Vertical Ground Loop — The collection loop for the heat pump is placed in one or more vertically drilled wells that are capped and grouted to protect groundwater.
The ground loops collect or disperse heat (de pending on whether the GSHP is in heating or cooling mode) in the ground. The length of the tubes is designed to ensure that the fluid in the pipes has enough contact time with the ground to get input temperatures that are constant. The more Btus required of the system, the longer the ground loops. Ground loops can be closed loops that circulate a heat-exchange fluid, direct exchange loops in which refrigerant from the heat pump is sent through the ground loop or, more rarely, open loops where groundwater is drawn into the loop and then discharged in a different well or location in a body of surface water.
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Fluid from the ground loops imparts its temperature to the refrigerant on one side of the heat pump, and the compressor puts the refrigerant through the heat pump cycle to either create or extract heat for the home.
The output side of the heat pump has a heat exchanger that transfers temperature to an air or hydronic delivery system, as required by the home’s thermostat.
Independent testing of ground source heat pump units by Natural Resources Canada showed output for a wide array of residential units ranged from 8.7 to 12.8 Btu/hr/watt, or a coefficient of performance (COP) of 2.6 to 3.8.20