0 Helpful?

Would it work to put a solar thermal collector over several GSHP wells to pump hot liquid into the wells all summer?

I would think this method would cause a massive increase in the efficiency of the wells for heating the following winter. You could locate several other wells at a distance to use for cooling in the summer.

Asked by Tom Hanke
Posted May 15, 2014 11:22 PM ET
Edited May 16, 2014 6:00 AM ET


4 Answers

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Yes, it would work, and several researchers have tried it. The only problem is that the hardware costs so much that the payback period for the investment is extremely long.

This approach (or one very much like it) was tried on a community-wide scale at the Drake Landing project in Okotoks, Alberta. The project only got off the ground after the Canadian government pledged to kick in a $7 million subsidy, equivalent to $134,000 per home.

Answered by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor
Posted May 16, 2014 5:58 AM ET


Thanks Martin, I was assuming a solar thermal collector, similar to the one people use to heat hot water for a home, could be placed near the wells and the same type of loops as are used by the GSHP could be placed in the wells at minimum cost. Obviously I must be missing something.

Answered by Tom Hanke
Posted May 16, 2014 6:49 AM ET


The cost of solar collectors is not a "minimum cost," and storing solar heat from the summer for use in the winter entails huge thermal losses.

Answered by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor
Posted May 16, 2014 6:55 AM ET


If you had geo and if you had solar I would inject all the extra heat from the solar into the well, why not.

Still, it makes more sense if one has that much mulla to buy something more fun... like a Robinson helicopter to play with...

Answered by aj builder, Upstate NY Zone 6a
Posted May 16, 2014 10:41 AM ET

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