Can You Install Geothermal Ground Loops Through Bedrock?

Geothermal Drill

One of the biggest misconceptions about geothermal is that having shallow bedrock, ledge or shale could make it more costly or impossible to install geothermal on your property. Fortunately, not only is it possible, it’s often faster and easier for our crews to drill into solid rock to install geothermal!

For example, St. Patrick’s Cathedral upgraded their heating and cooling system to geothermal by drilling into 2,200 feet of solid bedrock in Manhattan.

Installing Geothermal Through Bedrock Is Easy

Most geothermal systems capture the ambient heat under your home through a series of pipes buried at a depth where temperatures stay consistent year-round called ground loops. A Dandelion system uses vertical ground loops, installed about 200 to 500 feet deep in the earth.

Those ground loops absorb heat from the earth in the winter to heat your home and reject heat into the ground during the summer for cooling. Bedrock and shale are great thermal conductors, forming what’s called heat sinks. That means that solid rock makes the cyclical geothermal process even more efficient.

Drilling Technology Makes the Geothermal Installation Process More Efficient

Vertical ground loops are usually installed using a well drill. Dandelion developed an innovative and proprietary sonic drill suite that’s lighter, cleaner, and can install 14x faster than a conventional well drill. Both a standard well drill and our sonic drill make easy work of installing geothermal ground loops in bedrock, ledge and shale.

When we bore into soft soil or clay, our crews have to double their efforts by advancing down stainless steel casing to keep the bore hole from collapsing as they drill. Fortunately hard rock like bedrock, ledge and shale do the work of reinforcing the well for us, making the process faster and often easier.

Geothermal Ground Loops Are Built to Last

Vertical ground loops can last more than fifty years — even up to 100 years, with little maintenance! Once installed, the buried ground loop will be an invisible, permanent fixture on the property, providing clean and sustainable heating and cooling for your home.

So now that you know that installing a geothermal system on bedrock, ledge or shale is no sweat, find out if your home is pre-qualified for a Dandelion system today!

Share this article