There are 4 loop systems used by Geothermal Heating, each of which can turn your back yard into a source of power, and power efficiency is similar between all four. The option which will suit you will depend upon soil type, ground water availability, and the size of your yard. There are rare situations when installing the system may not be possible.
Horizontal Closed Loops
These are a common installation in Canada. Horizontal loops are installed where soils can be excavated easily. Since they take up more land area than any other loop system, thay are used where space permits.
A trench is dug on the property, and the pipe is buried in one continuous loop or a series of parallel loops. Landscaping may be required on renovation installations.
Vertical Closed Loops
Vertical loops are often used where land area is limited, or where it would be difficult to dig the more economical horizontal loops. Several pairs of pipes with a U-bend assembly at the bottom are inserted into a series of deep bore holes which are then grouted to ensure good heat transfer.
Lake or Pond Closed Loops
If a pond or lake is available, the heat pump loops can utilize the water rather than the soil to transfer heat. The pipe loop must be weighted properly to remain on the bottom of the lake and to avoid shifting caused by the movement of spring ice.
Lake or pond loops are usually less expensive to install than trenching into the ground.
Water or Well Open Loops
Open loop systems extract or eject heat directly from or to a water well, returning the water in accordance with environmental regulations. Water quality and quantity must be ensured before an installation of this style can be done.