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  1. #1
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    Default Ground Source Heat Exchanger integrated into/with a slab

    Ground Source Heat Exchanger integrated into/with a slab and/or footing of residential or commercial structures.

    The core of my idea is that the heat exchanger should be installed into or under a slab and/or footing of residential or commercial structures.

    Heat exchanger can be made from any conductive materials such as plastic, metal or composite materials.

    Heat exchanger can be made in a form of loops or coils or in a combination of these shapes.

    Heat exchangers can be connected to geothermal heat pumps.

    Such heat exchanger can sufficiently reduce the cost of geothermal systems.

    Please note that even a concrete slab without an integrated loop works sufficiently well to exchange heat. You can see confirmation of my idea in details, at the link below:
    https://sites.google.com/site/modernwaterboilers/


    Useful links:
    Geothermal Heat Pump Costs - DIY KITs: http://www.geothermalheaters.com/cost/

    Geothermal Heat Pumps with Install Kit/Packages:
    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trks...om=R40&afsrc=1

    ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2014 Geothermal Heat Pumps. Please look at the very reasonable "Lifetime Cost to Operate" parameter in many cases. " Geothermal Heat Pump lifetime is estimated at 15 years."
    https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm...mal_heat_pumps

    I will post my electric bills soon.
    To be continued...

    Boris Romanov

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Ground Source Heat Exchanger integrated into/with a slab

    I've done something sorta-kinda related, and the "experts" think I'm nuts. I use a radiant heat floor system above a concrete slab. The slab sits on 60 tons of gravel, insulated on the periphery, under a log cabin. The huge mass of dry gravel acts as my thermal reservoir on the solar-heated radiant heat floor system. Indeed, plastic works well for the tubing. I use PEX in aluminum spreaders, under hardwood floor and on concrete, with OSB spacers.

    If I were doing this system again today I'd insulate UNDER the gravel bed as well, because of the whole geothermal question. One of the things I'm finding is that very few people seem to have any idea how much heat loss occurs under a floor, or how heat flows in specific shallow geothermal installations. It is clear they can work, but much harder to predict exactly how well.

    I'd worry that under-floor geothermal will have unknown heat flow to the building above. Soil under the home will probably be dryer than outside the building perimeter, and probably has less heat flow and heat capacity per unit area as a result. If deep enough it should work, but I wonder if it has sufficient area without also putting geothermal exchangers outside the building perimeter.

    Have you tried it with heat flow sensors?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Ground Source Heat Exchanger integrated into/with a slab

    Quote Originally Posted by Phoebee View Post
    ..I'd worry that under-floor geothermal will have unknown heat flow to the building above. Soil under the home will probably be dryer than outside the building perimeter, and probably has less heat flow and heat capacity per unit area as a result. If deep enough it should work, but I wonder if it has sufficient area without also putting geothermal exchangers outside the building perimeter.

    Have you tried it with heat flow sensors?

    1. Your concern is quite understandable.
    Nevertheless, my ideas are for energy efficient homes similar to mine. My approach is very simple - reduce heat losses to consume less energy...
    In addition please note: "EPA has developed a program called Climate Choice that incorporates advance new home construction into homes that can save approximately 50 percent more energy than a home constructed to the model energy code (2006)"
    http://www.epa.gov/greenhomes/ReduceEnergy.htm

    2. In my opinion R value of soil is more useful parameter. They say "Soil R-values are the purview of heat transfer engineers".
    You can visit the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Cold Regions Research Lab) web site for more details.
    In fact, soil testing for heat transfer rates is very complicated issue...

    Boris Romanov
    Last edited by Boris; 02-03-2014 at 09:40 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Ground Source Heat Exchanger integrated into/with a slab

    Quote Originally Posted by Boris View Post
    1. Your concern is quite understandable.
    Nevertheless, my ideas are for energy efficient homes similar to mine. My approach is very simple - reduce heat losses to consume less energy...
    In addition please note: "EPA has developed a program called Climate Choice that incorporates advance new home construction into homes that can save approximately 50 percent more energy than a home constructed to the model energy code (2006)"
    http://www.epa.gov/greenhomes/ReduceEnergy.htm

    2. In my opinion R value of soil is more useful parameter.
    You can visit the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Cold Regions Research Lab) web site for more details.
    In fact, soil testing for heat transfer rates is very complicated issue...

    Boris Romanov
    A minor difference in opinion ... calculating soil heat transfer rates with no data is a very complicated issue, probably doomed to poor accuracy even with the best models, which are not available to the likes of you and me. The calculations are so daunting that few even attempt it, but instead use rules of thumb which are at best wishful thinking.

    MEASURING heat flow in soil is not so bad providing one had the foresight to install heat flow sensors at a time when it was not a major operation to do so. I wish I'd known this 20 years ago when I was building the cabin. The other problem is that commercially-available heat flow sensors are painfully expensive. Omega HFS-3's are $270 and require extremely sensitive equipment to read them. But if you PM me, I'll tell you about the $6 solution I've found which has 100 x the sensitivity. I'm trying them out measuring heat losses on building envelopes and heat flow in and out of my concrete floor. I'm not trying to sell you anything ... I'll probably be posting a white paper on this at some point and I'm looking for kindred spirits who want to try it.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Ground Source Heat Exchanger integrated into/with a slab

    I learned a lot from the book: "Passive Annual Heat Storage" published from the Rocky Mountain Research Institute. Google it for some more details, I reckon it is well worth it if you are interested in construction of energy wise buildings.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Ground Source Heat Exchanger integrated into/with a slab

    Let's be more practical.

    I assume that my electric bill, posted below, looks unrealistic for many forum members:
    https://sites.google.com/site/modern...electric-bills
    This is the main reason why I would like to share my noteworthy achievement.

    The next bill for two cold months (December 2013 - January 2014) will be posted on February 08, 2014

    Boris Romanov

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Ground Source Heat Exchanger integrated into/with a slab

    My electric bills run $6-$10 a month, but that's hardly fair because I don't use grid power at all for my heating system. The solar hydronic system driving the radiant heat system also uses photovoltaic power to drive the pumps. The rest of the heat comes from burning firewood.

    You'll need at least three years of records if you're just using electric bills. What you need is to compare your kWH values to the degree-days for the same period. You can probably find those numbers on-line for a weather station in your area (the numbers are used by fuel suppliers to predict heating fuel use). That way you can compare before and after data even if the heating seasons are very different.

    Seriously, PM me about the heat flow sensors. They're cheap, fun to play with, and you'll think up a hundred uses for them. With your interests, they would be invaluable. I'll probably put a couple in my hives as well.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Ground Source Heat Exchanger integrated into/with a slab

    Quote Originally Posted by Phoebee View Post
    ...I'll probably put a couple in my hives as well.
    Hope, you will show us how your approach is useful.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Ground Source Heat Exchanger integrated into/with a slab

    Boris,

    You say you are concerned with R value. That's certainly right, but how do you determine it? Do you actually take soil samples and run a guarded hot plate test on them? The intent of insulation is to reduce heat flow through, for example, building walls, ceilings, and floors. The intent of geothermal is to flow heat from some depth in the ground in or out of heat exchanger loops. So R (or more importantly the reciprocal, U) values are all-important.

    If you have heat flow in soil and temperatures at a known distance on either side of the heat flow sensor, you can determine R and U.

    For situations where you don't know R or U, the best approach is to measure heat flow directly, which requires a heat flow sensor. I need heat flow in and out of my concrete slab and underlying gravel bed in order to determine its efficacy as a heat storage system. I have a known heat leak on the edges of my concrete slab, and want to evaluate the effect of applying insulating panels or man-made insulating "stone" over the exposed edge. For these applications, I needed heat flow sensors. But at $270 or more each, I can't afford enough to measure all the spots I need to measure. The devices I'm actually using are, as of a notice last night, selling for $5 each, and work better than the $270 devices.

    I will also be setting up a couple as pyranometers to measure the intensity of sunlight. I'll probably put one in the telescoping cover of each hive to measure heat loss there.

    And I have a thermal imager. Thermal imagers are sometimes used to estimate heat flow, but actually only measure surface temperature, which is not a direct measure of heat flow. You would have to guess at the associated R value.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Ground Source Heat Exchanger integrated into/with a slab

    I do not want to be involved into endless discussions, therefore I prefer to wait for your reply to my previous post #8.

    In other words, firstly I would like to see your practical recommendations, based on your experiments.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Ground Source Heat Exchanger integrated into/with a slab

    My reply was addressed specifically to your post #8. I offered to give you, no profit to me, a tool to measure exactly what you are attempting to do. Since you don't seem to understand the utility of what I just offered, I am sorry to say I must conclude you are seriously underqualifed to be attempting your geothermal project. Thus, I concur, any further discussion is pointless.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Ground Source Heat Exchanger integrated into/with a slab

    Quote Originally Posted by Phoebee View Post
    I've done something sorta-kinda related, and the "experts" think I'm nuts... It is clear they can work, but much harder to predict exactly how well...
    And later you stated: "...I'll probably put a couple in my hives as well."
    Therefore I wanted to see how are practical your approaches, because without REAL DATA all your proposals and recommendations are useless to me. And therefore I do not want to waste my time.

    Did you already confirm that your approaches are useful?
    I do not think so...

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