Robert Sparks, Head Engineer for Geothermal Innovations, has arrived at Yale Acres to conduct the thermal conductivity test needed to complete the design for the geothermal field. One of the most important components in any geothermal design is ensuring that the field is correctly sized, i.e. the exact number of bores. The sizing of the system will vary according to the thermal conductivity, or ability to conduct heat, of the local soil conditions. If a thermal conductivity test is not completed the geothermal system may be oversized, wasting money on extra bores, or undersized, causing performance issues. The higher the soil conductivity, the fewer the number of bores will be required. Thermal conductivity is measured by adding constant heat to the water circulating through the test bore (Gi.4 heat exchanger), while concurrently logging the temperature rise in the water. From this data the engineer will evaluate how well the test bore dissipates heat to the surrounding earth.
The conductivity test will require four days to complete and once finished Mr. Sparks will determine the exact number of bores required to service the Energy Star Model Building as well as two additional Yale Acres buildings (4 units each) with geothermal heating and cooling. A common field used to service all the buildings helps to increase the efficiency of the system. Drillers have already begun to drill additional holes for the field and installation of additional GI.4 heat exchanger will begin soon.