The Project

Installing the Geoexchange Heat Pump

Filling the tubes with solution

Once all the connections have been made between the flow center, heat pump, and outside ground loops it is necessary to fill the tubes with a water/ethanol solution. The solution is about 10% ethanol by volume and the ethanol acts like antifreeze to prevent any possible freezing from taking place.

This fluid will gather heat from the ground in the winter and take heat away from the house in the summer. Because it can rely on the consistent temperature of the ground throughout the year, it is much more efficient than traditional heat pumps. And since nothing is being burned to produce the heat (especially if you buy electricity generated from wind or hydroelectric power) there is no carbon dioxide generated.

In order for the system to work properly all of the air bubbles must be removed from the system. Enter a complex, and heavy, piece of equipment. Foregoing any detailed and probably incorrect explanation, the machine pumps in the liquid and removes the air bubbles. The yellow container in the picture is filled with the water/ethanol solution. It took three yellow containers to fill the geothermal ground loop tubes.

Removing bubbles from the ground loop

The large tubes hook into the flow center. The large cylinder is filled with solution and then some other things happen which I'm still a bit fuzzy about.

Perhaps a look inside the cylinder will make things clearer for you.

Inside the cylinder


More bubbles

You could really hear the bubbles moving through the system while the machine was working. Were the bubbles to stay, the geothermal heat pump system would not work as efficiently.

Twins (not really looking for their keys)

The HVAC guys looking for their keys. It's not a mirror image - they really are twins.

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