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Thread: Geothermal heat pump

  1. #16
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    What was the initial cost for the entire setup including the wells?

    bob...

  2. #17
    Computer Systems Engineer jdoll42's Avatar
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    It was a new house (about 3000 sqft), so here's what they installed:

    -6 wells @ 150' deep each (totalling about 2000' of pipe)
    -All new ductwork
    -3 zones
    -6 ton unit
    -"Desuperheater" for hot water

    Cost ran me about $26k. A high-efficiency propane split system (1 unit in basement for basement and 1st floor, 1 unit in attic for 2nd floor) was quoted at about $24k.

    I wanted to comment on the wells. Around where I live they drilled though 150' of dirt, gravel, and sand. They didn't hit any rock or anything special. The well was bored about 6" diameter. They didn't use any casing or anything. As soon as the hole was as deep as they wanted, they inserted the plastic piping then backfilled the entire well with a bentonite slurry. They did all 6 wells in one day.

  3. #18
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    That must be some really easy drilling to put in 900 foot of 6" hole in one day.

    I'm no heating contractor, but that second quote sounds like an awful lot of money for what they quoted.

    bob...

  4. #19
    Computer Systems Engineer jdoll42's Avatar
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    I'm not a well driller, so I have no idea if it was fast or slow. I do know they arrived about 6 am and pulled out around 8 pm. They probably had around an hour of setup and an hour of tear-down. I guess that puts them about one 150' hole every 2 hours. Is that fast? They just hit mostly dirt and clay with some light sand mixed in occasionally.

  5. #20
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    Yup, that's fast. They probably don't even know what Flint and Chirt are. The drillers in my area are very aware of these two very hard rocks. Granite on the other hand isn't the softest material around either.

    bob...

  6. #21
    Computer Systems Engineer jdoll42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seaneys View Post
    What is the approximate cost of your system?
    Installation or operational? Complete install in a new house was around $26k. (See posts above).

    As to the operational costs, I'd have to look at my bill for the exact kWh cost. I can tell you that my parents house is half the size of mine, has gas heat, gas hot water, and gas dryer, and their power bill is twice mine. (My house is 100% electric.) Their house is only 18 years old, so it's not like it's a 200 year old house with no insulation.

  7. #22
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    NH's nickname is the granite state...wells here are a major pain. They may end up deep, and then when you do get water, you may find it is full of radon gas, which isn't the nicest thing to have spraying out the showerhead (the heat releases it, and you suck it deep into your lungs, giving the radiation maximum detrimental effect!). that would be a multiple day affair here. Still, the local schools are thinking about doing it for an upgrade to the heating/cooling system as we have some of the highest utility rates in the country.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  8. #23
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    A customer of mine has a 4000 sq ft home and his electric bill was close to 250 a month. After he got geothermal, it dropped to 100 a month. I'm definently going to have it in my home and lots of government facilities are already starting to plan for it's use.

  9. #24
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    I use about 600KwH per month, and my bill runs about $85. My guess is that the electric rates there are a lot lower than mine! Ground source heat pumps are good. Around here, though, you find it hard to drill down, or have enough soil to bury them (even if you do have the acerage you want to tear up to install it that way).
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  10. #25
    Computer Systems Engineer jdoll42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    I use about 600KwH per month, and my bill runs about $85.
    I just checked my last bill. My usage for Jan. was 3598kWh. The first 2000kWh was at 0.08715 and the last 1598kWh was at 0.06272. My kWh charge totaled $274.53. I know it's not New England or anything, but we've been getting down to the teens most night and maybe breaking freezing during the day. Add the wind to that (I'm in the middle of an old horse pasture with no defenses from the wind) and my system seems to be chugging along pretty well most of the time. With that said, it RARELY hits second stage and I don't know if it ever touches the electric strip heaters inside the unit.

    Looking at my historical usage, my worst months are Jan-Mar. However, in the summer my kWh usage barely exceeds 1200kWh, if even that much. That's trying to cool down 90-100F air with between 70-90% humidity down to about 72F.

  11. #26
    Computer Programmer Bill Arden's Avatar
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    I've been trying to convince a directional drilling company to try what I call a "Star" configuration, but most charge by the foot based on drilling a few feet.

    The concept is simple in that you make a pit and turn the machine in a circle drilling down at a angle with it set to curve upwards. You then use a back reamer to pull a pair of pipes back with a U at the end. You pull the far ends down below the frost line and then tie them together in the pit to make a series of radial fingers.
    Important note Ė I donít know man made laws, just laws of physics
    Disclaimer: I'm a big fan of Darwin awards.

  12. #27
    Computer Programmer Bill Arden's Avatar
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    I have the summary from the power utility. Since I use mostly baseboard electric the kWh follows heating.

    kWh total for year =35,685
    $ total for year = $2,442

    Highest month = February
    kWh = 6,590
    $ = $397

    So this shows that a heat pump would save me a bit of money.
    I've found a used unit cheep and plan on using a "pump-n-dump" system using a shallow well and dumping the water in the yard.
    Last edited by Bill Arden; 02-24-2008 at 08:40 AM.
    Important note Ė I donít know man made laws, just laws of physics
    Disclaimer: I'm a big fan of Darwin awards.

  13. #28
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    Be aware that some shallow wells have large amounts of iron. The tubing that exchanges the heat can become useless when clogged with iron. I know this first hand with the GWHP that I had about 12 years ago. It was a major pain. If you have pristine water or are going to recirculate clean water, this wouldn't be a problem.

    bob...

  14. #29
    Computer Programmer Bill Arden's Avatar
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    The water has iron... I am not far from the "iron range"

    I just plan on cleaning it out using vinegar like others do.

    It's a stepping stone to a closed system.
    Important note Ė I donít know man made laws, just laws of physics
    Disclaimer: I'm a big fan of Darwin awards.

  15. #30
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    Problem is, while this thing is getting clogged with iron, there goes your efficiency.

    bob...

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