The three systems being compared are:
• A traditional closed loop water system using U-loops in two 500-foot-deep wells;
• A direct expansion (DX) geothermal system using five copper taps drilled diagonally to a depth of 100 feet each; and
• A Kelix Thermacouple™, a coaxial, turbulent flow heat exchanger using one 300-foot borehole.
The project was created to provide detailed industry knowledge through direct scientific comparison. Results from the performance statistics are still being analyzed, but Terraclime Geothermal has formed a series of initial conclusions to ensure every client installs the optimal system for the individual environment. Data acquisition equipment acquires statistical data from each system and compares the data to both of the other systems and traditional heating and cooling methods.
“Each system we’ve installed in the past is in a different location, with different soil, different buildings, and different expectations,” said Sam Johnston, geothermal program manager. “This project allowed us to compare three household-sized popular systems side-by-side to get a true sense of their capabilities. We can now confidently recommend the most efficient system for every geothermal scenario.”
“The fact that we are measuring and sharing the system data of this project is unique in the geothermal world,” said Dan Felten, chief technical officer. “The alternative energy market is filled with biased misinformation concerning geothermal systems - we are looking to change that by offering scientific information about the performance of different offerings.”
Publication date: 08/09/2010