Several years ago, we passed our written testing for Geothermal Well Drilling. (Drillers have to purchase yearly license that is quite expensive to actually Geo drill.) For the past several years, we’ve been doing our homework. We’ve gone to a number of seminars and meetings. We’ve recently found that there is special pipe that installs down the bore hole that is supposed to be five times more efficient in extracting the heat from the ground. Like everything else we do, we’re not going to be satisfied with the status quo.
One of the things that must be understood is that there are two forms of Geo Heat. One is actual Geothermal Heat. This is when a hole is drilled in the ground and the ground gives up enough heat so that the recirculated fluid naturally heats the dwelling. Most of the downtown in Pagosa Springs is heated this way.
The other more common Geo Drilling is actually called Geo-Exchange. The average temperature from the ground deeper than 6 feet is about 54 degrees. The piping is put into a deep drilled bore hole, or a horizontal trench many feet long, or a pond, and the fluid is recirculated to and through a heat exchanger – much like the compressor on every refrigerator. The heat exchanger then takes the 54 degree heat and increases it to temperatures needed to heat the house, depending upon the type of heating system you have. When outside winter temperatures are quite often 20 degrees to 10 degrees below zero here in Pagosa, the 54 degree heat from the ground is a huge step up for almost no continuing cost.
One of the things that we are excited about is that Pagosa Springs quite often has a blend between the two types of heats. We drilled last year about two blocks North of our shop, and at 500′ deep, we found that the water had temperatures of 74 to 76 degrees. We’ve heard of another well about the same depth even closer to our shop that has warm water. So we are taking laser temperature readings at various depths on almost all of our drilling now. We’ve even included a column on our field drilling logs for the temperature readings. As the years roll on, we are going to have very valuable data on the underground temperatures of the ground from Pagosa to Durango.
The other exciting news is that Pagosa Verde, a private and public company in Pagosa has been drilling downtown and taking soil samples to determine where to drill a 3000′ hot water well to be used for electrical power generation and heating green houses. We’ve been very happy to help out and drill some of the top holes for this project.
We’ll be updating this page with pictures and more info as we drill and / or find out more information for our area.