For a long time I went around saying (very confidently) “oh, yeah, we’re putting in a geothermal system,” which lasted right up until some person asked me what the hell a geothermal system was, anyway?
And I was all, “Well obviously it uses the, uh, geo, to generate the thermal. Duh. ” And then I went an googled it so I would look like slightly less of an idiot the next time.
So, thanks to The Google I eventually figured out why I’m going to be able to heat my house to an obscene 85 degrees in winter without having to take out a second mortgage to pay for my 2000 square foot sauna. This is me, simplifying:
I’m pretty sure my illustrations here are so awesome that no additional explanation is needed. Except maybe that glycol is like water but with a better “heat transfer coefficient”. It’s basically antifreeze and it runs through the geothermal pipes.
I put one “well” in my illustration, but for a system to support our 2000 sq ft house, we actually have two wells.
My understanding is that the 50-degree glycol is compressed to create a hotter liquid used to heat the air in the winter (because god knows I set the thermostat higher than fifty).
Also interesting: I find my perception of the ambient temperature of the earth changes depending on the season. Right now–in below-thirty weather– fifty-degrees seems like a tropical breeze. In the summer I’d take fifty as a welcome arctic blast. That’s the midwest for you.
Currently we’ve got the wells dug, and the unit inside the house working, it’s just that damn horizontal bit that’s been holding us up. We’re hoping to have it done tomorrow and the glycol in Wednesday.
More actual progress pics to come.