By Josh Rosenberg, P.E.
Standing column wells draw water directly from wells into the building to heat/cool the ground source heat pumps (GSHP), either indirectly or directly, and then the water is discharged back into the same well. The goal of a GSHP system is to reduce the frequency at which the compressor must be powered on average throughout the year by evening out the extreme seasonal variations in temperature. This is because GSHPs exchange heat with the subsurface soil and rock, which has a relatively steady temperature throughout the year, compared with that of the outside air. Therefore GSHP’s require less energy to heat and cool buildings than conventional air-source heat pumps, creating a more sustainable means of heating and cooling a building.
PARE recently completed installation of an 1100-foot deep geothermal standing column test well within the City of Boston. PARE provided field observation during advancement of the well hole and during the well pump test. After completion of the test well, PARE provided our client with a Geothermal Data Report detailing the geotechnical drilling conditions, well pump test and recharge data, water quality testing, and future steps necessary to advance the project to full scale production. The test well and data report will provide our client with the information necessary to evaluate the hydraulic properties of the bedrock, assess the level of difficulty in installing the full production well field, and assist in evaluating construction budgets. PARE coordinated with our client to strategically place the test well where it can be converted into a full scale production well when the full scale system is implemented, to conserve space, materials and ultimately cost.