The emergency electric heat on a Liquid to Liquid System would normally be installed externally. However, if you need it installed internally we could probably do that prior to shipping. It would simply be a submersible heating element. I believe the size to go to 20 Kw very easily. Our electronics have a 2 stage board for heating (W1 heat stage 1 & W2 heat stage 2) already so the control is very simply. Wiring and fusing would normally be done separately. One main feed for the unit and one main feed for the back-up element. This is more of an electrical guideline and it may be different in Europe. This we can discuss as it becomes an issue.

Is the open loop well water cooled system convertible into the closed horizontal loop? What if the well runs dry after some time as is common to many regions here?

Yes it is easily convertible. However, in order to change a system from open to closed loop, one pressure switch must be changed but two should be, the low pressure switch must be and the A/C defrost switch should be. You can change these pressure switches without affecting the freon because we use shrader valves and the switches are electronic. They simply screw off and on. As you screw one off a depressor allows the freon to shut-off thereby not allowing any freon to escape while changing switches. This is a major benefit to our equipment. It is not so uncommon to switch from an open well to a closed loop when a well starts to run low. It is also important when considering inventory.

How long can I expect my Geo Thermal System to last?

Since a geothermal system is a self contained unit that sits inside a building, it will not be exposed to the weather. Thereby eliminating the outdoor elements. As long as the consumer takes care of their system with minimal yearly maintenance the systems should last a very long time, as a comparison, think about your refrigerator. " How long does a refrigerator last on average? "Generally 20 years or longer.

How much more do I have to add on when 3 phase compressor is to be supplemented? I have spoken to "Hydro" here and no "Hydro" in the Czech Rep. and Slovakia will approve a single phase system that has to be fused above 20 Amps. Generally, up to 35 Amps 3 phase can be used. Above 35 Amps it has to be consulted with "Hydro" and rating updated at a split cost to me and to Hydro.

You do not have to add anything extra in cost because we are aware that most of Europe is 3 phase. You should however that 3 phase equipment may have a longer lead time because of the availability of 3 phase compressor. Single phase is more common with very small systems. However, in Europe, everything seems to be 3 phase, so we would design accordingly.

What vertical depth would you expect to go down for clay or volcanic soil?

I am not sure of the thermal conductivity of volcanic soil however I do know the rule of thumb lengths for clay. You would generally be looking at about 350 feet per ton therefore for a for a 2 ton system, you would need about 700 feet of pipe. You should note that when you bore down for a vertical loop the depth of the holes is dependent on the amount of pipe. You can go down as far as you want, however, the common bore depth is about 100 to 200 feet. Two pipes would be slid side by side into the bore hole complete with a 180 degree u-bend on the end of the two pies. The only reason that you would use vertical loop is that you do not have any room for a horizontal loop. A horizontal loop is traditionally used more than a vertical because of drilling costs compared to trenching costs. A horizontal loop is normally lower cost because of the difference between drilling and trenching. In a horizontal loop the trench only needs to be deep enough to lay the pipe below the frost line.

Does your company have a sizing/selection program available?

Yes we have a in-house program that will do what we call a "Quick Quote". The quick quote program will do an approximate heat loss, then choose the appropriate unit for a given project. This is mainly used by dealers to, first get a second opinion on a given project and to size the system and get a price from us before the project becomes a job. This saves the dealer/Installer a major amount of time. We also has a load analysis program, which is used once the project turns into a job to do estimation on the loads heating and cooling. It is generally recommended that the consumer get a heat loss from a third party to avoid the possibility of short sizing and to avoid unwanted liabilities

Can you send me a detail showing a fuse splice?

Yes, we can and will put a drawing together to try an illustrate the fusing (splicing) method. I will try fax it to you tomorrow. When you are fusing you create an extremely strong joint. As a matter, if fused properly, the joint is stronger than the pipe, this has been tested. Therefore, we would definitely say that fusing is the best way to join pipe.

Can the pipe fuse be made using a torch to heat the pipe? I am trying to find a way to do the fusing without the heating tool, which I don't know if I can get my hands on?

I am not sure that there is any method of fusing a pipe with a torch. Besides that, I do not believe it would be cost effective. Fusing tools make the job of fusing very easy. But you are right the tools can be difficult to come by if you are not in the industry. However, we had the same problem in Europe and the distributor there managed to rent tools. I believe that they may be available in your area. I think the pipe manufacturers would have the tools. The tools consist of an iron and the appropriate sized OD and ID couplings. They should not be very expensive to rent that I am sure of because they are not that expensive to purchase. If you want to know where to look, You can speak to any supplier that supplies say, gas pipe or general PVC pipe, they should have the pipe and maybe the tools.

What type of pipe is used in a Geothermal Loop Application?

The type of pipe that you would use has a CSA designation in Canada. The most common pipe used is Polyethylene 3408, High Density, Series 125, for residential and Series 160 for commercial applications. Although not as common, High Density, Polybutylene can also be used PB2110-SDR 11 or SDR 15, PB2110 SDR11 but again Polyethylene is used most commonly.

Would I pay U.S. taxes when your units are shipped from Canada?

All prices for a US customer are quoted in US dollars. We cover all duty, bond and brokerage and the only extra cost the customer would pay is shipping. However, state taxes could apply, depending on the state.

What is the estimated cost of shipping from your plant?

The shipping price would be dependant on the destination. To be priced once known.

Who would I get to install an Geothermal System? How does your company deal with the US market?

As mentioned in a previous email, we are presently moving into the US market and we do not have a distributor set up as yet in your market area. We deal with you directly or through the installer/dealer of your choice. We commonly do and can walk you or an installer through the sizing, configuration and the installation process as required. A dealer/Installer would normally be a person or firm which deals with Refrigeration, Plumbing or Mechanical System Installations. We will support and follow you or your agent through to the end of the installation. Since we are moving into a new geographical territory, customer satisfaction is very high on our list of priorities. Fortunately, we have thousands of installations from which we can draw experience. A dealer/installer will generally tend to lean towards the product that they usually carry or represent. However, as the customer you can suggest that they install the system that you specify. You can also purchase the system and have the dealer install for labor cost only, depending on the dealer. The estimated pricing that we have quoted for you is Dealer pricing, you would simply hire a Dealer to install the system and install the loop and ducting. The benefit to this type of relationship to a Owner Contractor, engineer, architect, designer or even Installer, is that it allows us to offer solutions to design issues before they become major hurdles. We can also ensure that the dealer is following the appropriate guidelines throughout the installation. It also allows us to design the equipment as an integrated part of the project. Our systems are designed as an all-in-one package which sits in the basement with all the "Normally External" Pumps, built-in, Pre-wired and Pre-fused. On Board Diagnostic Circuit Boards are used, allowing us to accomplish long distance diagnostics by telephone. This feature can save the Dealer and Customer a great deal of Aggravation, Time and Service Cost because it helps to take most of the guess work out of the equation. The guess work is what cost the most in a majority of service situations.

I understand that an installer must be certified, can you give me at least three names in my area to check out? I'd appreciate as many names as possible.

When we consider the certification for a dealer we would normally think of a governing body that would do the training and certification. Although a dealer has been certified, that doesn't mean that they will generally do a proper job because codes of conduct are not generally a part of certification. This is our biggest concern with most Certification Programs. We would generally demand that any dealer/installer follow the guidelines as set forth in CSA445 which lays out a specific installation code. Since certification and guidelines do not lay out codes of conduct some dealers will try to cut corners that is why we prefer to follow the installation through to the end of the project. For certification, a dealer would normally go to a training center or take a correspondence course with various training centers. Generally, when an Geothermal System is installed we would talk directly to the installing dealer that you choose and make sure that he/she is qualified to install our equipment. Our Geothermal systems are different (Simpler Installation) in the sense that most normally external parts are built-in and monitored, this helps to avoid common in-field mistakes. Most refrigeration technicians are qualified to install the equipment but the loop is another story. There are certified loop dealers throughout the US. The question to ask is where were they certified and by whom. There are specific CSA guidelines to follow when installing Geothermal Systems which we adhere to completely. We also suggest that you contact a dealer that you feel comfortable with and we can walk him/her through the installation process from start to finish. Again, as we are not yet entrenched into the US market we have not chosen specific dealers in your area, as yet.

Are there any other costs that are associated with the purchase or installation of the system? I don't want to be caught off guard.

The costs to consider are: Loop, Ducting, Unit and associated parts, Piping, Labor and start-up.

Does it cost more for vertical loop or horizontal? Which works better?

Generally a vertical loop would be more expensive than a horizontal loop, simply because drilling is normally more expensive than trenching. The reason that you would use a vertical loop over a horizontal is in a situation where the land that you have available cannot support the space needed for a horizontal loop. For a horizontal loop you would need a minimum of 7,200 square feet of yard or field space. Although there are prescribed minimums, more pipe and ground mass is generally better than less. A vertical loop can be more efficient than horizontal loop (depending on soil conditions) because when a vertical loop is drilled, it can and generally will go through aquifer (water table) levels which increase heat transfer. A horizontal loop is laid in a trench which is generally 1 foot below the frost level in a given area. It normally takes about 1.5 days to completely install a horizontal loop. Horizontal loops are more common for the cost reasons as stated herein. Vertical loops are more common in the city again depending on the available ground mass. Lake loops are also very common because if you are located close to a lake, flowing river or tidal pool the thermal conductivity is much higher than with dry soil. Each soil type has a specific thermal conductivity. The common rule for soil conductivity is "the wetter the better".

Are Geothermal System approved by any governing bodies?

All Geothermal Systems are CSA (Canadian Standards Association) approved which is generally accepted around the world.

What is air pad and why is it used. What is the approximate price?

An air pad is what the system sits on to stop vibration and reduce noise. The price is approximately $40.00 Canadian, depending on the size.

If the heating or cooling load requires needs more than 5 tons, is a dual compressor system normally used.

Yes that would normally be the case. There are various reasons but mostly it is because of load and operation efficiency. The other reason is because of proper sizing of air conditioning and heating.

Are Geothermal Systems only one phase 208-230V/60Hz. In our conditions in Europe it's rather difficult or even impossible to use it for example with 15Kw internal duct heater which is needed almost in all cases. What about three phases 380V/50Hz

You are correct that all of our "Standard North American" products are single phase but in Europe we would use 3 phase. Three phase systems are not a problem. The only issue to consider is manufacturing lead-time, which can be longer because we must bring in different compressors and fan motors and plenum heaters. With quantities this issue is not normally a problem. You can feel comfortable that we can get whatever electrical sizing you need, provided that the compressors and components are available in the given size that is needed.

I could not find in English dictionary what part of house is crawlspace.

A crawlspace would be a "low ceiling height" basement or foundation area under a home. For example it would be the area under a house when a full basement is not used but the foundation is one to 1.5 meters below the floor of the main floor. A basement would normally be approximately 2.5 meters from floor to ceiling.

What can the minimal temperature of the closed loop drop to (32F or less)?

It is not common for a closed loop to drop below 32F (0C) but we would size the loop and system to try and keep the temperature above 32F(0C). Remember the warmer the ground in the start of the winter the better and the reverse is true for summer. What happens is that the ground around the loop is cooled all winter then when you go into the summer season and air conditioning is needed the ground will be very cool thereby increasing the efficiency for cooling. Then all summer you would be heating the same ground area then again when you start the winter season the ground will be warm again increasing the efficiency for the winter season.

Are the Loop circulating pumps only internal or we can buy and install them here in Europe, what approximately must be their characteristics in our cases. I'll try to compare our prices of circulation pumps. The same is with the P/T plugs and desuperheater pumps (only internal or can be external too)?

This is always a good question when we consider European products but I would suggest that we build them in here, for now anyway. This way they are pre-wired, pre-fused so there won't be any confusion for the first few projects, at least. After that we may want to re-evaluate the supply.

Why are two pumps for one closed loop needed?

Two loops pumps are needed to overcome the pressure drops associated with pumping liquid through a large loop. We must have a minimum flow rate. A 2 ton system could use 1 pump - 3 to 5 ton systems use two pumps and 6 to 10 ton duals use four pumps. The Grunfoss pumps that we use are low voltage circulator pumps only. The capitol cost and the cost of operating two pumps is lower than using one high pressure pump.

What heating of a pool water you can suggest, is a Partial Hot Water Option be enough?

There are several ways to accomplish pool heating with a Geothermal System. We could either use your home system to heat your pool or we could put in a system for dehumidification and pool heating in that room only. This is normally what is done. The configuration will depend on which system that we use for your house. If we use a dual we may want to set one side up with DHW and a special "cupro-nickel" (10% nickel content) coil to heat your pool. However, if we use a single compressor system then we should consider setting up a Phw but we will need to use a separate heat exchanger so that the "Pool Water" does not come into contact with the Domestic Hot Water. Also, the size of your pool will be very important and whether the pool will be filled and drained or will the water stay in the pool all the time. To summarize, we would consider either a Demand Hot Water Option on your residence System or a Separate Dehumidification System for your pool and pool room. You will want some dehumidification in the poolroom otherwise you can have problems with the humidity from the pool creating mold and rotting the walls in the poolroom. I would suggest that we use a dehumidification system to dehumidify the poolroom and reject the extra heat to the room or the water. You should not need a very large system. If you need more heat than the dehumidification System can supply we would also use the Demand Hot Water Option on your residence system.

I found nothing about dehumidification our climate is rather Humid (70%-80% or more) and if I add humidity of warm pool water?

See answer above, there are many options and I will look closer at the poolroom size to jog my memory

What is- E90 - 2"Gauge.

This gauge measures incoming well water pressure making it easier to maintain and service the system. It is part of the well kit.

Why do we need motorized zone valve if using A/C head pressure controlled valve?

The motorized zone valve is used to turn well water on and off in the heating mode. A head pressure control valve is used in the A/C mode only, it regulates water flow in Air Conditioning. This is also part of the well kit.

From all your messages, I understood that in my case, it is better to use closed loop system. Once more is interesting to know requirements to tube diameter thickness of the wall and other. What does 0.39 cent .pipe and 0.49 cent pipe means.

This is the diameter of the pipe that is recommended. .39 centimeter diameter pipe and .49 centimeter pipe diameter.

Is it possible to combine air system heating and in-floor heating in one house for example with your suggested unit adding some heat exchanger and fan with control systems?

Yes, not only is it possible but it is commonly done. But in that situation, it may be better to use an air system, complete with the Demand Hot Water Option for Hydronic Hot water Heating. This is quite common. Using the Demand Hot Water Option with an air unit offers the best of both worlds.

What heat control must be use using in-floor heating to keep different temperature in different rooms.

There are temperature zone controls available from many companies. One you may have heard is Danfoss.

Once more Geo/Hrv it is interesting for me as I have my own bad experience with ventilation. What approximately the prices of my size unit can be. Picture of Geo/Hrv I found in your companies web site.

The Geo/Hrv has not been released to market yet but I believe that the increased price would be about $1,000. In Canada a standalone Hrv would be about 1.5 times that amount so it will definitely be a cost savings. I will let know if that is available. An Hrv is used when there is a need for a building to breathe. Since residential buildings are getting tighter and tighter to reduce heat loss the natural ventilation rates are being reduced. With an Hrv the ventilation rates are controlled and much fresher. I believe healthier but I guess that would depend where you live. Sometimes the air is not so fresh say around a landfill site.

I would like to know how you are calculating the length of ground loop (does it depend on the sq.meter of loop pipe area compared to Kw of heating/cooling and temperatures of the loop?

We use a computer program and experience to calculate the loop lengths. We consider the size of the system, The type of Soil and the general load (heat loss and heat gain) to calculate the loop lengths.

What is the quantity of ethylenglicol (antifreeze) in the pipe?

The quantity of anti-freeze will depend on the type of antifreeze and the freeze temperature of the loop. When we have established the size of system and the size of the loop, I will send you the percentage of anti-freeze you will need. When one system has been installed the percentage will remain constant based on the size of the system.

The size of the pipe we recommend should read as follows:
0.75 inch pipe equals 1.91 centimeters which equals 19.1 millimeters
1.00 inch pipe equals 2.54 centimeters which equals 25.4 millimeters
1.25 inch pipe equals 3.18 centimeters which equals 31.8 millimeters

The loop length, as I understand from your quotations, depends on water heating option?

The loop length depends on the load, soil conditions and diameter. The Hot Water Option will have little to do with the loop length because it is already factored into the load. The only time that the Hot Water Option will affect the size of the loop is in a situation where a large portion of the home will be heated hydronically but even in that case the load (Heat Loss and Heat Gain) would be the main criteria for loop design.

What pipe characteristics you are recommending?

I am suggesting that you can use either of the diameter sizes that I have suggested. If I were to make a suggestion, I believe the best size in your case would be 3.18 centimeters.

What are the distances between various diameters pipes and how will it depend on depth and temperature of the loop?

The distances are calculated by the size of pipe to a certain degree but normally they are placed in the trench at 46 centimeters between each pipe. The depth is dependent only on the frost line in your area with a Horizontal loop. You would place the pipe at approximately 60 centimeters below the frost line. If you go any deeper there will not be much gain unless you are going into damper (wetter) soil. Remember, as I probably said in an earlier email, "the wetter the soil the better" for thermal conductivity reasons.

Is the loop one complete pipe or it must be constructed from several loops (pipe circuits) (for lower resistance (lower pressure drop)), as you sent me a picture in your fax?

Generally if you use 3.18 centimeter diameter loop pipe and you are using less than 304 meters you can use one pipe, otherwise you would use more than one pipe. They are called "Pipe Circuits". Again once we have determined the size of the system and the pipe that is available to you, I will send more information in regards to this issue. You are right when you ask if it is because of "lower resistance", we call this "less pressure drop".

Must there be thermal insulation of pipe in the place where it's going under foundation into the house. Your answers are very important for me because I am going to bury the loop soon, the latest time is after 2 weeks.

When you run the loop under or through the foundation you would normally install a pipe which is larger in diameter than the loop pipe that you using. I am sure you will understand the reason. We do not want the pipe to affect the foundation, if it freezes the ground around the pipe during the winter. This is a common method to eliminate the possibility of the problem.

What would be the price differences for three phases 380/50Hz equipment?

There would be no specific price change at this point but the lead times will be longer.

Please write more about pool heating and dehumidification, if possible with prices, and what influence it can make for home heating equipment capacity. I hope that water would stay in the pool for a long time and amount of water would be approximately 12-13 cubic meters. House is going to be built from bricks with cement and 15 centimeters foamed polystirol insulation.

In order for me to give you a quotation on the pool system, I will need to know the pool surface area and the size of the poolroom only. Generally the poolroom would be considered completely separate from the rest of the residence because you do not want the air from the poolroom migrating to other parts of the residence.

For me it's not clear why it is not common to drop closed loop temperature below 32F (because equipment efficiency or something else) and how closed loop length depends on it?

Yes the length of the loop and the building load will dictate how low the temperature of the ground will drop. We generally design the loop based on the load and length so that the loop does not commonly drop below 32F/0C (freezing). As the temperature of the loop drops the output and efficiency of any Geothermal System will drop accordingly. For example, if a loop drops from 10C to 0C over the winter the output of the system will drop approximately 19% and the efficiency will drop by approximately 10%. But, remember that the warmer the ground temperature the better in the winter but the opposite is true in the summer. Normally the winter and summer ground temperatures will work to encourage the best operating temperatures provided that the system has been sized correctly, considering summer and winter. Also, the longer the loop the more ground it has to take heat out of, and to reject heat to, so again "the longer the loop the better".

1) What is the recommended heat coverage of the GHP in relation to the alternative source of heat that is used for peak outputs? - I think that most systems here are rated for 60 - 70% of maximum heating demand. Is this similar in rating Geothermal?

1) In most cases you are correct when using a single compressor system, but depending on the size sometimes our systems will cover 100%. The most critical factor to sizing is the balancing of the heating and air conditioning loads. With a dual compressor system 100% is very common but then the price is higher. Most of the time the balance is difficult because the heating load is higher than the cooling load. Generally the size of the heat loss is 70 to 75%.

More Food for thought:

When sizing a system we would also consider the loop. When you start a system in the winter you will have cool ground and throughout the winter the ground will cool further (from 10C to 0C approximately). When you switch the system into air conditioning mode you will be rejecting the heat to the ground thereby heating the ground (from 0C to 21C approximately). When you start the following winter you will start with warmed ground base 21C and conversely when you start the summer you will have a cool ground base 0C. The fluctuation in temperature is a major benefit because it adds to the efficiency at the start of each season. The warmer the ground loop in the winter the better and the cooler the ground loop in the summer the better. I am sure you will see the thermal storage and general efficiency benefits. If you look at our outputs you will notice that a ground loop system is rated at worst case 0C Entering Water Temperature.

2) Is there a difference in installation time needed in relation to different size of the units?

2)Generally, the larger the system the more time it takes to install. However, it is not the unit that increases the time but it is the loop, and in some cases the ducting. So, if there is no loop then the time is about the same for any single compressor system. A dual system will obviously take more time because there are double water hook-ups. Since we build all "normally external" parts "internal" and we pre-wire and pre-fuse, we dramatically reduce the installation time in any case. There would be no extra time needed for pump wiring and on-site approvals etc. because the whole system is CSA approved as a complete unit.

3) What is the CSA M445 Code? Is it to do with calculation of heat loss and sizing based on some calculative temperature? I think in Prague it is - 26C.

3) I believe the standard that you are referring to is CSA C445 which is the Standard for design and installation for residential and small commercial buildings for Geothermal Heat Pumps. This standard refers to the general hook-up and design of a Geothermal System, it would be beneficial for you to quote this standard to your dealers to follow when installing systems, it takes the guess work out of the installation scenario. If a dealer follows the standard properly you can feel pretty comfortable with the installation. It will consider issues like insulating the internal pipes when necessary, using isolating collars for ducts, etc. There is nothing in the standard that we could say is not beneficial. We generally demand it!

4) What does R20, R40 or, R other factor stand for? Can you tell me how does it relate to w/sq m? And based on what it is calculated?

4) The R value is the thermal resistance of a given thickness of insulating material. For instance, 6 inches of fiberglass blanket have a resistance of 19(sq. ft. degree F)/BTU and 3 inches of Urethane also have a resistance of 19(sq. ft. degree F)/BTU. Both Urethane and the glass blanket are rated R-19. Given this information, I am sure that there are European programs that will give the R value in w/sq. m.. I would suggest that you take a look around there. You should note that heat loss programs should be available there, I would use those. We would look for the heat loss and heat gain in Watts or KWH based on local programs.

5) What is the output working temperature of Geothermal? Also, what is the recommended working water temperature of the output versus input (H2O return) on the secondary of Geothermal? Water temp flowing into radiators versus H2O returning back to the coil.

5) The design criteria operating air temperatures of Geothermal Equipment would be a 27 to 32 degree F differential. For Example Air in at 70 in the heating mode is heated to approximately 100 degrees F

On a Hydronic System the difference in Temperature which is called the Delta T is approximately 15 degrees F. You should note that on a hydronic system there is a maximum temperature which is 125 degree F Outgoing Water Temperature. You can go higher than this but with any R22 compression based equipment if you do go higher you will reduce the life of the equipment.

6) In order to get the quotes for drilling: What is the recommended hole diameter for the U coil? H in the horizontal commercial loop 0.6m does not make much sense.

6) Horizontal and Vertical are two very distinctly different things. For a vertically drilled loop the bore hole must be large enough to feed the two U-joined pipes into the bore hole. In a Horizontal Loop the two pipes would be laid into the trench and spaced about 18 inches apart. The trench would be deep enough to keep the pipe below the frost line in the area. In our case in Canada the frost level is approximately 4 feet and we would put a loop in a trench at a 5 foot level.

Vertical are generally more efficient and you don't need as much pipe but the cost of drilling usually makes it a second choice to horizontal except in commercial situations or where space is limited.

7) In order to compare Geothermal with other US systems on the market, "What is the percentage of installation vs. actual unit cost"?

7) This is a very difficult question as it stands. You must look at the individual installation to properly answer this question. I believe that as soon as I do some quotations for you, you will have this answer. However, if you want to compare the cost of installation of an Geothermal System compared to almost any other system the installation cost should be less because everything is built-in. This is a very, very big deal to the installer. It allows him to be more competitive.

8) What does Delta T mean?

8) The difference in incoming and outgoing temperature is called the "Delta T". Or if you are referring to Pressure difference it would be called "Delta P". Delta in this sense means difference.

Could an Geothermal "Water to Water" System be used for this Heat/AC purpose/?

Yes a "Water to Water System can be used to heat or chill water. This would be accomplished by adding an option called a "Reversing Option". It should be noted that a water to water system generally uses a buffer tank for heating and when cooling is needed at sporadic times a second buffer tank would be the best way to set up the system. However, if the subject project has the need for either heat or cooling over a long period of time then one buffer tank could be utilized. Two tanks would be needed if you were going to heat/cool a hotel room which could have a continual need for heating or cooling at any given time.

I am from the Chicago area and I was wondering what your success rate has been in Colder climates areas on this continent? I am somewhat skeptical about real application success. To answer your question in terms of what our success rate has been in colder climates, I can only say that it has been outstanding. Our products have been installed in Canada and the Northern US and Europe and we have had no problems with cold weather thusfar. Since our plant is in Canada, west of Toronto, Ontario, you could say that we specialize in Colder climates and we have many practical applications. For example, we have had a dealer in Thunderbay Ontario for the pats 5 years which is well North of Wisconsin. I would be more than happy to supply you with his name. You should note that since we manufacture Geothermal Systems we do depend on outdoor air temperatures like and Air to Air Heat pump would, therefore the outdoor climate has little or no bearing on the operation of our equipment. The only issue that comes into consideration is the heat loss in the given territory

As I understand this question is because of poolrooms floor heating which can not cool?

Yes, this is correct, you cannot use the same (in-floor) system for cooling. Running cold water in the floor would simply create condensation on the floor. You would generally need a forced air system to have appropriate air conditioning.

How much dehumidification process heat can a 1 ton dehumidification system return to poolroom?

The extra heat created by the dehumidification process is approximately 35% of the tonnage (kW output), in the case of a 1 ton, the extra heat available would be approximately 3500 BTU's or 1 kW. For your further information, the size of the dehumidification system is based mostly on, the surface area of the pool itself. The extra heat or Air Cooling (Conditioning) for the room is based on the heat loss of the poolroom and the difference of the indoor and outdoor air temperatures. A poolroom is normally kept at a much higher temperature than in a residence.

The dehumidification process works like this: The "return air" from the poolroom (at 28.8 degrees C) is pulled into an evaporator coil and cooled down to about 55.5 degrees C within the system. When the air is cooled, the humidity drains off the coil (condensate water) and usually is piped back into the pool. As a footnote, if you do not send the "condensate water" back to pool the pool water level will drop, you would lose water and you need to constantly re-fill the pool, at least, once a week. After the return air is cooled to approximately 55.5 degrees C it travels into the air condenser and reheated to approximately 35.5 degrees C. The difference between the air from the poolroom (28.8C) and the outgoing air temperature (35.C) is what we are calling the process heat. The process heat can be calculated by measuring the total amperage of the unit and multiplying that number by the voltage, which will give you watts. Watts and Btu's are the same thing and can be easily converted to Btu's by multiplying the watts by 3.41279.

The extra heat or energy that is being created can either be sent to the poolroom or the pool water, depending on where it is needed. There are two condensers in the system, one air condenser, as mentioned earlier in this answer and one water condenser. The water condenser has pool water running through it and increases the flow by opening a head pressure control. Higher head pressure is normally caused by a high room air temperature. The priority would be set up during installation, and then it becomes somewhat self-adjusting.

I am not sure that we'll need air cooling in poolroom in summer. Could you explain why we would need it?

Normally poolrooms will heat up during the cooling season because as the dehumidification system is operating and no more heat is needed for the poolroom air or the poolroom water, the heat will keep coming because of the dehumidification process. At that point you can either use the "Air Conditioning liquid cooled option" or you can open your doors to the outside. If you decide to open the doors, I would suggest that you turn off the dehumidification system while the door is open. A lot of people will purchase the A/C option which is not very expensive compared to the system and then hook it up only if it is needed in the summer.

How the A/C option works is based on head pressure as stated in the earlier answer. The head control valve senses high head pressure in the room and opens if it goes high. The head pressure will increase if the process heat is not being used for the air or the water. If the had pressure gets high and the pool water or pool air are not calling then the A/C option would turn on and bring water in from, in your case the loop. This will reject and store the extra heat to the loop.

Please write me how long must my closed loop be, if the pipe is 40 millimeters diameter wall 2.5 millimeters thick.

The 40 millimeter pipe would be within 2.8% of the size of our 1.25" or as we have called .49cm on our quotation sheet. The two pipe sizes are close enough to use the same amount of pipe. Use the length on bottom of our quotation sheet that says .49cm.

I understand that I have to make a certain number of pipe circuits because of it's length?

Each circuit would be approximately 200 meters, generally no more. If you run a circuit above the recommended length, then you can run into a problem with, too much "pressure drop" across the loop. You would run the circuits with a header and a reverse parallel. From the header you would run the circuits as, first pipe into the outgoing header would be the last pipe out of the incoming header.

What distance I'll have to leave between buried such pipes?

You would leave approximately 45 cm. (18") between each pipe underground. It is common to run a 6 pipe trench when you are doing larger. We have a drawing of such a loop and if I have not sent it to you so far, please let me know and I will send it right away, by fax if possible.

Can I use different sized circuits when I am burying a horizontal loop?

All your circuits must be the same length, otherwise you will have an unbalanced loop. This is very important. A horizontal loop is normally installed in a "parallel reverse" fashion, which means the first pipe from one circuit into the incoming header pipe would be the last pipe out of the outgoing header pipe. You are right that the first rule more is better but the balancing of the loop is also very, very important. What can happen with an unbalanced loop is that the fluid can flow through one or two circuits while bypassing or changing the flow to the other circuit because the pressure drop will be different in the different sized circuits.

1) If you told me if there has to be any space between the two pipes (the vertical U ) or we can keep them together as close as possible. Only enough so we can weld the U 180 degrees. elbow on the bottom of the loop. Vertical loops seem to be more popular here because people either don´t have the property big enough or, they are afraid of the vegetation getting destroyed from the frozen ground from the loop. Louis is this a misconception or, is this viewpoint correct?

1) A vertical loop is designed with a u-bend therefore the pipes will be right beside one another in the borehole. A horizontal loop would be laid in a trench with between 18" and 24" between each pipe. The concern about vegetation being destroyed by the cold loop is a misconception that is unfounded. My own loop is under a crop field and the crop over top actually grows better. The loop will not normally freeze to the level of permafrost. As long as the loop has been installed correctly vegetation damage will not occur.

2) Can we put 4 pipes into one bore? If yes is there minimum diameter given using for example 1 inch pipe?

2) No you cannot put 4 pipes into one vertical borehole. However, it is common to put 4 or even 6 pipes in to one horizontal trench but you must leave between 18" and 24" between each pipe.

A backhoe generally charges anywhere from 500 - 800 Kc/Hour. When they are using width of the hoe 0.7m. 100m long and 1.5m deep is estimated to take about 9 hours to do. From this you can see that this option is quite cheaper but less popular, efficient and messier to do.

If a horizontal trench is cheaper, why is it less popular.
Also, can they not get a wider bucket and possible a stronger backhoe.
Horizontal loops are the most popular type of loop in North America because it is much less costly.

3) The IVT competition uses a plastic expansion tank on the primary (the loop). It is built inside the of the machine. Because of the delta (t) differential in the loop. Does Geothermal come with this or do we have to get this tank separately?

3) An expansion tank installation was abandoned in North America some time ago. My question is , "What is the expansion tank designed to do"?

4) What warranty can you give me on the components of Geothermal? If there is a break down of the compressor for example who pays for the extra transportation cost?

4) I will fax you a copy of our warranty with your quotations.

5) Can a 6 KW emergency heater be installed and pre-wired inside of Geothermal ww line?

5) We normally do install a back-up heater on Water to Air Systems but we do not offer the same for water to water systems. However, if that is going to be an important issue, I am sure that we can build them in.

6) How is the room temperature regulated when there is no room thermostat?

6) There must be a room thermostat to control room temperature. I assume that you are talking about with a water to water system. In this case the thermostat will generally come with the hydronic side of the system. All the water to water system does it heat a tank of hot water. The hydronic side decides which zone turns on and how long it runs based on the room temperature.

7) Is the compressor used a piston type?

7) We use two or 3 types of compressors, depending on the application. Normally we would use either a Bristol Scroll or a Bristol Inertia. We like the Inertia's with certain sizes because of the efficiencies. Since we deal in the Energy Conservation Industry, we will always tend to lean towards very high efficiency compressors. For example the Inertia 5 ton compressor offers BTU/Watt EER (Electrical Efficiency Ratio) of the 11.7 level. Other sizes go above ten. The Bristol Scrolls are also very efficient but they are appropriate for certain applications. We also use Tecumseh Compressors, more rarely because the efficiencies are lagging, so far. However, the Tecumseh is a real workhorse. However, we have monitoring the Inertia's and the breakdown rate has been very low. Geothermal carries a 5 year limited warranty on the compressor. The compressor manufactures only offer a one year warranty so we carry the last four. For obvious liability reasons we must be very careful which compressor we choose.

8) Can we heat up the loop or around the loop in the summer with a solar system? Do you have any experience with this ? Pros and cons?

8) Why would you want to heat the land up around the loop in the summer. I assume it is because you generally would not want Air Conditioning therefore you are not re-heating the loop in the summer. If this is correct, then it would be a good idea. However, if Air Conditioning is being used then the loop will be heated by the A/C operating.

Can your company supply us with the US? equipment/installation from across

Yes we can supply you with the equipment and work directly with the contractor of your choice. We do not presently have a contractor in your area.

Will it work given that So. CA., if. is prone to earthquakes?

Since we have not had a lot of specific experience with California, I would suggest that you contact with this question. I believe that some documentation has been compiled on this issue. I think the only time you would have a problem is if the loop is severed by Geothermal Shifting.

Is this system always used with air ducts/vent system inside the house or can it be used with a passive heating system (sub-floor water pipes)?

It is very common to use in-floor heating with Geothermal Systems. As a matter of fact, we offer a system that will heat and cool your air, plus heat hot water on demand for in-floor or radiant heating and also heat a portion of your domestic hot water, this system is called an "Geothermal Quad". This is a very common system.

How does the architect spec the plans (both inside and outside the house) for this type of system?

An architect would generally contact us to gather specifications regarding the systems that we offer. Then he/she would specify the house based on our information