Water Loop Heat Exchanger

Where there is a body of water in the form of a dam or lake within a reasonable distance from a building, these surface water bodies can also be considered as an energy source. Water loops are gaining popularity because they require no drilling or excavation. These systems, due to an efficient heat exchange interface, potentially require less piping than other GHE configurations. In closed water loops, HDPE coils are attached to a frame and submerged in a water body. The coils are typically supported 0.5m above the lake bottom to allow for convective flow around the piping. Normally the coils should have at least 1.8m of water above them (Self et al., 2012). It is necessary to assure sufficient thermal mass is maintained during low water conditions and prolonged draughts. The CGC (2010) also mentions that in cold climates, if a water body depth is less than 3m, lakes and dams destratify and offer no advantage. Due to flooding and draughts as well as hazards due to moving debris that can damage the GHE, rivers are not ideal for this application.

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