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Geothermal Pond Loops PDF Print E-mail

Geothermal Pond Loops

Geothermal systems operate by extracting energy from the ground in the wintertime and ejecting heat from a building back into the ground in the summertime. This is done using various types of loop systems. The 2 most common are the closed loop and open loop configurations. We also utilize pond or lake loop systems where applicable.

  • Summer Pond Loops
    Summer Pond Loops
    Summer Pond Loops
    Summer Pond Loops
  • Lake and Pond Loops - The pond closed loop configuration is the most economical configuration. It can be installed when the home building is situated close to a body of surface water, such as a lake or a pond. The system functions similarly to a ground loop system.  The fluid circulates through polyethylene pipes in a closed system. Pipes are usually run to the water with longer sections submerged in the water itself. The pipe may be curled densely in order to fit more of it in a given space. It is recommended that pond loops are used only in cases when the water does not drop below 6 to 8 feet at its lowest level in order to ascertain sufficient heat-transfer capability. Pond loops with closed systems do not affect water bodies in any adverse way.


There are a great number of natural and man-made lakes in Illinois. These sources of water can provide two-thirds and even ¾ of geothermal heat for complete comfort both in summer and winter.

The thermal conductivity of water, or in other words its heat capacity to exchange heat, is four times higher than the conductivity of any other fluid. At the same time the thermal conductivity of ice and snow is very low. This characteristic of water performs a very important function.

The layer of ice allows just a very little amount of cold air to enter the water under the ice. In this way even when ambient temperatures go down below -20 F the layer of ice formed above the sea for example, will never be thicker than 2-4 feet.

Due to these unique thermal properties of water the differences in temperature in summer and winter, at night and during the day, remain in a range that allows people and other living creatures to survive. If there had been more land than water on the Earth the difference between daytime and night temperatures would have been bigger, larger areas of land would have been dominated by deserts and life would have been impossible or at best very difficult.

That is why Illinois/Chicago is a blessed land. The state altitude above the sea level is very low and natural lakes are part of our everyday life.

Every lake can be used as an example. Ruth Lake, let’s say, situated between the two suburbs Burr Ridge and Hinsdale and twenty minutes away from Down Town Chicago, to the southwest, is one of the best examples for a perfect source of energy. There are about 25-30 houses around the lake and each of them uses approximately 110-300 millions of Btu yearly and more.

In the Lake Zurich suburb, located northwest of Chicago, around the lake Zurich there are houses arranged in two rows, 55 houses in each of them. They could take advantage of the geothermal energy or the so called Geoexchange. …

Another good example is the lake in Wauconda suburb. The only difference here is the number of properties, situated around the lake, amounting to 130-140 without counting the commercial buildings. All these properties are good candidate for geothermal heating systems.

Lakes have another special feature. Water in lakes is almost still so the rays of sunlight can not go very deep in summer and in winter, even if the lake is covered in ice, the temperature doesn’t change that much. So, water temperature at the bottom remains unchanged all the time. It is about 39-40F.


This webpage has been developed as a more technical guide to geothermal technology. The following documents are provided by recognized industry experts and from ClimateMaster, our chosen manufacturer of geothermal heat pumps. All of these documents are in PDF format.

Visit our ClimateMaster page with complete product technical date, physical dimensions, supply and return orientation, performance specifications, accessories and much more for the Tranquility 27 series.

Ductwork installations for geothermal systems must to be custom designed to exacting specifications. Improperly designed and/or installed ductwork will significantly affect the system’s performance. Geothermal House, Inc designs and installs ductwork to the exacting Standards established by the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI). Click here to visit our ARI Standards page where you can download and read the ARI ductwork design Standards specifically for geothermal systems.

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