|Geothermal Heating and Cooling|
If you were to look at the most energy efficient heating system on the market, you might just find geothermal at the top of that list. Geothermal systems can heat and cool a home for about 40 to 60 percent of the cost of more conventional heat pump systems, even more over equipment that uses gas for heating. This option is now emerging as a more popular option in the Central Oregon area, and is a great option for custom home, but is still subject to some misconceptions that might give people pause. First of all, people assume that a geothermal system is dependent on having a hot springs on the property in question. This is not the case. In fact, the critical component is the ground temperature -- which for Central Oregon is at 52 degrees. Customers are also skeptical of geothermal because of the belief that their property is not large enough or is riddled with unsuitable terrain. As it turns out, geothermal is flexible and able to accommodate a variety of landscapes, from rocky, small-sized lots, to sprawling acreage. A system can fit just about anywhere. For instance, in a smaller area, the installation process includes drilling a number of wells usually about 200 feet in depth, and piping the water through a closed loop system. This is using the ground as a conductor and doesn't require hitting water with the well boring. It is actually better for the hole to be dry. The other option for small lots and is also used for larger acreages that have access to shallow ground water is the pump and dump option. This is done by drilling a water well that won't require a great deal of energy to pump water from. The system uses the energy available from the water temperature and then discards it in an open swale. In larger land plots, horizontal systems are an option. The system includes about 1,000 feet of loop, give or take 200 feet, per ton, laid in five-foot-deep trenches. From the loops, a pump module inside the home circulates a mix of water and antifreeze that absorbs the ground heat. The heated water is multiplied by a heat pump, which warms the air that is then used to heat the home. This can also be used for radiant floors with a water to water unit.For cooling this process basically reverses and the heat is taken from the building and left in the ground. The geothermal system is a more expensive option than other systems on the front end. But, the energy savings and tax credits make that money back in as early as seven years. As stated earlier, the cost savings range from 40 to 60 percent from a conventional heat pump system. On top of that, the federal government provides a 30 percent tax credit for geothermal systems, and the state of Oregon offers $600 to $800 different tax credit as well. In the end, you not only make your money back, but you continue to save for many years beyond. The heat pump life expectancy is about 20 years and the loop piping can last 50 years or more.
Want to save 50 percent or more off your heating bills.
Geothermal (ground source) units
Some addition information on Geo and other Green ideas www.clean-energy-ideas.com/geothermal_power.html
What is Geo? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geothermal_heat_pump
Ground source heat pumps (GSHPs) are electrically powered systems that tap the stored energy of the greatest solar collector in existence: the earth. These geothermal systems use the earth's relatively constant temperature to provide heating, cooling, and hot water for homes and commercial buildings.
Why would you want to install a geothermal system...
US Department of energy
Want to get started?
Thinking about Geothermal ground source heat pump for your home? Not sure what the steps in the process are before getting started? Let's go through them one by one.
First, we would come to your site to see which installation type is best for the site. If the site has land and easy digging to 5 feet then a horizontal closed loop might be the best. Most loops in our area require 1000 feet of loop plus or minus a couple hundred feet. For smaller lots and rocky areas a vertical closed loop well system will be the best but more expensive to install. Wells are drilled to 200 feet with pipe and grouting installed. If there are shallow wells in the area or a existing well already on the property this is a great option and usually the least expensive to install. This can be a well for domestic or irrigation purposes. For properties with bodies of water pond loops can be utilized. Ponds in central Oregon must be about 10 feet deep. Now that we know which piping option to use lets move to the next step.
Second, a heat load must be done on the existing home or the one to be built. This gives us the information needed to size the equipment, loop field, number wells or GPM needed for the system to operate efficiently. We design our systems to cover 95 to 100 percent of the load with a supplemental back up of electrical resistance. This works best for efficiency while not over building the loop field. Beware of systems that can't supply 95 percent or more of the load through Geo. These are not true Geo systems (Dual source) and may not qualify for tax credits or save you any money in operation. Geo systems in the 95 to 100 percent coverage will have a COP http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coefficient_of_performance over 3 and sometimes 4. Open loop will cover 100 percent of the load with the necessary GPM's. At this point a graph can be made to estimate the savings per month on the Geo system compared to a system you have or are comparing it to. The energy savings have been coming in at 50 to 80 percent over conventional heating systems. Depending on what kind of system it is compared to.
Next it's time to look at cost.Yes, Geo systems are more money to install then conventional heating. But with a Federal Tax Credit of 30 percent off the entire heating system which can include ducting, units, piping,trenching, wells, some electrical, and even radiant floors this starts to look better. The State of Oregon offers 600 to 800 on most systems in tax credits. And some energy providers have cash programs also. Now with the money that your saving in efficiency and tax credits some are having a payback in under seven years. That means with the continued saving that these units will provide for many years to come that they are more then a great heating system they're a great investment.
So now all that is left to say is " Lets go Geo" and the install begins. We prep the site, install the piping, and install the unit an d you start saving while reducing your foot print and going green in a big way.
Metolius River Plumbing, Inc works with Dakotah Radiant to bring your project geothermal heating. We do open loop pump and dump well water systems and closed loop vertical and horizontal systems. Our preferred ground source heat pumps are Climate Master and Carrier. These units are very efficient and deliver high COP ratings. With the hot water maker on the units most of the domestic hot water is provided at no extra cost. Incentives and tax credits are great on these geothermal systems. The Federal tax credit is 30% credit of the complete heating system. This can include wells, trenching, piping, unit, ducting and even radiant floors. There are many ways to install these systems and can be done at most sites. Geothermal can reduce heating and water heating cost over 50%. Let us look at your lot and see if a geothermal system will work for you.