DIY Geothermal Heat Pump. Season 3. Ep2. Building geothermal loop. Angled well drilling.

December 17, 2021 • ☕️☕️ 12 min read

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G’day fellas! In this episode you’ll see how we built a ground loop for my geothermal heat pump. Nice people from Green Energy helped me to drill wells at an angle to the horizon, which allows to drill multiple wells from one point.

The pipe sealing is done with a special device. It heats the pipe with electrical current and then, in a couple of minutes it’s sealed completely.

You’ll see the collector design and I’ll discuss a problem that I encountered in the well plugging process. Then, finally, we’ll go over some questions that you’ve been asking about a heat pump profitability.

Stay safe and enjoy the video!

Read the Transcript

  • It’s frost and sun; amazing day!
  • You’re still asleep, my lovely friend -
  • It’s time to wake, a sleeping beauty.
  • Good morning, fellas!
  • Today we are going to talk about the geothermal loop.
  • Good guys from Green Energy helped me a lot with drilling wells for it.
  • The link will be in the description.
  • The company’s main area of expertise is direct evaporation heat pumps.
  • Full cycle. Starting from drilling and ending with the installation and assembly of the heat pumps themselves.
  • Therefore, if you want to install a direct evaporation heat pump without any problems, give them a call.
  • Why Roman and I spent quite some time choosing the right company for the well drilling job.
  • This is one of the few companies that drill at an angle to the horizon.
  • This allows you to drill many wells
  • from one point,
  • almost from one point.
  • In a form of a fan.
  • Up to 360 °.
  • It leads to the fact that we need less area for these drilling operations.
  • This is on the one hand.
  • On the other hand, all pipes that come out of the ground are in one place.
  • You don’t need to dig a lot of ground to connect all these wells into a single network.
  • This is an advantage.
  • In addition, we decided to test how the coaxial probe would work.
  • Mostly, so-called U-probes are installed in water-to-water heat pumps.
  • The U-probe needs a large well diameter.
  • To drill a large diameter well at an angle to the horizon, as I understand it, is a much more complex task than drilling a small diameter well.
  • Therefore, there are very few companies that are engaged in angle drilling.
  • These are my conclusions that may be wrong.
  • During the demonstration of the drilling itself, the installation of geothermal probes, I will comment on certain stages, explain mistakes that were made in the process.
  • Or, what would I’ve done differently for this or that situation.
  • I always thought that it’s mostly clay there, but it turns out there is also sand.
  • We hit some sandy vein somewhere at a depth of 12 meters.
  • Layer probably right?
  • Here is a super-device for sealing polyethylene pipes.
  • It consists of a heat-set through the adapter and a plug.
  • They’re inserted one into another.
  • Right here.
  • There are some usage instructions here. It must be degreased first.
  • There is a napkin included.
  • This is a power supply unit, 40 V.
  • In my case, it is 50 A, but somewhere around 15-20 A is enough.
  • I’ve specially prepared a current clamp.
  • I’ll put them here.
  • I hope you’ll be able to see it.
  • If anything, I will comment.
  • We take a timer.
  • And we’ll set it for 90 seconds.
  • I add another 10 seconds more.
  • The starting current is 12 A.
  • Now it has dropped to 9 A.
  • The ammeter is useful here because it’s showing that everything still works, that the process is underway.
  • It heats up.
  • The current dropped below 7 A.
  • 6.5 A.
  • 90 seconds have passed, time to turn it off.
  • About 2 minutes and the polyethylene pipe is sealed.
  • The pipe is laid out along my yard from bottom to top.
  • There is a bottom, and there it went up, up, up, the whole area is more or less evenly inclined.
  • Oh, there’s an electric wood chipper I made this summer.
  • I have a detailed review in one of the previous videos on my channel.
  • And now I will fill this pipe.
  • If there is no even decline, you will not be able to fill it.
  • Therefore, it will be necessary to figure something out.
  • I lay the pipe in a snake shape so that it can be immediately eased into the well.
  • Something like this.
  • Then it will go right into the well and slowly get out of here.
  • HOORAAYY !!
  • We have come close to the issue, which I have treated with insufficient attention during the design phase.
  • Namely, to plugging the well.
  • We, or rather I, being the smartest ass here, believed that a small well diameter is easier to drill, faster, etc.
  • And the pipe should fit the closer to the well walls, the better.
  • Ideally, the geothermal probe tube should be slightly thinner than the well itself.
  • But at the same time, I did not think about plugging.
  • The dudes who are constantly doing this probably know all about it and take this fact into account.
  • Perhaps that is why they do not drill with a thin sting.
  • The company that drilled wells for me only works with direct evaporation pumps.
  • At least that’s what they did before.
  • And they have absolutely no problems with plugging.
  • According to their classic technology.
  • What does it mean?
  • Here is a well.
  • 90 mm in diameter.
  • Or 80 mm, it doesn’t really matter.
  • And the copper probe that goes down is 15 mm maximum.
  • Well, maybe 20 mm.
  • It looks like this in the well.
  • Naturally, it is possible to stick the filler pipe in here.
  • And through it to plug the well.
  • The pipe is lowered to the very end, then it is slowly pulled out and this solution is poured through it.
  • And then the well is almost completely plugged from bottom to top.
  • I didn’t ask them whether it’s true or not, but otherwise, I don’t see another way of plugging it.
  • I could be wrong.
  • Especially if the well is angled.
  • This problem does not arise when the well is 120 mm, and when the U-probe is used, where the pipes are relatively thin.
  • Likewise, a pipe is lowered nearby, through which the plugging solution is inserted.
  • And when the pipe is also angled.
  • Here’s the well itself.
  • And here is the geothermal probe pipe.
  • The walls absorb moisture anyway.
  • If we pour water here, the moisture will go into the ground.
  • If we pour a sufficiently thick solution, and the well is not 20 m, but 50 m,
  • then it will not be able to reach the end because a lump is formed here,
  • due to the fact that the solution that we pour dries up.
  • Moisture from it is absorbed into the walls.
  • Therefore, a plug is formed somewhere here.
  • And here is empty space, basically air.
  • It is clear that the probe itself still lies on the ground with its underside, but the contact area is much smaller.
  • In my case, when we inserted the probe, we inserted it into quite a thick slurry.
  • I thought that this would be enough because in this slurry, the water percentage was somewhere around 50% or even less.
  • So, there will be voids, but not be many of them, because the pipe will be covered in clay.
  • And at least some thermal contact with the walls of the well will definitely be there.
  • In addition, I cleansed the well itself with clear water.
  • I mixed a thin clay solution there so that it could at least somehow reach the very bottom or as low as possible.
  • If you know what would be the right thing to do with plugging in my case,
  • or how it should be done with existing technologies, it doesn’t matter, U-probe, coaxial probe,
  • if you have such information, please share it in the comments.
  • I read almost all good comments.
  • There are not so many of them.
  • And in the final video, I will make a review for good comments about plugging and other things…
  • What in your opinion is the correct way to drill wells, plug pipes, design probes …
  • Please, share information, it will be useful not only for me.
  • It probably won’t be so useful to me anymore because my train has already left.
  • But for those who just think about building their own geothermal heat pump, it will be very, very useful.
  • We will return to the plugging issue in one of the following videos.
  • Now let’s look at how I made the geothermal probe.
  • And how I did the pipe layout.
  • The transition from 50 mm to 25 mm.
  • In order to insert the pipe, we need to remove the collar here.
  • You can see it over there.
  • Hopefully, you can see it.
  • We remove it carefully.
  • In this way.
  • This is the 25th pipe.
  • We insert it.
  • Here you can catch it with your finger.
  • Alright.
  • Here we’ll tighten it.
  • Here the pipe enters it and then comes out here.
  • Like this!
  • This is how a collector looks like.
  • One part of it.
  • This is the input.
  • And this will be the receiving part.
  • I will show you how it’ll look assembled.
  • You already saw how the geothermal loop was made.
  • If some points have not been covered, you can ask in the comments.
  • I will try to answer.
  • But keep in mind, I don’t react to stupid questions at all.
  • Ok, a bit of theory at the end of the video.
  • I want to answer some questions that many people have.
  • In particular, is it profitable to do all this?
  • Let’s put it this way:
  • Is it profitable to build a geothermal heat pump?
  • In the short-term perspective, probably not.
  • Because this is a fairly large investment.
  • You need to dig wells, insert a probe, a lot of earthworks, a lot of headaches, a lot of money.
  • And it will pay itself back in about 5 years or even more.
  • Of course, it depends on how you count.
  • If you count differently, it may turn out that it is not profitable at all.
  • But for me.
  • This factor is not important.
  • An important factor is that in the future I will pay less for heating.
  • Now, let’s say I have the money.
  • I can spend it on a new shiny car, or a trip somewhere to Egypt or some other obscure location 👿👿👿 …
  • Or I can invest it in a geothermal heat pump.
  • But if I simply “blow” these funds that I have now, in the future I will pay the same money for heating.
  • Only, most likely, I’ll pay even more because the global trend is that all energy resources are becoming more expensive.
  • Anyway.
  • Yes, the crisis has brought down the price a little.
  • Before the crisis, oil was $ 120 per barrel, but now it has returned to $ 70 again.
  • It fell to $ 20 and has now risen to $ 70 again. And it will continue
  • to rise in price.
  • You can’t get away from this.
  • Regarding the movement towards renewable energy sources.
  • This is a natural process, the point here is not that we pollute the atmosphere less or more.
  • Almost zero emissions can be achieved when using fossil sources.
  • I don’t see any big problems here.
  • The biggest problem here is that these minerals are getting harder and harder to mine.
  • There are many of them, we probably did not extract even a tenth of all minerals.
  • But we took what lies on the surface.
  • And now, the further we try to mine, the more expensive it becomes.
  • And at some “turning point”, the transition to the next energy order must happen.
  • Or what should be the correct name for it?
  • And it will become more profitable to use “green” energy.
  • Not because it is “green”.
  • Probably, money plays a big role here.
  • And the desire of people to live in the area where they live.
  • Still, if we live here and we use mostly electrical energy, we practically don’t breathe exhaust gases.
  • The more electric energy will be here, not gas, not oil, not firewood, strictly electric energy, the cleaner it’ll be.
  • Yes, the air at CHP location will be dirtier.
  • But it is one thing to install filters at a thermal power plant, they are usually located in distant regions …
  • Of course, it is clear that when the “sh..t is somewhere there” it is not visible.
  • But this is such a factor.
  • In fact, purification systems can be installed and only CO2 will be emitted, all other small particles can be captured.
  • It is easier to do on an industrial scale, than in a simple household.
  • This is the first factor.
  • We’re now investing money so that we’ll pay less in the future.
  • Today I have money, and later I will retire or something else will happen, the crisis will hit, there will be less money, and what?
  • And I’ll have to spend the last dime so as not to freeze.
  • It’s better to have autonomy.
  • This is one position.
  • The second position is that I still adhere to anarcho-capitalist views.
  • There is such a trend in libertarianism.
  • Anarcho-capitalism.
  • Not to be confused with anarchy and anarchism!
  • This is completely different.
  • By going to renewable sources, we are actually removing natural monopolies.
  • Those that are tied to fossil sources - gas, oil …
  • Electricity regeneration is distributed …
  • You’ve installed a solar panel - you generate it.
  • Yes, someone is making solar panels.
  • But there are many suppliers and there cannot be a few of them, this is not a natural monopoly.
  • There can only be a conspiracy of major players.
  • But on a global scale, it is very difficult to organize.
  • It is possible to fence off the territory of Ukraine and prohibit the import of all solar panels except for let’s say, “Akhmetov” panels.
  • It can be done.
  • But sooner or later this curtain will crash down because the world works like that now.
  • Therefore, competition in the solar panel market remains.
  • It also remains on the market for wind turbines and batteries.
  • There are a lot of manufacturers.
  • There can be no monopoly here.
  • And distributed generation.
  • Where is the place of monopoly - there is none!
  • This is good.
  • Because in a place where there are monopolies, people become unneeded.
  • Roughly speaking, people are needed only to extract these energy resources and trade them, and all the rest are expendable.
  • The rest may perish in misery ⚰️.
  • Well, it’s such a controversial topic.
  • Don’t even comment on it, or there will be such a sh*t storm 🤬.
  • On a brighter note, here’s some footage that wasn’t included in the main video, but it’s cool, I promise, you’ll see…
  • It’s time for some cats and doggos…
  • Just interesting relaxing scenes.
  • All right, see yall!
  • Until the next episode.
  • The next episode will most likely be about the heat pump itself.
  • How it was made and so on …
  • Or about filling the geothermal loop.
  • I do not know, we’ll see …
  • Alright, bye! 👋👋👋