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Old 12-06-05, 11:40 AM   #1
toomanybikes
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Anyone know anything about Geothermal??

I keep toying with the idea of converting the house heating system to Geothermal.

I checked into it about 4 years ago and figured it would cost about $20,000 to convert the house. That's OK but the payback was going to be something around 10 to 11 years.

I have heard recently that the cost of conversion is way down and conversly the price of Natural Gas is up, and unlikely to come down - so the mathematics involved in payback calcs probably are very different.

Also with Geothermal I can do away with the air-conditioning so would save on electrical bills as well.

I converted the swimming pool to strictly solar heating about foour years ago and cut my Gas bill in half - if I could chop it another 50 to 75% it would be worth looking at.

Anyone have it - +'s / -'s ???

Anything to look out for?
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Old 12-06-05, 11:52 AM   #2
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Does that technology involve the use of deep cycle batteries or is the heat source constant? 100% solar/battery power is used here in some areas to good effect. A good system can produce more power than needed.
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Old 12-06-05, 12:00 PM   #3
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Does that technology involve the use of deep cycle batteries or is the heat source constant? 100% solar/battery power is used here in some areas to good effect. A good system can produce more power than needed.
The Solar for the pool is a series of panels on the roof of the house. I have them on a thermostat controlled valve. Heat sensors in the water line coming out of the pool and one on the roof, so I can control temperature. I start it up in about April and it runs automatically until October when I shut the pool down.

Never thought about tieing it into batteries.

The system I am thinking of for the house uses deep wells drilled into the ground and a heat pump in the house, running the air through the loops sunk into the drilled holes.
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Old 12-06-05, 12:20 PM   #4
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if you have the money, and you think you'll stay in your house for a long time, i would do it for sure. Your heating bills will be almost zero. But i think it will take longer that 10 or 11 years for it to pay off.
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Old 12-06-05, 12:53 PM   #5
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I'm totally with you on this one. I'd love to convert my house, only problem is I'm in a townhouse... I don't think I have enough yard space to consider it. I am really curious what the conversion costs nowadays though so if you find out, please post it.
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Old 12-06-05, 01:19 PM   #6
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I can just give you an example from my parents' house.
It's located in a climate where the temperature generally drops below 15C (60F) in October and gets back up above 15C again in May. Typical winter temps are between -10C (15F) on a relatively cold night up to 10C (50F) on a warm day. Average daily temps between -5 and 5C (25-40F).

Before the geothermal unit was installed, the yearly electricity (the house was heated by electricity alone - with a fireplace for backup on really cold winter days) usage was 29 000 kWh on average. After the installation, the past two years have seen an average usage of 13 500 kWh. Around half of those 13 500 are non-heating related (lights, TV, computers, appliances and so on...). So, in effect, the electricity used for heating went from around 22 000 kWh to 7000 kWh. Given that the situation is relatively similar where you live, you could possibly save 1/2 to 2/3 on your gas bill!
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Old 12-06-05, 02:37 PM   #7
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How deep do you have to go in BC to gain enough heat so the heat strips on the heat pump aren't coming on all the time?

Down here people have done the geothermal thing but they don't have to go very deep, less than 10 feet and the piping is black plastic, several hundred feet of it spread out in trenches. Best suited for new construction.
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Old 12-06-05, 03:58 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by toomanybikes
The system I am thinking of for the house uses deep wells drilled into the ground and a heat pump in the house, running the air through the loops sunk into the drilled holes.
Most geothermal uses water/antifreeze pumped through the pipe in the ground. Blowing air through it is really inefficient. The temperature is good below the frost line which is probably a couple meters in BC, although a lot of systems go vertical 30-60 meters to save space.
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Old 12-08-05, 02:56 AM   #9
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The one my parents have has a deep drilled hole - 130 m (430 ft).
That's through granite all the way, 55 m of which are "above" ground (the house is on a hill).
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