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Home Forums General Discussion Geothermal energy Re: Geothermal energy

#64933
elnav
Member

As with everything else there is a downside to this technology. If you install the heat collecting piping horizontally the area from which you collect the heat probably includes your food growing garden. Prolonged uses of geothermal heat collection during a hard cold winter will lower the surface ground temperature by a couple of degrees. This in turn may delay germination of seeds planted in this soil. Unless you are located in the far south this delay in getting your food plants going could affect the extent of your food crop.

Drilling vertically for the ground heat usually involves several hundred feet and given the cost of drilling can become somewaht expensive. A friend opted for the vertical drilling approach because his property sits on a thick layer of gravel which does not retain as much heat as moisture filled soil. Unfortunately many locations in this area sits on bedrock where drilling costs become even more expensive.

In suburban areas where many homes use geothermal a phenomena called ice lens can develop. An ice lens forms if too much heat is extracted from a closely spaced area so the underlying ground becomes deeply chilled and the frost in the ground is pulled much deeper than the normal.