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post #91 of 340
You are lucky. It would cost darn near a $1000 to rent and get that machine onsite, plus another $100 an hour for the operator. What does he just park that thing around there somewhere.
post #92 of 340
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericld View Post
You are lucky. It would cost darn near a $1000 to rent and get that machine onsite, plus another $100 an hour for the operator. What does he just park that thing around there somewhere.
I live on the upstream corner piece of property of my work place. Not shown in the pictures were all the neighboring industrial buildings of a bygone era. All of them have pipes going every which way, making digging around here risky. Until five years ago there were (dying) trees where we're going to dig so it should be safe.

At work we're actually renting a landscaping excavator for the longer reach to drag objects out of range of this Cat. The VMRC permit for the site work finally arrived so it'll be trucked in from Richmond next week. The owner hasn't had any demand for it recently so the monthly rate is quite cheap.

Today's update:

The geothermal piping was easily uncoiled and straightened out at lunch time this afternoon. The (SDR11) wall was thick enough that kinking it by hand seemed extremely unlikely.

Half of the piping loosely pulled to where I took the picture. When I let go it sprung that far away from me.


A short while later. The bend at the very end will be handy for exiting the ground. The rest was straightened out a bit more.


The corner of the house where the rest of tubing vanished around. This is the general location of where the geothermal trench will go.


Tomorrow morning we're renting a ditch witch to replace a shorted out power cable under a gravel road at work. There should be enough time left to dig my return trench too. It'll fill in some after next weeks forecasted rain, but re-clearing it with a trench shovel will go quickly. I'm still debating how much to spend on the pipe insulation. At least the run to the pit is shorter now. There's more cooling coil length, less line temperature loss or gain, and less insulation outlays.

I should start zip tying the coils together this weekend once the return lines lengths are finalized.

The 1-wire monitoring components have been selected and ordered. I hope they're all in stock. This data logging is going to cost 3/4th as much as the loop! The ground water moisture sensor, control board for it, and the indoor humidity sensor weren't cheap.

The planned monitored items, and currently purchases sensors are:

Water in to house temperature - inline (water in from ground)
Indoor humidity and ambient temperature - (dew point monitoring eventually)
PC area water out temperature - inline (PC heat dump monitoring)
Utility closet water out temperature - inline (post pump, water out to ground)
Ground soiltemperature by coils - in dirt (monitor the soil temperature to compare to the water ins)
Ground moisture sensor by coils - in dirt (learn how much moisture is there and how it affects the temperature)
Outside temperature - air (outside ambient to chart against the buried sensor)

I'm not sure if its worth placing temperature sensors at the ends of the buried pipe's insulated area. It would measure the insulated pipes effectiveness but the results also wouldn't be in-line temperatures like the indoor water sensors. Only one chance to do it... there's still time to order more of the sensors from Maryland.

Another temperature sensor buried twelve feet down would be nice as a control against my heated grounds one. Sending one down away from the coils in a pvc pipe my future plan. Extending the trench to install another one would be simpler though. I'd also like to monitor the temperature at the bottom of the hill and possibly install a moisture sensor there too.
post #93 of 340
This is fantastic. I cannot wait to see finished results!
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post #94 of 340
awsome, goodluck
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post #95 of 340
Sometime if I have to make a bend with the pipe that it doesnt want to do, I will use a heat gun and gently persuade it. Dont melt it, just soften it.

Yea, we havent been getting much use out of our 320 lately either.
post #96 of 340
Quote:
Originally Posted by Romir View Post
I'm not sure if its worth placing temperature sensors at the ends of the buried pipe's insulated area. It would measure the insulated pipes effectiveness but the results also wouldn't be in-line temperatures like the indoor water sensors. Only one chance to do it... there's still time to order more of the sensors from Maryland.

Another temperature sensor buried twelve feet down would be nice as a control against my heated grounds one. Sending one down away from the coils in a pvc pipe my future plan. Extending the trench to install another one would be simpler though. I'd also like to monitor the temperature at the bottom of the hill and possibly install a moisture sensor there too.
Romir, I think you've planned your sensor placement thoroughly enough--I wouldn't go too crazy with in-line sensors, etc. I think that the 12' depth ground temp sensor is a must. Once it is in place, you could simply run the system cold, and compare the into-house temps with ambient ground temps for the first few minutes.

Also, be sure to account for remote sensor wire length, as it may affect the sensor readings, depending on sensor implementation. ICYDK, you can splice a larger gauge wire to reduce elec. resistance. I would also use shielded wire for long above-ground runs.

Question: Do your sensors interface with a computer in any way? USB or serial, perhaps? My purpose for this would be data logging & graphing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ericld View Post
Sometime if I have to make a bend with the pipe that it doesnt want to do, I will use a heat gun and gently persuade it. Dont melt it, just soften it.

Yea, we havent been getting much use out of our 320 lately either.
Excellent point. Colder temperatures make plastics much stiffer.
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post #97 of 340
If you used digital temp sensors, you wouldn't need to worry about elec resistance issues would you?
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post #98 of 340
Quote:
Originally Posted by oliverw92 View Post
If you used digital temp sensors, you wouldn't need to worry about elec resistance issues, would you?
As I said, depending on the implementation. "Digital temp sensors" doesn't imply that the connection to the business end isn't analog. After all, temperatures are analog data that must be represented digitally. Example: simple temperature sensor on the end of a wire, leading to a digital module/display. See? Still analog.

If you can actually bury a powered digital temperature sensing module and run data cable instead of analog wire, then more power to you, but it's a more expensive application, and prone to sooner eventual failure since the business end is more complex. Not only is the aforementioned true, but the module would generate heat, which is extremely undesirable in temperature sensors. (Granted, the end module could have an analog wire attached to a sensor to avoid self-heat pickup). Use the "KISS" principle.

PS: Pictures aren't loading for me.
Edited by Slink - 2/20/10 at 9:53am
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post #99 of 340
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slink View Post
I think that the 12' depth ground temp sensor is a must. Once it is in place, you could simply run the system cold, and compare the into-house temps with ambient ground temps for the first few minutes.

Also, be sure to account for remote sensor wire length, as it may affect the sensor readings, depending on sensor implementation. ICYDK, you can splice a larger gauge wire to reduce elec. resistance. I would also use shielded wire for long above-ground runs.

Question: Do your sensors interface with a computer in any way? USB or serial, perhaps? My purpose for this would be data logging & graphing.
That's the plan, let the cold offline loop warm up and watch the recording sensor changes. They'll be logging and ftp'ing updated charts 24/7.

I learned how to cheaply test the loops capacity. A wired up 1500 watt heater element is under $20 for the few pieces at Lowe's.

The 1-wire network system is digital and will off direct burial cat5e. I didn't know about this system before so I'm really looking forward to setting it up and learning the automation capabilities. I took the easy route and bought an assembled hub from hobby-boards. It should make an easy star topology that will give me extra channels for simple expansion any which way. On your subject, itt has a power injector for longer runs where parasitic power isn't enough. Some of the sensor boards, like the moisture one, can optionally use it too.

I bought a usb interface to hook the hub up to a Mini 9 with Ubuntu server. The software will be OWFS, or maybe Digitemp if OWFS is too hard to fully set up at first. Later on I'd like to get a $50 Linksys NSLU2 appliance and sell the netbook.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slink View Post
PS: Pictures aren't loading for me.
Oops, I only gave the domain 2.5gb. Fixed, thanks.
post #100 of 340
Thread Starter 
Today's update:

After a bit of debate and re-reading the VT geothermal page, the coil's trench is once again planned for the bottom of the hill. It won't be as deep because it'll be constantly sinking and caving in. We're going to have to dig and lower the coiled piping down within minutes of digging each 5-6 foot section of the trench.

Having a moisture and temperature sensor with the coils will objectively reveal how this project works out. I'll plan on burying two temperature sensors near the top of the hill for comparison purposes. One sensor should be at the same depth, and the other can go "12 feet under". Something should be... If that location has more suitable temperatures during this summer and the next winter, look for a second coil loop project one year from now.


There was time to borrow the rented ditch witch for the return lines. Here it is trenching down the hill, going up is safer.


This is dry sandy so far. There wasn't much debris near the top of the hill.


Half way down a tree stump was encountered. Trying to go around it to the left was futile.


The finished trench. It looks short from this perspective. The soil was more moist every inch of the way. The pit will connect to the end here and be dug towards the right.


The side view.


The neighbor's golden retriever performed a surprise inspection of the operation.


The trenches depth is about 2.5 feet with a 4 inch width. I'll have to clean it out once it rains next week. The thicker pipe insulation from Grainger won't arrive in time.

Time to take some measurements and then head to Lowe's again.
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