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Geothermal System Sizing

The sizing of the Geothermal System is critical. In choosing a geothermal installer, it is critical that you choose a contractor with experience and a proven track record.

It is the responsibility of the designer of the Geothermal System to:

1.Estimate the load properly (heat and cooling load of the home or business.)

2. Design a loopfield that will gather sufficient heat from soil conditions present, and in the space available, to satisfy the entire load. Whether horizontal or vertical, you need an adequate amount of pipe, making contact with sufficient area of earth to gather this heat. The conductivity of the soil whether vertical or horizontal, along with the moisture content of the soil at its driest, will dictate sizing and design.

3. Select equipment that is matched to the loopfield, and that is capable of extracting heat from that loopfield, and able to deliver that heat at the rate the structure requires it.

4. Install every part of the Geothermal System properly.

Too $mall:  A Geothermal System that is too small is very costly to operate. The loopfield will become 'cold' from over use,  sometimes quite early in the season. When this happens, some form of supplemental heat is relied upon to supply the extra heat needed for this short coming.

This supplemental heat is usually a large electric plenum heater (15or20kW). Heaters this large are usually installed because they are going to provide a substantial percentage of the total heat required. These large plenum heaters are usually connected to general service electric, not off peak. BTU's provided by the electric plenum heater are at 100% efficiency, while BTU's provided by the Geothermal System are normally between 330% and 400+% efficiency. That translates into electric heat that costs 300% to 400% more than heat produced by a properly sized Geothermal System. A small electric plenum heater (5/10kW), when not designed as part of the normal load, is perfectly acceptable. These heaters are used for emergency heat, or supplemental heat during an unusually cold period. Most power cooperatives require a plenum heater to be connected to off-peak service, to be eligible for rebates. Some people prefer to leave the breaker in the off position, on the plenum heater of a properly sized Geothermal System. Turning the breaker on would be done occasionally or when leaving for an extended period of time.


  Geothermal Heating and Cooling




Earthloop Geothermal Systems
Don Dyrdahl, Owner
229 Omland Avenue
Fosston, MN 56542

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