Geothermal wells and Classroom Walls

Posted by: jstoddard on May 23, 2012

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May has looked and felt more like June this year- not a bad thing for moving work along. Structural panels continue to be assembled on our 11,000 square foot main facility while in areas already completed, other work is already progressing. Graywater drainlines, storm drains, venting and water supply lines are coming together in the basement while the radiant tubing for in-floor heat is being placed and cast in concrete on the main level. The radiant tubes will exchange heat by indirect contact with an antifreeze loop that is pumped into a series of wells, each of which is around 250' deep.

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A geothermal well take about a day to drill and our system requires eight of them. We place long loops of polyethelyne pipe in the holes, then pack a special grout into the well to seal the pipe in place. Those loops come above ground now but they will eventually be attached to a header below ground that brings the antifreeze from the wells to the mechanical spaces in the basement. Befor the header gets placed, the area needs to dry out. Drilling requires water, as does the activation of the grout, and in our location, we also hit some minor aquifers that added to the imrpovised mud season.

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The water well is slated to get started before the end of this month with a derrick twice the size of the geothermal rig. We'll also be trenching for water and electrical supply, bolting the student housing girders together, and sheetrocking the caretaker home.

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