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dave bishop
geothermal

I am researching geothermal furnaces and have a question. Could solar be used to elevate water for use in a geothermal furnace? Solar panels are so much less costly than digging or drilling. I realize that it would be supplemental to my standard furnace, but solar cost less then trenching or drilling. How warm or hot can water be for a geothermal furnace. How much water is pump in gallons per minute?

JLMCDANIEL
Re: geothermal
dave bishop wrote:

I am researching geothermal furnaces and have a question. Could solar be used to elevate water for use in a geothermal furnace? Solar panels are so much less costly than digging or drilling. I realize that it would be supplemental to my standard furnace, but solar cost less then trenching or drilling. How warm or hot can water be for a geothermal furnace. How much water is pump in gallons per minute?

Most geothermal units are heat pumps designed for heating and cooling. They are designed to use a constant water supply at about 50 degrees to transfer heat from and to for conditioning the air. With proper trenches or drilled wells the water temp will change little regardless of the outside temperature or amount of sun. Solar only works when there is sun so it will not work at night, is less efficient on cloudy days etc.

Will it work, probably, but most likely not worth the investment.
Jack

Sten
Re: geothermal

If you go Geothermal you still have to dig ditches and a well, and yes Solar could be used to pump the water out of the well, but you also will need batteries to store the Electricity. As Jack said "the sun isn't out at night", so I doubt it would be cost effective unless you did a whole house Solar Array and sold electricity that is not used back to the Utility Co. You should research well as to what type and the manufacturer of the Panels that you use. They really aren't that efficient but some are better then others, if I could afford it I would also do Geothermal with Solar. Don't be fooled, Solar is not Cheap. Follow the links for more info.

http://www.power4home.com/index.php?hop=ttinc1
http://www.73.com/a/0108.shtml

Sunny H
Re: geothermal

I just put in a geothermal system and am very happy with it. My house has never been so warm and cosy, and my heating cost dropped about $5000 now that I am off oil. From what I have learned at websites like www.geoexchange.org and www.greenbuildingtalk.com what you are suggesting will not work. It sounds more like you are thinking about a radiant heat system that would get some heat from a solar set up, not a geothermal system. The second website might be where you would find answers.

Geothermal gets its heat not from the sun, but from the earth through either open wells or closed loops. It uses very low temperaures, not hot ones. My water enters my house at 44.9º and leaves at 39º, the furnace removes the difference and uses it to create eiter heat or cool air depending on my needs. Go to some geothermal manufacturers websites to learn how its done: Florida Heat Pump, WaterFurnace, Climatemaster Or to: www.consumerenergycenter.org/home/heating_cooling/geothermal.html

Geothermal is not a do it yourself project, but it is a wonderful clean technology. Plus, thanks to the Stimulus Package there is 30% tax credit to help make the systems more affordable and to give the industry a boost.

Sten
Re: geothermal

I think the OP was asking about using Solar for electricity to power the System and or pumps.

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