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Publication numberUS20100059198 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/555,138
Publication dateMar 11, 2010
Filing dateSep 8, 2009
Priority dateMar 6, 2007
Also published asCA2679918A1, CN101680687A, CN101680687B, EP2118584A1, WO2008106700A1
Publication number12555138, 555138, US 2010/0059198 A1, US 2010/059198 A1, US 20100059198 A1, US 20100059198A1, US 2010059198 A1, US 2010059198A1, US-A1-20100059198, US-A1-2010059198, US2010/0059198A1, US2010/059198A1, US20100059198 A1, US20100059198A1, US2010059198 A1, US2010059198A1
InventorsArmin Amann, Wilhelm Sonderegger
Original AssigneeA&S Umwelttechnologie Ag
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
System for configuring earth probes
US 20100059198 A1
Abstract
A system for configuring earth probes (1) for receiving thermal energy from the earth and/or for discharging thermal energy into the earth, including a conductor system having a feed and a return line, which are connected to each other at the lower end of the earth probe (1), the system including probe modules (11, 12), which each form a section (15, 16) of the feed and/or return line of the earth probe (1) and which can be connected to each other at least by a positive and/or non-positive connection, preferably a plug-in connection, and a base piece (13), which forms a section of the conductor system of the earth probe (1). The section connects the feed line to the return line, and can be connected to the probe modules (11, 12) via at least one positive and/or non-positive connection, preferably a plug-in connection.
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Claims(16)
1. System for the construction of geothermal probes (1) for absorbing thermal energy from the ground and/or for dissipating thermal energy to the ground, comprising:
probes having a line system with an outgoing and a return line that are connected to each other at a lower end of each of the geothermal probe (1), the probes include
probe modules (11, 12), and a section (15, 16) of at least one of the outgoing or return line of the geothermal probe (1) is formed from each of the probe modules and the modules are connectable to each other by at least one plug connection, and
a foot piece (13) that forms a section of the line system of the geothermal probe (1) connecting the outgoing line to the return line and that are connectable to the probe modules (11, 12) by at least one positive-fit and/or non-positive-fit connection, and
two of the probe modules (11, 12) are connected to each other with a positive fit by at least one plug connection locked in a closed state.
2. System according to claim 1, wherein the foot piece (13) is connectable to the probe modules (11, 12) by at least one plug connection.
3. System according to claim 1, wherein the sections (15, 16) of the outgoing and return lines have a nested arrangement.
4. System according to claim 1, wherein the sections (15, 16) of at least one of the outgoing or return lines are plugged together directly via two of the probe modules (11, 12) for forming a plug connection or the sections (15, 16) of the outgoing and/or return lines of two of the probe modules can be connected to each other by a coupling piece (39) that is pluggable together with the sections (15) of the outgoing line or with the sections (16) of the return line of the two probe modules (11, 12).
5. System according to claim 1, wherein the probe modules (11, 12) include an outer pipe piece (17) within which a section of the line system of the geothermal probe (1) is housed comprising pipe pieces from which sections (15, 16) of the outgoing and return lines are formed.
6. System according to claim 5, wherein the outer pipe pieces (17) of the two probe modules (11, 12) are connectable to each other by at least one of a positive-fit or non-positive-fit plug connection.
7. System according to claim 6, wherein for the connection of two probe modules (11, 12), a pipe connecting piece (29) attached to one end of the outer pipe piece (17) of a corresponding one of the probe modules (11, 12) is insertable into the other end of the probe module (11, 12) to be connected to said probe module (11, 12) or a coupling piece (43) is present that is insertable into two ends of the outer pipe piece (17) of the probe modules (11, 12) to be connected.
8. System according to claim 5, wherein an intermediate space (18) between the outer pipe piece (17) of a corresponding probe module (11, 12) and the line system of the probe module (11, 12) is filled at least greater than a large part of a longitudinal extent thereof with a cement-bound casting compound (19).
9. System according to claim 5, wherein the foot piece (13) has an outer pipe piece (32) within which the section of the line system of the geothermal probe (1) is arranged by which the outgoing line of the geothermal probe can be connected to the return line of the geothermal probe, and wherein, in a connected state of the foot piece (13) to one of the probe modules (11, 12), the outer pipe piece (32) of the foot piece (13) is connected to the outer pipe piece (17) of the probe module (11, 12) by at least one of a positive-fit or non-positive-fit plug connection.
10. System according to claim 1, wherein, for a nested, coaxial arrangement of the outgoing and return lines, the sections (16) of the return line housing the sections (15) of the outgoing line in the probe modules connected to each other are connected to each other with a positive fit by a plug connection locked in the closed state.
11. System according to claim 1, wherein the two of the probe modules (11, 12) connected to each other have outer pipe pieces (17), within each of which a section of the line system of the geothermal probe (1) is housed, and are connected to each other with a positive fit by a plug connection locked in the closed state.
12. System according to claim 1, wherein a foot piece (13) connected to one of the probe modules (11, 12) is connected with a positive fit to the probe module (11, 12) by at least one plug connection locked in the closed state.
13. System according to claim 1, wherein the system comprises a probe head (14) that has first and second connections (34, 35) for forming at least one of a positive-fit or non-positive-fit plug connections with the outgoing and return lines of the geothermal probe (1) and third and fourth connections (36, 37) for forming at least one of positive-fit or non-positive-fit plug connections with the feed and discharge lines to and from the geothermal probe (1).
14. System according to claim 13, wherein the probe head (14) features a passage (38) that connects the third to the fourth connection (36, 37) and by which a bypass is formed with respect to the geothermal probe (1).
15. System according to claim 1, wherein, for two of the probe modules connected to each other with a positive fit by the one or more plug connections locked in the closed state, both of the sections (15) of the outgoing line formed by the probe modules (1) are connected to each other by a plug connection and also the sections (16) of the return line formed by the probe modules (1) are connected to each other by a plug connection.
16. Geothermal probe arrangement for absorbing thermal energy from the ground and/or for dissipating thermal energy to the ground, wherein this arrangement features at least one geothermal probe formed by a system according to claim 1 that includes a line system with outgoing and return lines that can carry a flow of heat-carrier medium and a connecting-line system (2-10) by which the heat-carrier medium of each geothermal probe (1) can be fed via a feed line leading to the geothermal probe (1) and by which the heat-carrier medium can be discharged from a corresponding geothermal probe (1) via a discharge line leading away from this geothermal probe (1), wherein the feed and discharge lines are formed from line pieces (2-8) that are connectable to each other by positive-fit and/or non-positive-fit plug connections.
Description
    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This application is a continuation of PCT/AT2008/000070, filed Mar. 3, 2008, which claims the benefit of Austrian Application No. A 348/2007, filed Mar. 6, 2007, both of which are incorporated herein by reference as if fully set forth.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    The invention relates to a system for the construction of geothermal probes for absorbing thermal energy from the ground and/or for dissipating thermal energy to the ground, wherein these probes feature a line system with an outgoing line and a return line that are connected to each other at the bottom end of the geothermal probe, comprising probe modules, wherein a section of the outgoing and/or return line of the geothermal probe is constructed by each probe module and wherein these probe modules can be connected to each other by at least one plug connection, and a foot piece that forms a section of the line system of the geothermal probe, with this section connecting the outgoing and return lines, and that can be connected to the probe modules by at least one positive-fit and/or non-positive-fit connection.
  • DESCRIPTION OF RELATED STATE OF THE ART
  • [0003]
    Geothermal probes for obtaining geothermal energy, wherein these probes extend into the depth of the ground in contrast to surface-area collectors, are known in different embodiments. In addition to geothermal probes that are sunk, in particular, through pile-driving or vibrations, directly into the ground, configurations are known that are inserted into a drilled hole formed in the ground or that are inserted into a cavity that is present in a component formed in the ground, for example, in a pile-driven steel or concrete pipe, a pile-driven pilot, or a foundation. Geothermal probes inserted into cast-in-place concrete are also known.
  • [0004]
    The installed geothermal probe is connected via a feed and a discharge line to an energy system for using heat and/or cold, for example, to a heat pump, wherein a circuit for the heat-carrier medium is formed. If a single geothermal probe is not sufficient for absorbing and/or dissipating the required energy, then a geothermal-probe system with several geothermal probes is formed. Conventionally, the geothermal probes are each connected to a common distributor/collector via separate feed and discharge lines. Thus, for such a system, several parallel probe circuits each featuring an individual geothermal probe are formed. Or distributor and collection pipes are laid along the probe positions at which the individual geothermal probes are then connected in parallel—usually according to the Tichelmann method.
  • [0005]
    From EP 1 486 741 B1, a geothermal probe emerges in which an outer pipe is sunk into the ground through pile-driving. This outer pipe consists of several joined pipe pieces. The connection is advantageously formed as a tight connecting-sleeve connection. Then a lining pipe is inserted into the outer pipe placed in the ground, wherein this lining pipe can be made from individual pipe pieces that are inserted piece by piece into the outer pipe and that are connected tightly by fusing. Instead of this, a corrugated plastic hose with the required total length can also be used as the lining pipe. The intermediate space between the outer pipe and the lining pipe is consequently cast with a casting compound. Then an already completely assembled inner pipe is inserted into the lining pipe. The inner pipe forms the outgoing line for a heat-carrier medium, while the intermediate space between the inner pipe and the lining pipe forms the return line for the heat-carrier medium. The production of such a geothermal probe is associated with considerable installation expense generated at the construction site.
  • [0006]
    A geothermal probe to be inserted into a drilled hole in the ground is known, for example, from AT 007 510 U1. An inner pipe is arranged within an outer pipe formed as a corrugated pipe, by which the outgoing and return lines for the heat-carrier medium are formed. The geothermal probe is formed as a preassembled unit and can be brought to the construction site in a rolled-together state. For each geothermal probe with a desired length, a preassembled unit must be formed in this length. A geothermal probe formed in an analogous way and inserted into a concrete foundation element of a structure is known from AT 007 887 U1.
  • [0007]
    In addition to so-called “coaxial systems” in which the outgoing and return lines are formed by nested pipes, in particular, by coaxial pipes, so-called “U-probes” are known in which the outgoing and return lines are formed by pipes arranged one next to the other. In addition to simple U-probes with a single outgoing and return line, double U-probes with two outgoing and return lines are also known. Such a U-probe emerges, for example, from EP 582 118 A1. The outgoing and return lines are connected to each other at their lower end by arc-shaped pieces or other foot pieces that deflect the heat-carrier medium by 180. At the upper end of the outgoing lines and at the upper end of the return lines, a head piece is attached that is connected through fusing or adhesion to the lines and features a connection for connecting to the feed line or for connecting to the discharge line for the feeding and discharging of a heat-carrier medium. The outgoing and return lines of the geothermal probe are formed by continuous, elongated pipes.
  • [0008]
    Another U-probe is known, for example, from EP 1 006 322 A2. For introducing the geothermal probe into the ground, first a pipe formed from several pipe pieces is pile-driven into the ground. The line system is introduced into the inner cavity of the pile-driven pipe and connected to an end piece at the lower end of the pile-driven pipe. The pile-driven pipe is then pulled out again from the ground, apart from the end piece.
  • [0009]
    Systems of the type named above are known, for example, from DE 10 202 261 A1 and DE 30 32 104 A1.
  • SUMMARY
  • [0010]
    The invention provides a system for forming geothermal probes of the type noted above, wherein geothermal probes of different length can be formed in a simple way with this system with low assembly expense at the construction site. According to the invention, this is achieved by a system for the construction of geothermal probes for absorbing thermal energy from the ground and/or for dissipating thermal energy to the ground, wherein these probes feature a line system with an outgoing line and a return line that are connected to each other at the lower end of the geothermal probe, comprising probe modules from each of which a section of the outgoing line and/or the return line of the geothermal probe is formed and that can be connected to each other by at least one plug connection, and a foot piece that forms a section of the line system of the geothermal probe connecting the outgoing line to the return line, and that can be connected to the probe modules by at least one positive-fit and/or non-positive-fit connection, wherein two probe modules connected to each other are connected to each other with a positive fit by at least one plug connection locked in the closed state.
  • [0011]
    To form geothermal probes, a system according to the invention comprises probe modules. A probe module represents a section of the longitudinal extent of the geothermal probe to be created, wherein it forms a section of the outgoing line or the return line of the line system or the outgoing and return line of the geothermal probe. Two probe modules can be connected to each other by at least one positive-fit plug connection or plug coupling, wherein each section of the outgoing and/or return lines of the two probe modules are connected to each other. The construction of a plug connection can be realized directly by plugging together the sections of the outgoing and/or return line of the two probe modules, wherein a plug connection is formed between the two sections of the outgoing line and/or between the two sections of the return line. Instead of this connection, at least one coupling piece could also be present that is plugged together with the two sections of the outgoing line to be connected or with the two sections of the return line to be connected, wherein each plug connection is formed.
  • [0012]
    For a plug connection or plug coupling, the parts to be connected to each other are plugged together. For securing the plugged-together state, different positive-fit and/or non-positive-fit elements could be used, wherein locking elements are preferred. However, plugs with clamping rings, plugs with clamping ring cones, plugs with locking spring rings, or plugs with coupling rings could also be used, for example. The plug connection or plug coupling can be separable (detachable) or inseparable (e.g., by catch elements).
  • [0013]
    According to the invention, at least one plug connection formed as a catch connection is present between two probe modules.
  • [0014]
    The system further comprises a foot piece that forms a section of the line system of the geothermal probe connecting the outgoing line to the return line and that can be connected to each of the probe modules by at least one positive-fit and/or non-positive-fit connection, advantageously a plug connection, wherein the section of the line system of the foot piece is connected to each section of the outgoing line and/or the return line of the probe module. The construction of the plug connection can be realized directly by plugging together the section of the line system of the foot piece with each section of the outgoing line and/or return line of the probe module, wherein a plug connection is formed between the section of the line system of the foot piece and the corresponding section of the outgoing line and/or return line of the probe module. Instead of this connection, at least one coupling piece could also be present that is plugged together both with the section of the line system of the foot piece and also with the corresponding section of the outgoing line and/or return line of the probe module, wherein each plug connection is formed. Furthermore, instead of a plug connection, another type of a positive-fit and/or non-positive-fit connection could also be used, e.g., a screw connection.
  • [0015]
    Thus, according to the number and/or length of the probe modules used for the construction of a geothermal probe, geothermal probes of different lengths could be formed, wherein the geothermal probe is closed on its lower end by a mounted foot piece. Thus, a building-block system comprising relatively few preassembled units (=system according to the building-block principle) can be disclosed by the invention through which geothermal probes of different lengths can be formed with low assembly expense. Geothermal probes differ from surface-area collectors in that they project into the depth of the ground, advantageously at a right angle or in an angular range of 10 relative to the vertical. Positioning angles of up to 45 relative to the vertical are possible. The length of a geothermal probe typically lies in the range between 5 m and 75 m, usually in the range between 15 m and 45 m.
  • [0016]
    In the simplest case, a geothermal probe formed by the system according to the invention could also feature only a single probe module to which a foot piece is connected at its lower end, advantageously by a plug connection. Advantageously, a geothermal probe comprises two or more probe modules.
  • [0017]
    By providing probe modules in different, for example, four, standard lengths, a high flexibility of the system can be achieved.
  • [0018]
    Advantageously, at least one plug connection formed as a catch connection is present between each probe module and the foot piece.
  • [0019]
    In one embodiment, geothermal probes can be formed by a system according to the invention, wherein the outgoing and return lines of this system are nested, in particular, are coaxial to each other (=pipe-in-pipe configuration). In another embodiment, geothermal probes can be formed whose one or more outgoing and return lines run one next to the other (U-probe configuration).
  • [0020]
    For a geothermal probe system for which simplified installation is achieved with high flexibility for adaptation to the corresponding requirements, the geothermal probe system features at least one geothermal probe formed by a system according to the invention and a connecting-line system by which the heat-carrier medium of each geothermal probe can be fed via a feed line leading to this geothermal probe and by which the heat-carrier medium can be discharged from each geothermal probe by a discharge line leading away from this geothermal probe, the feed and discharge lines are formed from line pieces that can be connected to each other by positive-fit and/or non-positive-fit connections, advantageously, plug connections.
  • [0021]
    Through the formation of the feed and discharge lines made from line pieces that can be connected to each other by positive-fit and/or non-positive-fit connections, advantageously plug connections, the feed lines and discharge lines can be easily adapted to the given relationships, wherein the assembly expense is low. Advantageously, line pieces of different length are provided, wherein an especially high flexibility can be achieved.
  • [0022]
    For connecting each geothermal probe to the feed line leading to this probe and the discharge line leading away from this probe, there is advantageously a probe head connected at the upper end of the topmost probe module (in the case of the formation of the geothermal probe made from several probe modules) or at the upper end of the single probe module of each geothermal probe. In this way, the probe head is connected to the outgoing and return lines of the geothermal probe by positive-fit and/or non-positive-fit connections, advantageously, plug connections, and the feed and discharge lines are also connected to the probe head by positive-fit and/or non-positive-fit connections, advantageously, plug connections.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0023]
    Additional advantages and details of the invention will be explained below with reference to the accompanying drawing.
  • [0024]
    Shown in the drawing are:
  • [0025]
    FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of a geothermal probe system according to the invention with several geothermal probes connected in series,
  • [0026]
    FIG. 2 and FIG. 3 are a longitudinal middle section and a cross section (section line A-A of FIG. 2) through a geothermal probe module for forming a geothermal probe according to a first embodiment,
  • [0027]
    FIG. 4 is a longitudinal middle section of two plugged-together geothermal probe modules in the connection region,
  • [0028]
    FIG. 5 is a longitudinal middle section through a foot piece mounted on a probe module,
  • [0029]
    FIG. 6 is a longitudinal middle section through a probe head mounted on a probe module,
  • [0030]
    FIG. 7 is a second embodiment of a geothermal probe with a probe head connected to the upper end, the geothermal probe in longitudinal section,
  • [0031]
    FIG. 8 is a cross section along the line B-B of FIG. 7,
  • [0032]
    FIG. 9 is a longitudinal section through a probe module for forming a geothermal probe according to a third embodiment of a geothermal probe,
  • [0033]
    FIG. 10 is a cross section along the line C-C of FIG. 9,
  • [0034]
    FIG. 11 is a longitudinal middle section of two plugged-together probe modules of this embodiment, in the connection region,
  • [0035]
    FIG. 12 is a cross section along the line D-D of FIG. 11,
  • [0036]
    FIG. 13 is a longitudinal middle section of a foot piece according to this embodiment that is plugged together with a probe module corresponding to FIGS. 9 to 12,
  • [0037]
    FIG. 14 is a longitudinal middle section of a probe head according to this embodiment that is plugged together with a probe module according to FIGS. 9 to 12,
  • [0038]
    FIG. 15 is a fourth embodiment of a geothermal probe with a probe head connected at the upper end, in side view,
  • [0039]
    FIG. 16 is a longitudinal middle section of an upper section of a geothermal probe with line pieces mounted on the probe head,
  • [0040]
    FIG. 17 is a cross section through a probe module according to another embodiment of a geothermal probe, section line F-F of FIG. 18,
  • [0041]
    FIG. 18 is a longitudinal middle section along the line E-E of FIG. 17, and
  • [0042]
    FIG. 19 is a view of two plugged-together probe modules of the embodiment according to FIGS. 17 and 18 in the connection region, in a longitudinal middle section.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • [0043]
    From FIG. 1, in a schematic diagram, a possible configuration of a geothermal probe system emerges for absorbing thermal energy from the ground and/or for dissipating thermal energy to the ground. The geothermal probe system according to this configuration comprises several geothermal probes 1 in a series circuit. For feeding and discharging a heat-carrier medium to or from a corresponding geothermal probe 1, a connecting line system with lines is used that are formed by individual line pieces 2-8. The line piece 2 forms at least one section of the feed line to the first of the geothermal probes 1 arranged in series and can be connected at its end not shown in FIG. 1 directly or via one or more additional line pieces to a system using energy (heat, cold), for example, to a heat pump, or to a distributor/collector. A distributor/collector is used, in particular, when several probe circuits are provided, for example, a second probe circuit or several probe circuits could be present that is connected in parallel to the first probe circuit and that is formed, for example, in the same way.
  • [0044]
    The line piece 3 forms the discharge line of the geothermal probes 1 shown in FIG. 1 and connected in series and the feed line for the second geothermal probe 1. The same applies analogously for the line pieces 4 and 5. The line pieces 6-8 that are connected to each other by plug connections 9, 10 form at least one section of the discharge line of the last of the geothermal probes 1 connected in series, wherein the line piece 8 can be connected directly or by one or more additional line pieces not shown in FIG. 1 to the system using energy or to the distributor/collector.
  • [0045]
    The geothermal probes 1 are each formed from several plugged-together probe modules 11, 12 and to a foot piece 13 mounted on the lower end of the lowermost probe module 11. For example, as shown, three probe modules 11 with a greater length and a probe module 12 with a shorter length could be present.
  • [0046]
    The geothermal probes 1 are each connected in the shown embodiment by a probe head 14 to the line pieces 2-8 forming their feed and discharge line. Here, the probe heads 14 are placed on the upper ends of the uppermost probe module 12 and connected by plug connections to the corresponding line pieces 2-6.
  • [0047]
    A first embodiment of a system for forming geothermal probes will be explained below with reference to FIGS. 2 to 6. A probe module 11 of the system is shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. Advantageously, preassembled probe modules are provided in different standardized lengths, for example, in four different lengths.
  • [0048]
    Each probe module 11 forms a section of the longitudinal extent of the geothermal probe 1 and, in this way, a section of the line system of the geothermal probe 1 is formed by this probe module 11, wherein, in this embodiment, both a section 15 of the outgoing line transporting the heat-carrier medium from the top to the bottom and also a section 16 of the return line transporting the heat-carrier medium from the bottom to the top are formed. The sections 15, 16 are here formed by pipe pieces arranged coaxial to each other.
  • [0049]
    The probe module 11 has an outer pipe piece 17 that houses the section of the line system formed by the probe module 11. The intermediate space 18 between the outer pipe piece 17 and the outer pipe piece of the line system are filled with a casting compound 19 with good heat-conducting properties at least over the majority of its length. In particular, a volume-resistant, cement-bound casting compound 19 could be used, advantageously, concrete. The filling extends across the entire longitudinal extent of the probe module 11, apart from end sections.
  • [0050]
    The outer pipe piece forming the section 16 of the return line can be formed, for example, as a smooth pipe that is provided with knobs 20 projecting outward. The outer pipe piece is centered in the outer pipe 17 by the knobs 20. Other embodiments of the outer pipe piece, such as, for example, with short, broken longitudinal connecting pieces or spiral-shaped, longitudinal connecting pieces, are conceivable and possible, with or without a centering function relative to the outer pipe piece 17. The centering function can also be created, for example, by longitudinal widened sections or by separate parts arranged between the outer pipe piece 17 and the section 16. For example, the outer pipe piece of the line system could also be formed by a corrugated pipe.
  • [0051]
    The inner pipe piece forming a section 15 of the outgoing line features, in the shown embodiment, guide rails 21 that extend in the longitudinal direction and that project outward in a star shape viewed in cross section. These are used, above all, for supporting the outer pipe piece forming the section 16 of the return line, in case, during the course of use of the geothermal probe, the outer pipe piece 17 should lose its supporting function, in particular, due to corrosion. The outer pipe piece forming the section 16 of the return line should definitely be formed with relatively thin walls with respect to the desired good heat transfer. In addition, the inner pipe piece is centered by the guide rails 21 in the outer pipe piece.
  • [0052]
    The inner pipe piece could also feature a cross-sectional shape that is different from that shown, for example, short, slightly perpendicular guide rails with short intermediate spaces or short, broken connecting pieces that have a corrugated profile in the longitudinal extent or short, broken connecting pieces that extend in a helical shape in the longitudinal extent. The supporting function of the outer pipe piece could also be eliminated for a corresponding, long term-stable formation of the outer pipe piece 17. The centering in the outer pipe piece could also be created by separate insert parts. The inner pipe piece could then be formed, for example, also as a smooth pipe or as a cross-corrugated pipe. A smooth pipe with outer knobs could also be used as the inner pipe piece that provides a centering function in the outer pipe piece and optionally also a supporting function for the outer pipe piece.
  • [0053]
    The probe modules 11 can be plugged together, wherein, when the probe modules 11 are plugged together, the sections 15, 16 of the outgoing and the return lines of the two probe modules 11 are plugged together. For this purpose, the probe module 11 for constructing each plug connection has, at one end, a plug part and, at the other end, a socket part for this plug connection.
  • [0054]
    Two plugged-together probe modules 11 are shown in FIG. 4. For forming the plug connection between the sections 15 of the outgoing line, a pipe connecting piece 22 is attached to the lower end of the inner pipe piece, for example, with a material-fit connection through welding or adhesion. Positive-fit and/or friction-fit connections are also conceivable and possible. The pipe connecting piece forms the plug part of the plug connection and can be inserted with low play into the upper section of the upper end of the inner pipe piece of the underlying probe module 11, wherein this upper section of the inner pipe piece forms the socket part of the plug connection. A complete seal for this inner plug connection is not necessary with respect to the heat-carrier medium.
  • [0055]
    For forming the plug connection between the sections 16 of the return line, a plug part 23 with a reduced diameter is attached to the lower end of the outer pipe piece of each probe module 11, for example, by a material-fit connection through fusing or adhesion. A positive-fit and/or friction-fit connection is also conceivable and possible, wherein this connection has a construction that is sealed from the outside and pressure-tight for the heat-carrier medium. Toward its free end, the plug part 23 has two sections of reduced outer diameter. The area of the first reduced outer diameter forms an outer sealing face for an outer contacting sealing ring 24; in the region of the second reduced outer diameter, outward projecting catch tabs 25 are formed.
  • [0056]
    At the upper end of the outer pipe piece forming the section 16 of the return line, a sleeve 26 made from stainless steel is pressed onto this pipe piece from the outside. This sleeve has a seal 24 set in a groove. For introducing the plug part, the sleeve has a conical shape on the socket inlet. The plug sleeve is pressed tightly with the return line 16 and a stop 28. The stop 28 creates the engagement with the catch tabs 25.
  • [0057]
    Naturally, other constructions of plug parts and socket parts could also be used, for example, those made from plastic with the provided sealing and locking functions.
  • [0058]
    The lower end of the section 16 thus forms the plug part and the upper end of the section 16 forms the socket part for forming a plug connection between the sections 16 of two plugged-together plug modules 11, wherein the plug connection is formed as a catch connection.
  • [0059]
    For forming a plug connection between the outer pipe pieces 17 of two nested probe modules, a pipe connecting piece 29 with reduced diameter is attached to the lower end of the outer pipe piece 17, for example, with a material-fit connection through fusing or adhesion. A positive-fit and/or friction-fit connection is also conceivable and possible. In the nested state of two probe modules 11, this pipe connecting piece 29 that forms the plug part of the plug connection for the outer pipe piece projects into the upper end section of the outer pipe piece 17 of the underlying probe module 11 that forms the socket part of the plug connection. Therefore, the outer pipe pieces 17 of the nested probe modules 11 are centered relative to each other, which is important especially for the inner plug connections and for a largest possible surface-area contact when the geothermal probe is installed through pile-driving or vibrations.
  • [0060]
    Each probe module thus has equal socket parts on the upper end and plug parts on the lower end. The plug connections could also be formed in other different ways as described. For example, the plug part and the socket part could also be interchanged for one, two, or all three plug connections. Furthermore, coupling pieces that can be plugged together on both sides with the corresponding pipe piece could also be used for one, two, or all three plug connections, so that actually two plug connections are present. Such coupling pieces are shown in FIG. 19 (51, construction only in the case of the connection of the sections 16 of the return line. Another type of coupling pieces is also shown in FIG. 11 (39, 43). For these coupling pieces, the connections of both sections 15 and 16 have a tight construction.
  • [0061]
    To be able to form geothermal probes of different lengths in a flexible way, probe modules 11, 12 are provided that have different lengths, but are otherwise equal.
  • [0062]
    For closing the lower end of the lowermost probe module 11, a mountable foot piece 13 is present, wherein the outgoing and return lines are connected to each other by this foot piece. For this connection of the outgoing and return lines, in the embodiment according to FIG. 5, the foot piece 13 has a pipe piece 30 that is closed by a cover 31 on its lower end that lies in the state of the foot piece plugged together with a probe module 11 at a distance underneath the lower end of the pipe connecting piece 22 of the probe module 11. The plug connection between the pipe piece 30 and the section 16 of the return line of the probe module 11 is formed in the same way as the already described plug connection between two sections 16 of the return line of plugged-together probe modules 11.
  • [0063]
    The foot piece 13 features an outer pipe piece 32 holding the pipe piece 30. The plug connection between the outer pipe piece 32 and the outer pipe piece 17 of the probe module 11 has the same construction as the already described plug connection between the outer pipe pieces 17 of two plugged-together probe modules 11.
  • [0064]
    A drive piece 33 that is shaped, for example, like a plate for installing the geothermal probe 1 by pile-driving or vibrations is attached to the lower end of the outer pipe piece 32. The plate-shaped drive piece 33 can also feature, for example, a spherical configuration or a tip pointing downward.
  • [0065]
    For the production of a geothermal probe 1 inserted into the ground, initially a foot piece 13 is mounted on the lower end of a probe module 11 and then these two parts are sunk, in particular, through pile-driving or vibrations. Then the next upper probe module 11 is mounted and the plugged-together parts are sunk, in turn. This is repeated up to the desired length of the geothermal probe 1, wherein corresponding lengths of the probe modules 11, 12 are selected.
  • [0066]
    For connecting the outgoing line and return line of the geothermal probe 1 to the feed line and to the discharge line of the geothermal probe, there is a probe head 14 that can be placed on the uppermost probe module 12. The probe head 14 has nested pipe pieces that form first and second connections 34, 35 for forming plug connections to the sections 15, 16 of the outgoing and return lines of the underlying probe module 12. The end sections of the connections 34, 35 are here formed in the same way as the lower end sections of the sections 15, 16 of each probe module 11, 12, in order to form the plug connections already described for plugging together two probe modules 11.
  • [0067]
    The probe head 14 furthermore features third and fourth connections 36, 37 for forming plug connections with the feed and discharge line to or from this geothermal probe 1. An end section of a feed line is indicated in FIG. 6 by dashed lines. These plug connections are formed in the shown embodiment in the same way as the plug connections between the sections 16 of the return lines of two probe modules 11, 12.
  • [0068]
    The probe head 14 has a passage 38 connecting the third connection 36 to the fourth connection 37, wherein a bypass is formed by this passage with respect to the geothermal probe 1, of which a part of the heat-carrier medium is led past the geothermal probe 1, that is, a bypass is formed for this part of the heat-carrier medium. In this way, the opening cross-sectional surface area of the passage 38 is significantly less than the opening cross-sectional surface area both of the first and also of the second connections 34, 35. Advantageously, the opening cross-sectional surface areas of the first and second connections 34, 35 are each two to a hundred-times greater than the opening cross-sectional surface area of the passage 38, wherein a range between 4:1 and 40:1 is especially preferred.
  • [0069]
    Through the formation of such a passage 38, the entire circulating quantity of the heat-carrier medium could be selected and set as a ratio to the desired probe throughput. In addition, simple venting of two or more geothermal probes connected in series is produced as a secondary effect during their filling with a heat-carrier medium. Preferably, the passage 38 here connects the third and the fourth connection 36, 37 at the upper ends of their passage openings.
  • [0070]
    The passage 38 is formed by an opening of an intermediate wall between the third connection and the fourth connection. In this opening, for setting the throughput, an insert 54 can be provided. The insert 54 can be screwed in or plugged in, for example. According to the probe type and the probe length, before the assembly of the probe head, a fitting insert 54 can be inserted, wherein inserts 54 are present with different passage cross sections (=opening cross-sectional surface areas). Instead of this, for example, a fixed passage with adjustable opening cross-sectional surface area could also be present.
  • [0071]
    The plug connections 9, 10 (FIG. 1) between the line pieces 6, 7, 8 are advantageously formed in the same way as the plug connections between the feed or discharge line and the third or fourth connection 36, 37 of the probe head 14. A corresponding line piece 2-8 thus features a plug part on one end and a socket part of the plug connection on the other end.
  • [0072]
    A pluggable connection of the line pieces 2-8, for example, would also be conceivable and possible by an intermediate coupling piece. In this case, the line pieces 2-8 could be formed at both ends in the same way, that is, on both sides as a plug part or on both sides as a socket part for the plug connection, and the coupling piece could form the corresponding counterpart of the plug connection on both sides. The connection to the third and fourth connections 36, 37 of the probe head 14 was also realized in this case by a coupling piece.
  • [0073]
    In FIGS. 7 and 8, a geothermal probe 1 formed according to another embodiment is shown with a mounted probe head 14. This geothermal probe 1 here comprises two plugged-together probe modules 11 of equal length. Naturally, probe modules 11 of different lengths and/or a different number of probe modules 11 could be present. The difference to the embodiment described above consists in that the geothermal probe 1 is formed without an outer pipe and a casting compound filled between the outer pipe and the line system. The individual probe modules 11 and the foot piece 13 are thus formed without outer pipe pieces and casting compound filled in-between. This construction of the geothermal probe 1 is suitable, for example, for insertion into a hole formed in the ground, wherein this hole was produced, for example, through drilling, pile-driving, displacement, a flushing method, or from combinations of these, wherein, after placement of the geothermal probe, a casting compound is filled into the intermediate space between the hole and geothermal probe. The geothermal probe can also be inserted into a cavity of a part formed in the ground, for example, a steel pipe or concrete pipe or a pilot cloth or foundation sunk by, in particular, pile-driving or vibrations.
  • [0074]
    The intermediate space between the geothermal probe and the part holding the geothermal probe is similarly filled with a casting compound. Furthermore, installation in cast-in-place concrete during its liquid state is possible.
  • [0075]
    Another embodiment is explained below with reference to FIGS. 9 to 14. For the parts analogous to the prior embodiments, the same reference symbols are used. The geothermal probe is here formed as a so-called U-probe with outgoing and return lines extending one next to the other. A probe module 11 is shown in FIGS. 9 and 10. The probe module comprises pipe pieces lying one next to the other that form sections 15, 16 of the outgoing and return lines. The pipe pieces are formed, for example, as shown, as corrugated pipes, but could also be formed with a different shape, for example, in the shape of smooth pipes or pipes structured in some other way, for example, pipes with knows projecting outward and/or inward.
  • [0076]
    The sections 15, 16 of the outgoing and return lines are housed by an outer pipe piece 17. The outer pipe piece 17 here projects past the sections 15, 16 on its two ends, but this depends on the formation of the plug connection that is described farther below and that could also be formed in a different way, for example, in an analogous way like for the outer pipe pieces of the coaxial line system of the embodiments described above.
  • [0077]
    The intermediate space between the sections 15, 16 and the outer pipe piece 17 is filled at least across a large part of its length with a casting compound 19 that could be formed in the same way as described above.
  • [0078]
    For the flexible construction of geothermal probes of different lengths, favorably different lengths of probe modules 11 are also provided.
  • [0079]
    The probe modules 11 can be connected to each other by plug connections as shown in FIG. 11.
  • [0080]
    For connecting the sections 15, 16 of two probe modules 11, here, coupling pieces 39 formed by pipe pieces are used that are advantageously formed for the connection of the sections 15 and for the connection of the sections 16 in the same way. Each coupling piece 39 can be advantageously connected with its upper end to the section 15 or to the section 16 of the upper probe module 11 by a plug connection and with its lower end to the section 15 or to the section 16 of the lower probe module 11 by a plug connection. All of the plug connections are advantageously constructed in the same way.
  • [0081]
    For example, such a plug connection is constructed as shown such that the sections 15, 16 are provided with end pieces 40 that feature catch pins with inward projecting catch tabs 41. In the peripheral direction, there are at least two such catch pins that are released by slots, in order to achieve a spring-elastic formation. Lying farther toward the middle of the section 15 or 16 relative to the end of the slot, there is a sealing face for contacting a seal 42 arranged on the corresponding end section of the coupling piece 39. The coupling piece 39 furthermore has, in each end section, a catch recess formed, for example, by an annular groove, for engaging the catch tabs 41.
  • [0082]
    For connecting the outer pipe pieces 17 of two plugged-together probe modules 11, a coupling piece 43 is used that is formed, for example, from steel-reinforced plastic. The coupling piece 43 can be inserted into the ends of the outer pipe piece 17 of the probe modules 11 to be connected. The insertion depth can be limited by stops 44, 45. The coupling piece 43 has continuous channels for the passage of the coupling pieces 39.
  • [0083]
    The coupling piece 43 thus forms plug connections with the outer pipe pieces 17 of the two probe modules 11 to be connected, wherein it centers the outer pipe pieces 17 relative to each other. In the interconnected state, the ends of the outer pipe piece 17 contact each other.
  • [0084]
    The plug connections for connecting the sections 15, 16 and the outer pipe pieces 17 could also be formed in another way as shown. For example, the sections 15, 16 and/or the outer pipe pieces 17 could also be connected directly without the aid of coupling pieces 39, 43 by plug connections. Preferably, in any case, at least one of the plug connections, advantageously each plug connection for the sections 15, 16, is constructed as the catch connection connecting the two parts connected to each other by the plug connection in the closed state with a positive fit.
  • [0085]
    The foot piece 13 shown in FIG. 13 is here formed by an arc-shaped pipe piece that is connected with its one end to the section 15 of the outgoing line and with its other end to the section 16 of the return line of the probe module 11 by a corresponding plug connection. The plug connections are formed in the same way as the plug connections of the coupling pieces 39 with the sections 15 or 16 for the connection of two probe modules 11, that is, advantageously locked, in turn, with a positive fit in the closed state.
  • [0086]
    Instead of this, the foot piece 13 could be formed, for example, by a pot with two connecting pieces that can be connected to the sections 15, 16 by such plug connections.
  • [0087]
    The outer tube piece of the lowermost probe module 11 here projects outward past the foot piece 13. On the end, a drive piece 33 formed, for example, with a plate shape is connected to the outer pipe piece 17, in order to drive or vibrate the geothermal probe 1 into the ground. The drive piece 33 can also have a pyramidal or tip formation pointing downward.
  • [0088]
    In FIG. 14, a probe head 14 connected to the uppermost probe module 11 is shown. The first and second connection 34, 35 for connecting to the sections 15, 16 of the outgoing and return lines are formed by pipe pieces whose end sections are formed in the same way as the end sections of the coupling pieces 39, in order to form plug connections with the section 15, 16.
  • [0089]
    The third and fourth connections 36, 37 are formed in the way already described with reference to FIG. 6. As also already described, there is a passage 38 between the third and fourth connections 36, 37, wherein this passage is formed as an opening in a separating wall 46 and has the already described functions, like the selection of the probe throughput and the venting.
  • [0090]
    Another embodiment for a geothermal probe with a mounted probe head is shown in FIG. 15. In contrast to the embodiment described above, this geothermal probe has not outer tube lying outside of the outgoing and return lines. The geothermal probe is used analogously like the geothermal probe shown in FIGS. 7 and 8 for installation into an already existing, hole-shaped opening, cf. the applications described in connection with FIGS. 7 and 8.
  • [0091]
    The probe modules 11 are here formed in the shape of line pieces that can each form either a section 15 of the outgoing line of the geothermal probe or a section 16 of the return line of the geothermal probe. In the shown embodiment, the outgoing line and the return line each feature two probe modules 11 of equal length. Naturally, for adapting the length of the geothermal probe, probe modules 11 of different lengths could be used as already described and/or a different (even) number of probe modules could be provided for achieving the desired length.
  • [0092]
    The plug connections between the probe modules 11 are not shown in detail in FIG. 15. For example, each probe module 11 could have, at one end, a formation like the sections 15, 16 of the embodiment described with reference to FIGS. 9 to 14 and, at the other end, a formation like the coupling pieces 39 of this embodiment described above.
  • [0093]
    The lowermost probe module 11 that forms a section of the outgoing line 15 and the lowermost probe module 11 that forms a section of the return line 16 are connected to each other by a foot piece 13, wherein the outgoing and return lines of the geothermal probe 1 are connected to each other. The connection of the foot piece 13 to the probe modules 11 is realized by plug connections that are formed in the same way as the plug connections between the probe modules 11.
  • [0094]
    The upper end of the probe module 11 that forms the uppermost section 15 of the outgoing line and the upper end of the probe module 11 that forms the uppermost section 16 of the return line are connected to first and second connections 34, 35 of a probe head 14. Here, plug connections are formed in the same way as the plug connections between probe modules 11.
  • [0095]
    The probe head 14 also has third and fourth connections for forming plug connections to a feed and a discharge line. The third and fourth connections 36, 37 are connected to each other in the already described way by a passage 38.
  • [0096]
    FIG. 16 shows an upper section of a geothermal probe formed, for example, in the shape of a U-probe, with mounted probe head on which line pieces 5, 6, 7 are placed for forming feed and discharge lines. The connection of the probe head 14 to the geothermal probe 1 is shown only schematically, but can also be formed, for example, like in FIG. 14. The plug connections between the line pieces 5, 6 and the third and fourth connections 36, 37 of the probe head 14 are also formed in the same way in the shape of catch connections. The same plug connections are also formed between individual line pieces 6, 7, wherein the feed and/or discharge lines are formed to and from the geothermal probe 1 from several plugged-together line pieces 5-7.
  • [0097]
    The line pieces 5-7 are formed in the shape of corrugated pipes. Despite good flexibility, they possess sufficient stability with respect to the ground pressure acting on them. For example, the same corrugated pipes could be used on which, at one end, a plug part is formed and, on the other end, a socket part of the plug connection is formed as the line piece of the supply and discharge lines to and from the geothermal probe 1 and as section 15, 16 of the outgoing and return line of the geothermal probe.
  • [0098]
    For connecting line pieces 3-5 to each other and for connecting line pieces 3-5 to the third and fourth connections 36, 37 of the probe head 14, coupling pieces could also be used, in turn, whose ends are plugged together with the parts to be connected. In this case, the line pieces 5-7 could feature an equally formed plug connector part at both ends.
  • [0099]
    A probe module according to another embodiment will be explained below with reference to FIGS. 17 to 19. The difference to the probe module explained with reference to FIGS. 2 to 4 consists in that a steel concrete pipe is used as the outer pipe piece 47 that borders the outer pipe piece of the section of the line system of the probe module 11 forming the section 16 of the return line. For this purpose, a basket that is formed from concrete steel 48, 49 and that surrounds the outer pipe piece of the line system is cast with concrete in a tubular mold. The rod-shaped concrete steel parts 48 extending in the longitudinal direction extend past the area cast with concrete and a pipe connecting piece 50 made from steel is fused onto each of its ends. For connecting two probe modules 11, coupling pieces 51, 52 are used that are plugged together with their two ends to the sections 15, 16 of the outgoing or return line to be connected. The coupling piece 52 plugged together with the outer pipe pieces is locked with this piece and sealed pressure-tight by a seal 24.
  • [0100]
    The end-face ends of the probe modules according to FIGS. 17, 18, 19 with the pipe connecting pieces 50 made from steel are connected and centered by a steel socket 53 during the plugging together.
  • [0101]
    The flow direction of the heat-carrier medium was described for the probe modules with a coaxial construction, so that the outgoing line is realized by the inner pipe and the return line is realized by the outer pipe. It is understood that the flow direction for the heat-carrier medium could also take place in the reverse direction.
  • [0102]
    Instead of the plug connections described in the embodiments, other positive-fit and/or non-positive-fit connections could also be partially used, for example, screw connections.
  • [0103]
    In the course of this publication, when the discussion is of a positive-fit and/or non-positive-fit connection, then such a connection could also be called a positive-fit and/or non-positive-fit coupling. Such a connection or coupling could be detachable again (separable) or could be non-detachable, for example, by catch elements. Furthermore, the connection or coupling could also have a construction that could be closed without the use of tools.
  • LEGEND TO THE REFERENCE SYMBOLS
  • [0104]
    1 Geothermal probe
  • [0105]
    2 Line piece
  • [0106]
    3 Line piece
  • [0107]
    4 Line piece
  • [0108]
    5 Line piece
  • [0109]
    6 Line piece
  • [0110]
    7 Line piece
  • [0111]
    8 Line piece
  • [0112]
    9 Plug connection
  • [0113]
    10 Plug connection
  • [0114]
    11 Probe module
  • [0115]
    12 Probe module
  • [0116]
    13 Foot piece
  • [0117]
    14 Probe head
  • [0118]
    15 Section
  • [0119]
    16 Section
  • [0120]
    17 Outer pipe piece
  • [0121]
    18 Intermediate space
  • [0122]
    19 Casting compound
  • [0123]
    20 Knob
  • [0124]
    21 Guide rail
  • [0125]
    22 Pipe connecting piece
  • [0126]
    23 Plug part
  • [0127]
    24 Seal
  • [0128]
    25 Snap-in pin
  • [0129]
    26 Sleeve
  • [0130]
    28 Stop
  • [0131]
    29 Pipe connecting piece
  • [0132]
    30 Pipe piece
  • [0133]
    31 Cover
  • [0134]
    32 Outer pipe piece
  • [0135]
    33 Drive piece
  • [0136]
    34 First connection
  • [0137]
    35 Second connection
  • [0138]
    36 Third connection
  • [0139]
    37 Fourth connection
  • [0140]
    38 Passage
  • [0141]
    39 Coupling piece
  • [0142]
    40 End piece
  • [0143]
    41 Snap-in tab
  • [0144]
    42 Seal
  • [0145]
    43 Coupling piece
  • [0146]
    44 Stop
  • [0147]
    45 Stop
  • [0148]
    46 Partition wall
  • [0149]
    47 Outer pipe piece
  • [0150]
    48 Concrete steel
  • [0151]
    49 Concrete steel
  • [0152]
    50 Pipe connecting piece
  • [0153]
    51 Coupling piece
  • [0154]
    52 Coupling piece
  • [0155]
    53 Steel socket
  • [0156]
    54 Insert
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8161759Oct 31, 2007Apr 24, 2012Kelix Heat Transfer Systems, LlcMethod of and apparatus for transferring heat energy between a heat exchanging subsystem above the surface of the earth and material therebeneath using one or more coaxial-flow heat exchanging structures producing turbulence in aqueous-based heat-transfering fluid flowing along helically-extending outer flow channels formed therein
US8230900 *Mar 23, 2009Jul 31, 2012John StojanowskiModular, stackable, geothermal block system
US8457934 *Feb 24, 2011Jun 4, 2013Tracto-Technik Gmbh & Co. KgMethod for installing a radial geothermal energy probe field
US8776867 *Jun 21, 2010Jul 15, 2014John StojanowskiModular, stackable, geothermal block heat exchange system with solar assist
US20100236749 *Mar 23, 2009Sep 23, 2010John StojanowskiModular, stackable, geothermal block system
US20100258266 *Jun 21, 2010Oct 14, 2010John StojanowskiModular, stackable, geothermal block heat exchange system with solar assist
US20120059632 *Feb 24, 2011Mar 8, 2012Tracto-Technik Gmbh & Co., KgMethod for installing a radial geothermal energy probe field
US20160305694 *Nov 12, 2013Oct 20, 2016Bs2 AgValve for changing over the heat flows of a heat pump, taking into account the flow direction reversal in a heat exchanger connected during heating operation to the source side of the heat pump
EP2557385A1 *Jul 26, 2012Feb 13, 2013Caplin Solar Systems LtdThermal Energy Stores and Heat Exchange Assemblies Therefor
EP2805049A4 *Dec 28, 2012Feb 24, 2016Steve KapaunGeothermal heating and cooling system
Classifications
U.S. Classification165/45, 165/144
International ClassificationF24J3/08, F28D15/00
Cooperative ClassificationF24J2002/4603, F28D1/0475, Y02E10/125, F24J3/083, F28F2275/085, F24J3/084, Y02E70/30, Y02E60/142, F28D20/0052, F28D7/12
European ClassificationF28D7/12, F28D1/047E, F28D20/00D, F24J3/08A2B, F24J3/08A2A
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Sep 26, 2011ASAssignment
Owner name: AMASOND PRODUKTION GMBH & CO. KG, AUSTRIA
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Effective date: 20110629
Feb 9, 2012ASAssignment
Owner name: JANSEN AG, SWITZERLAND
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:AMASOND PRODUKTION GMBH & CO. KG;REEL/FRAME:027678/0157
Effective date: 20111216