Discussion in 'Surface Water Loops' started by urthbuoy, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. urthbuoy

    urthbuoy Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

  2. Tom vonDeak

    Tom vonDeak New Member

    looks nice but ..

    Hi, I looked at the web site and although the unit looks slick I could not find what principle this small unit employs to outperform conventional coil systems that seemingly contact a much greater volume of water.

    Since the unit is in contact with a smaller volume of water I would guess that it would freeze the water surrounding it quickly. Perhaps the design of the unit facilitates water flow through the unit so that freezing doesn't occur but this is conjecture on my part since the web site doesn't provide any information on its principle of operation.
  3. Palace GeoThermal

    Palace GeoThermal Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I looked at one of their units at the IGSHPA show in Denver.

    I came away wondering the same thing about being in contact with less water.
  4. engineer

    engineer Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Seems like a variation on the design of a Slim Jim.

    For it to work adequate flow would have to develop naturally through the ball past the internal coils. It's gotta stay below any surface ice as well as not cause any icing itself. That's a tall order given the tight range of temperatures in a pond in winter. Warmest water (39*F) is near bottom, and that leaves little margin for low flow errors.

    Ball freezes despite being anchored well below what?

    My gut says it might work, my mind wants proof.
  5. ACES-Energy

    ACES-Energy Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Anyone try one yet?
  6. zacmobile

    zacmobile Guest

    Here is one the owner and I installed last week & started up yesterday. It went into the lake fairly easily considering there was quite a stiff breeze that day. A lot less cumbersome than the usual slinky mat. I like it but it's got quite a hefty price tag, which will hopefully go down as their sales volume increases, I think we're paying a lot for their R&D at the moment.

    I also installed their Geo-Circulator as well; it consists of 2 pumps, a large VFD drive one on the lake loop circuit and a regular wet rotor for the heat pump with a non pressurized sort of a low loss header chamber between them. Pretty neat, but strikes me as a tad overkill for a residential application.

    We also used their "Lima-Sol" corn based glycol antifreeze in the loop, looks like cooking oil.:D

    Attached Files:

  7. urthbuoy

    urthbuoy Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader


    I'd be very interested in financial and operating details, if you want to share. I have two such systems coming up and wondering if this setup would be a good fit.

    You can e-mail me directly as well.
  8. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I ran across these and brought them up somewhere a few weeks back.
    Most every technology eventually shrinks the heat gathering/disapating tentacles.
    Air source systems have shrunk outdoor coil tube and multiplied layers. Most ground loops used to be bigger than 3/4" and heck DXers use 1/4" in a horizontal bed.
    So as long as the water keeps moving this little ball of btus oughtta work great.
  9. zacmobile

    zacmobile Guest

    startup stats

    I have to go back for some fine tuning of the pump speeds (they are running a little high) but here are some readings from the initial start up:

    source pressure in: 12 psi
    source pressure out: 4 psi
    (about 16.5 gpm)
    source temp in: 38°F
    source temp out: 34°F
    (I should have checked the actual lake temperature, next week)

    load pressure in: 26psi
    load pressure out: 21psi
    (about 13gpm)
    load temp in: 102°F
    load temp out: 108.5°F

    total amps incl. all 3 pumps: 22A
    compressor amps: 16A
    volts: 243VAC

    the VFD pump is drawing 3 amps by itself, but I suspect we can turn it down a little bit & the heat pump to chamber circulator too.

    I wouldn't look at it from a purely economical perspective because you could probably do a slinky mat or your conventional loop of choice for approx half the cost. I think the major benefits of the Lima-1 are its compactness (way less prone to damage from wayward anchors & the like), ease of installation & moveability . (From talking with their engineer you can displace the loop fluid with air & easily move it if needed.)

    This is actually a 2 year old approx 2,500sq ft. existing home with radiant heat that was being supplied by a 20KW electric boiler so it will be interesting to see the payback on this project. The owner showed me his last power bill and it was almost $1.300.00 for 2 months! :eek:
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2012
  10. urthbuoy

    urthbuoy Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader


    And I do recall getting a price from them at some point and thinking the exact same thing - 2x cost of lake loop for something I'm not sure won't ice up.

    But, I do like the tidy footprint.

    Did your client want this unit specifically? Or was an option to get the permit?
  11. zacmobile

    zacmobile Guest

    Yes, he definitely wanted it specifically. One of the reasons he didn't do geo in the first place when he originally built 2 years ago was he didn't like the typical loop designs available at the time. (one quote he got specified the old 1-1/4" straight out & back thing which would have gone to the other side of the lake!) He met the Limnion guys at a trade show a year ago and he was sold.

    I don't follow your second question, Do you mean is the Lima-1 permit exempt? or the Lima-1 is accepted over other loop designs?
  12. urthbuoy

    urthbuoy Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    2nd question

    Was just asking if the use of the Lima was part of thepermit requirement for the surface water installation? It wasn't obviously.
  13. zacmobile

    zacmobile Guest


    I take the fifth on that one (or whatever the Canadian equivalent would be;)

    One of the owners points was if the department(s) who cared about these matters gave him the gears there's not much they can do as it's not really any different than having a mooring buoy filled with vegetable oil, what could it be harming?

    Permits are getting out of hand though, it is my understanding that for a lake loop the permit is now $500 plus a $2500 damage deposit refundable when you pull your loop out of the lake:rolleyes:, if the Lima-1 were to be exempt it's price tag is starting to look a lot better.

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