Geothermal Loop Systems Overview
Closed-loop systems circulate a water-based solution through a “loop system” of small-diameter, high-density polyethylene underground pipes. Closed-loop systems can be installed horizontally, vertically or in a pond. Open-loop systems use existing well water or surface water. Whether the system is open-loop or closed-loop, heat is transferred to or from the structure, to provide year-round comfort.
Horizontal Loop Systems
Horizontal Loops are often used when adequate land surface is available. Depending on geothermal system needs and space available, pipes are placed in trenches that range in length from 100 to 400 feet.
Vertical Loop Systems
The ideal choice for a geothermal heat pump when available land surface is limited. Well drilling equipment is used to bore small-diameter holes from 100 to 400 feet deep.
Pond/Lake Loop Systems
Very economical to install when a large body of water is available for use by the geothermal heating and cooling system. Coils of pipe are simply placed on the bottom of the pond or lake to capture the geothermal energy.
Open Loop/Well Water Systems
In ideal conditions, an open-loop application can be the most economical type of geothermal system. These use groundwater from a well as an energy source.
These photos show a geothermal installation by The Hayter Group in Cambridge, Ontario.
The loops are small-diameter, high-density polyethylene pipes that are installed 5 feet down. Heat is transferred to or from the structure,
to provide year-round comfort.
This property was large enough to accommodate a trench for a horizontal loop system. For homes with a smaller subdivision lot, we can put the pipes into the earth vertically.