Quantum Energy Solutions is a leading provider of geothermal heating and cooling systems for new homes in Southern Ontario
The Pipe – Geoexchange Ground Loop Systems
During the early decades of development some experimentation with the materials used for the ground loop system was explored. Systems using a variety of plastic or metal piping materials were designed and installed and some were demonstrated to be functional. However, durability and chemical stability in the underground environment proved to be critically important to the viability of any design. Over time the industry standardized on the use of extruded HDPE (high density polyethylene) piping for all geoexchange ground loop systems. Quantum Energy Solutions uses only CSA 448 approved HDPE pipe for all our installations. Once the pipe is properly installed in the ground it is effectively permanent and can be expected to function without any further intervention or maintenance for over one hundred years.
We have installed hundreds of ground loop systems using this standard extruded HDPE piping and have never had a system breakdown, leak or become dysfunctional in any way. That is not to say that there are no documented cases of geothermal ground loop systems failing. There have been situations where either substandard materials or poor workmanship has led to problems and it is an unfortunate mark on the industry that this has occurred. However, without exception the root cause of these problems can always be traced back to the involvement of either an inexperienced or unscrupulous contracting company.
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Properly designed and installed, the ground loop will deliver an abundance of energy capable of providing a renewable heat source for your home throughout the winter months. During the summer months the same pipe is used to cool the house by taking excess thermal energy (heat) out of the home and depositing it back into the ground. In this case, the ground loop acts as a heat sink for the dissipation of unwanted thermal energy. The heat transfer from the ground into your home during the winter months is equally as effective as the transfer of heat out of your home and back into the ground during the cooling season.
Once the installation of the piping system is completed a pressure test is applied to confirm the integrity of the system. Next the system will be purged of air and filled water. Added into the water is a 20% solution of an antifreeze material (ethanol is the recommended material and standard in Ontario) and then the system is sealed and can be commissioned.
All the geothermal ground loops installed by Quantum Energy Solutions are “closed loop” systems. This means the system is self contained and the fluid inside the piping system will be recirculated over and over again without the need to add or replenish any material. These systems are the most environmentally friendly as they do not use ground water or alter the underground environment.
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