A new technology is being developed that allows for the rapid insertion of heat exchangers into the earth. The technical underpinnings include a novel heat exchanger that allows for insertion into the earth while providing superior thermal performance. Also, mobile equipment has been devised for the heat exchangers’ insertion. Field testing has confirmed high earth insertion rates with man-portable equipment.
The unique design allows for low cost manufacturing of the heat exchangers using available approved ground compatible materials. Overall, when comparing the EarthSpar™ system to conventional ground loop methods, the cost of installing the ground loop can be reduced by half. In addition, the capital cost of the custom equipment used to insert the heat exchangers is low compared to conventional equipment used in well drilling and earth excavation. [Well drilling and excavation providers may see this technology as an area of expansion for their services.]
In addition to significant cost reduction in the installation of a ground source heat exchanger, increased thermal performance may allow for less length of heat exchanger required, further reducing cost and the amount of real estate required for installation. As a quick comparison to the standard materials and method, according to an ASHRAE research summary, using a standard ‘U’ tube ground coupled heat exchanger provides the following range of overall thermal conductivities:
• Low conductivity, 1.0 Btu/hr-ft-°F
• Mid-range conductivity,1.0 – 1.5 Btu/hr-ft-°F
• High conductivity,
> 1.5 Btu/hr-ft-°F
• EarthSpar™ =
The field tested thermal performance indicates high thermal effectiveness in comparison to the prevalent technology in use today.