A ground source heat pump is a fantastic option for both heating and cooling your home. That being said, there are plenty of horror stories in blogs and forums about systems that have failed. Replacing the heat pump itself is bad enough, but many homeowners ditch the entire system if they have a failing loop field. We’re not going to dive into the finger-pointing match of who caused the failure or why it happened, but we’ll start with two assumptions:
1. The problem is underground
2. You have no idea where it is
There are many other blog posts that talk about methods for troubleshooting and diagnosing a leak in loop field. There are mixed reviews on the Fix-A-Leak product, but that is one solution. The other avenue involves digging up your manifold , which is typically underground like the example pictured below. From there, you can test each individual loop and repair the leak or disconnect that portion of the loop field. If the leak cannot be repaired and you are forced to abandon a portion of your loop field, it can leave the field undersized for your heat pump.
Before You Give Up
There is another option! You can add loop field capacity to replace what you capped off or even the entire field. By inserting a self-driving loop near your heat pump, you can add the needed capacity to keep your system operating properly. This is a more cost-effective alternative to replacing part or all of your trenched or drilled loop field. It may even be less expensive than having a leak-detection specialist on site to troubleshoot your field (which would still need to be fixed).
Planning for Flexibility
The NexGen Energy system is designed to be flexible and scalable. By inserting our self-driving loops through a small hole in the concrete slab, it allows us to place our manifold in an accessible location. The central manifold is where each individual ground source loop comes together before circulating through the heat pump. This is also valuable if you choose to expand your geothermal system in the future. Many homeowners look for other applications that they did not initially consider, such as radiant in-floor heat and hot water heating, when the first installed the system. The ability to add capacity down the road can help you feel confident in your current decision to install a geothermal system as well.
Whether you are just exploring this awesome technology for the first time, or you are frustrated with a leak in your loop field, we are here to help!
NexGen Energy’s self-driving loop technology is allowing ground-source heating applications to be installed almost anywhere! Please visit our website or join the discussion on Facebook. You can also leave a comment on this post if you have any thoughts or questions.
No Land, No Problem!
Traditional geothermal systems that use a horizontal loop field require a large amount of open land that can be excavated or trenched in order to lay out the geothermal loops. This has been a severely limiting factor in helping geothermal growth in urban environments. Well drillers have solved some of these issues and have allowed installations in tighter spaces by using vertical wells. This is a great advancement for the industry and helps make geothermal a viable option for even more people.
NexGen Energy is focused on pushing this envelope even further. By starting the install through the concrete slab in the basement, or lowest level of the home, the land requirements nearly disappear. As long as you own the property, the loops can be distributed throughout the lot. Even a small residential lot can accommodate these innovative loops.
The loop field uses a radial-array pattern that starts in a convenient location, which is typically near the existing HVAC system. For new construction, the process is even easier! The radial loops allow heat to be transferred from much farther away and reduces the risk of freezing the ground around the loops that many horizontal (slinky) fields are prone to encountering. Vertical wells must also avoid this problem by drilling the wells far enough apart. Finding a single location on a small lot might not be a problem, but spreading out four or five wells presents a much larger challenge.
NexGen Energy believes that this self-driving radial array technology will allow geothermal to go where it has never gone before! Please let us know if you are seeking a more energy-efficient, renewable future within the confines of a city, and we can show you how a geothermal system would work in your home!
NexGen Energy’s self-driving loop technology is allowing ground-source heating applications to be installed almost anywhere! Please visit our website or join the discussion on Facebook. You can also leave a comment on this post if you have any thoughts or question
On The Leading Edge
Whether its wanting to go “Green” or simply lower the cost of those monthly utility bills, many of us are looking for an answer that won’t break the bank and have a quick return on investment. Many people don’t even want to consider geothermal as a cost saving option because of the high price contractors are putting on the energy source. That’s where NexGen Energy comes in. NexGen Energy is a new company in the geothermal industry that is unlike any other. With the main focus to lower installation costs, NexGen is working towards making the most efficient source of energy on earth the most commonly used source of energy.
One of the biggest drawbacks to geothermal energy is the expensive installation cost of the ground loops used to exchange heat between the home and the earth. This is usually the most expensive part of geothermal. Current technology requires contractors to drive large equipment on your yard to drill your loops or even bigger excavators to rip up your lawn and bury the loops. This also limits installations to bigger properties and during warmer times of the year. NexGen wanted to improve this process and bring geothermal back in the spotlight.
NexGen Energy designed and constructed a machine focused on geothermal installations. Using an 1 ¼” line, they created a tool inside the pipe that drives itself down into the ground. Once the pipe has reached the desired depth, the internal components can be extracted from the back end of the pipe, leaving an empty pipe in the ground. Since this is done all with a the 1 ¼” pipe, installation can be done inside the house through a 12” hole in the concrete floor. This allows NexGen to install loops in tight residential areas because the loops are installed directly under the house. This also allows them to install year round since they never deal with frozen ground. A coaxial type loop is made by inserting a smaller line inside of the 1 ¼” line. The fluid then can be pumped down the inside tube and back up around the bigger line to create a closed loop system.
Creating a Standard
Choosing a geothermal contractor can quickly become stressful experience. One contractor says you need size “A” geothermal system while another contractor strongly urges you to go with size “B” that is bigger and is more “worry-free”, but costing you thousands more. NexGen Energy is solving this problem by giving the customer the system THEY need to see cost savings. Not necessarily what the contractor wants installed in order to cover their butt. A bigger system is not a more efficient system. NexGen looks at each home differently; even two houses that are exactly the same size. NexGen actually “listens” to what the house is saying. Instead of using complicated formulas and measurements of your house to figure the “right” size geothermal system is, NexGen can calculate the right size system by watching how often your current system has to run to maintain a desired temperature in your home. This allows them to get an exact loan analysis of the home without guessing how good your windows are or how much insulation you really have up in your attic.
NexGen Energy will change the market’s perception of geothermal. With the quick and clean loop field installation, geothermal systems can now be priced at a competitive level that is intriguing to consumers. NexGen Energy is taking the lead in geothermal energy and to create a place where the most abundant energy source on the planet is the standard source of heating and cooling in today’s homes.