|RESIDENTIAL GEOTHERMAL 2010
There is a mounting interest from many of our clients in using geothermal energy, power harnessed from the earth's hot core. The firm has completed a number of geothermal projects both in Connecticut and Long Island. Here is a brief interview with what's happening "on the ground" in this emerging and viable technique.
Seventeen wells were drilled in this New Canaan property for a closed vertical loop system with pipes accessing the holes pictured here.
How many years have you been specifying geothermal systems?
Mac - We started seriously considering geothermal about six years ago, but it's only been in the last two years that we've felt that contractors have perfected the installation process and manufacturers have worked out any problems with the systems.
How many projects has the firm been involved with?
Stuart - We've completed three in Long Island with four on line to go and five in Connecticut and Westchester with three projected.
What type of system do you find most effective?
Mac - We've used closed loop vertical systems on this side of the pond which require a rig to drill up to 250 foot deep holes. Hairpin shaped loops of pipe are dropped in gaining the stable temperature at this depth, making the system applicable for both heating and cooling.
Stuart - Since Long Island has an abundance of readily available groundwater with constant water temperatures, we are able to use the more cost effective open loop geothermal system which requires fewer wells, one or two 300 feet deep.
Has the tax credit sparked interest?
Stuart - Yes, there is a credit at both the State and Federal level up to 30% of the cost.
Have clients been pleased with their systems?
Mac - Very much so. They are highly efficient, quiet and can be used for heating, cooling and hot water. Since there are no air conditioning units, there is no outside noise or need to conceal units, plus the constant ground temperature means that the whole system is not affected by extreme temperatures; it just doesn't need to work harder on those 95 degree days.