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GeoClips®: U-Bend Pipe Separators

GHP Systems, Inc. is a proud OEM distributor of u-bend pipe separators called GeoClips. GeoClips utilize geothermal technology designed to enhance your vertical heat exchanger (VHE) performance.

GeoClips can reduce costs and make installation easier in a number of ways:

  • Optimize u-bend pipe placement within the borehole.
  • Eliminate negative effects of low thermal conductivity of bentonite-based grouts.
  • Provide maximum pipe separation within the borehole.
  • Reduce installation costs by shortening required VHE design lengths.

Geothermal Borehole Resistance
A standard VHE installation has the two pipes that make up the u-bend pipe assembly that are either touching or are in close proximity of each other, thus interfering with each others’ ability to exchange energy with the earth. These u-bend pipes are usually encased with a 20% solids bentonite grout (often required by State regulations) in order to seal the borehole to prevent contamination of water aquifers below ground. Although the bentonite grout mixture is excellent for sealing the borehole, it has poor heat transfer characteristics and acts as an insulator restricting energy exchange between the u-bend pipes and the surrounding soil.

Recent technology advances have yielded the design of u-bend pipe separators, called GeoClips. GeoClips decrease borehole resistance, thereby significantly increasing the performance of a VHE and lowering the installation costs by shortening required VHE lengths.

GeoClips Energy Flux Diagram (click to enlarge)

This diagram illustrates how the energy flux of a VHE is affected by its configuration. The first configuration uses no performance-enhancing technology; therefore, the borehole resistance greatly inhibits the exchange of energy of the circulating fluid and the earth. The energy flux increases significantly with the use of u-bend pipe separators in the second configuration. An even greater increase in the capacity is gained by incorporating a thermally enhanced grout with the u-bend pipe separator as shown in the third borehole configuration. A key point to consider is that there is a balance between the added cost of increasing VHE performance and the savings incurred by shortening the total VHE length.

Field-Proven and Independently Tested
Research performed by independent testing facilities indicates that positioning u-bend pipes at the borehole wall, directly across from one another, significantly increases the heat transfer rate of the vertical heat exchanger over a standard installation, regardless of the backfill or grouting material used.

Bore Thermal Conductivity Comparison Graph (click to enlarge)
This graph illustrates the results from a thermal conductivity test performed by Oklahoma State University. This test verifies that there is a substantial increase in the heat transfer rate with GeoClips installations when compared to standard installations.

For more information or to request a quote email: geoclips@ghpsystems.com or call 1-888-447-7757.