Did you know that less than 10 metres below the surface of the earth, temperatures can remain stable all year round utilising the sustainable green heat given from the ground?
Gathering the internal heat of the planet’s core and the external heat of the sun, a steady stream of green sustainable thermal energy lies untapped below the ground.
That is, unless our geothermal well drilling service helps you to harness this sustainable green heat energy source. When professionals like Teckna Group install them correctly, geothermal boreholes can function for around half a century, requiring very little maintenance.
What is geothermal borehole drilling?
The term ‘geothermal drilling’ covers a wide range of jobs, but the experts at Teckna Group are capable of performing tasks of any scale, from small to large. We have the experience and industry knowledge required to drill holes in your land safely and efficiently.
There are multiple types of geothermal systems, which can involve drilling from shallow depths of around 200m to several thousand metres deep. Shallow wells use ground source heat, absorbed from the sun’s radiation, while deeper wells rely on heat from activity closer to the Earth’s core.
You can use this geothermal energy simply as sustainable green heat, or even to produce electricity via a steam turbine. The two primary types of geothermal well systems are closed loop and open loop. These can either be vertical or horizontal.
A closed loop system circulates heat transfer fluid through a continuous loop of piping – the fluid absorbs green heat from the ground, and a heat pump extracts this thermal energy. This loop can feature one geothermal well or multiple wells, depending on the scale of the system and its location.
An open loop system uses two geothermal wells – one to extract water from the ground, and another to hold the expelled water once the heat pump has extracted its thermal energy. A permit may be required to discharge the water back to its source if it comes from a body of water rather than wells.
Whichever system you use, for whichever purpose, geothermal energy is a reliable and sustainable source of green heat. Since temperatures underground remain relatively stable, it’s easier to predict and manage the power output of a geothermal well or ground source heat pump with higher accuracy than other sources.
Are vertical geothermal systems better than horizontal systems?
It’s often easier to install a ground source heat system vertically than horizontally because there is less disruption to the land. Horizontal systems require digging extensive trenches across large areas, while a vertical borehole involves drilling straight down into the earth.
Horizontal systems are closer to the surface and therefore better at collecting heat from the sun, but this can be inconsistent, depending on the weather. Vertical systems collect heat from deep in the ground, where the temperatures and therefore energy transfers are more consistent.
Many property owners simply don’t have the space necessary for a horizontal loop installation, especially in areas with dense populations. Since a geothermal well takes less work to install, it’s likely that it’s also not as expensive as a horizontal loop system, as well as making less mess.
Why choose Teckna Group for geothermal borehole drilling?
No job is too difficult for our team of dedicated professionals, who use specialised geothermal drilling rigs to operate in some of the most difficult strata. Our rigs install temporary steel casing whilst simultaneously drilling the borehole, ensuring maximum safety and ground protection.
Our efficient geothermal drilling service can use a variety of flushing mediums to drill to depths of over 200m, including air, water, and mud. If the ground conditions are ideal for geothermal well drilling, we can complete the process quickly by completing as much as 100-400m per day.
In addition to our specialist geothermal drilling equipment, we also operate loop installation and grouting equipment, installing ground source loops easily and economically without damage.
Cutting-edge geothermal drilling equipment
We consistently upgrade our equipment and training at Teckna Group, ensuring that we always have the best possible tools to guarantee the high quality of our work.
For example, the latest edition of the duplex pump, with a high-water flow, maintains strong pressure to thoroughly clean the geothermal well borehole during the drilling process.
Track-mounting equipment allows for fast loading and easy manoeuvrability around the site of the geothermal drilling project, which in turn improves the efficiency of our service.
We also operate imported mud separation units to keep the area as clean as possible. These units separate the drilling waste from the water, keeping disposable content to a minimum. They also allow us to leave the project area in a tidy condition, rather than making a mess.
Compliance with geothermal drilling rules
As part of our professional installation service, we always operate to the latest geothermal drilling standards, sourcing high-quality products from within the UK. This includes geothermal drilling equipment sourced from reputable manufacturers such as MGS (Marton Geotechnical Services).
At Teckna Group, we pride ourselves on being one of the leading specialist drilling companies in the ground source sector, offering a range of geothermal drilling services to ISO 9001:2015 standards.
Our geothermal borehole drilling complies with the highest standard of materials and workmanship, and we make sure to work within the rules of the Ground Source Heat Pump Association.
We also comply with the British Drilling Association, Environment Agency, and Microgeneration Installation Standards as we continue to provide an excellent service.
Contact us for geothermal well drilling services
If you’re interested in reducing your dependence on fossil fuels and providing a sustainable form of energy for your property, then contact Teckna Group to discuss your project requirements.
As a core part of our activities, we accept nothing but the best quality for every task involved in our geothermal drilling service. From installing pipework and manifold systems to testing the connected pipes and adding heat loss fluid to the completed system, we never leave a stone unturned.
Our engineers are experts in the field, with many years of experience in the geothermal drilling trade, so you can rest assured that our professionally installed systems are worth the investment.
If you believe that your business premises or home could benefit from harnessing the power of green geothermal energy, you should speak to the experts at Teckna Group about your suitability.
For further information on our range of borehole drilling services, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team by calling 01257 421 700. Alternatively, you can request our professional advice on geothermal well options by emailing your details and queries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Geothermal Well Drilling FAQs
No, geothermal drilling and fracking are two different processes. It’s easy for people to confuse them, because they both seem to involve drilling underground for an energy source.
However, fracking is an oil and gas industry term, which actually involves high-pressure injections of water, sand, and chemicals into the ground to ‘fracture’ the rocks and release shale gas. The gas escapes through the man-made fissures and is extracted at ground level through a well.
Geothermal well drilling is unrelated to harvesting shale gas, because it relies on renewable geothermal energy. These geothermal systems use pumps to retrieve hot water from underground, but they don’t require drilling as deeply as fracking operations, causing less geographic intrusion.
In some cases, geothermal drilling can also involve injecting fluids into the ground, but this is known as ‘hydraulic stimulation’. Even if this is needed to loosen materials in the earth, it’s at a much lower pressure than fracking, posing less risk of tremors and pollution.
At Teckna Group, we conduct all of our relatively shallow geothermal drilling processes with the safety of everyone in the vicinity at the forefront of our thinking. This isn’t just in regard to human life, but also to wildlife and the environment itself, including any nearby animal habitats.
We aim to provide a clean and effective service whilst being as environmentally friendly as possible, ensuring that any disruption is kept to a minimum. Geothermal wells can co-exist with flora and fauna in woodland or farmland areas, with minimal underground/surface disturbances.
As a company, Teckna Group promotes the maintenance of flourishing natural habitats – we will never destroy an animal habitat just to obtain a preferred site. We work closely with our clients to thoroughly evaluate their proposed site before committing to geothermal drilling in the area.
When sited, installed, and maintained carefully, geothermal energy systems can produce clean energy without sediment runoff, gas discharge, or noise concerns. Once work is complete, the underground well should barely be visible on the surface, and shouldn’t pollute the air or water.
We take advantage of modern technologies to minimise environmental effects. If you’d like to find out more about our methods of evaluating sites for underground habitats, please get in touch with us and a member of our team will gladly discuss the topic with you.
The timescale of geothermal drilling varies from project to project, due to a variety of factors. For example, it could be extended or shortened due to the equipment that the geothermal drilling company has at their disposal, or the size of the job.
This is why we’re unfortunately unable to assign an exact timeframe for a geothermal well drilling project. We wouldn’t want you to believe that every deadline is set in stone, then experience frustration if any delays occur throughout the process.
Geothermal drilling projects are often dependent on multiple parties working together, but for our part, we always work to the best of our ability to achieve the desired outcome as quickly as possible. At the same time, we aim to minimise disruption and maximise quality.
Obviously, the deeper and larger the well, the more drilling will be required – therefore taking longer to complete the work. We usually inform prospective clients that the entire process of installing a geothermal system can take 6 to 8 weeks:
- Evaluations, permissions, and designs – 2 to 3 weeks
- Drilling (usually 3km to 5km deep) – 3 to 5 days
- Trenching between boring and property – 1 to 2 days
- Piping connections – 2 to 5 days
- Installing or modifying ducts – 1 to 2 weeks
- Electrical connections – 2 to 3 days
- Thermostat and control setup – 1 day
Of course, geothermal well installations can take longer depending on the depth of the well and any obstacles that may be encountered along the way. Once completed, a geothermal heat pump system can last for 20 to 50 years with the proper maintenance.
Yes, it’s possible to use an existing well for a geothermal system. However, it may not be deep enough or produce enough water, especially if you intend to continue using the well as a water source at the same time.
As a rough guide, the well must be around 100 feet deep for every 500 square feet of property that the geothermal energy needs to provide power for. If you’re using the well for both geothermal and water production, it should produce at least 8 gallons of water a minute.
The existing well also needs somewhere to discharge the water, which may require extra work to adapt it. For this reason, it’s often best to construct a purpose-built geothermal well separately. You can then be confident that your water well won’t be affected.
One of the biggest advantages of geothermal energy systems are that they can last for decades with very little upkeep. This kind of installation is a permanent fixture that doesn’t require charging or cleaning other than periodic inspections and filter changes.
Though it’s a low-maintenance system, you should still book a geothermal well service at least once a year. The servicing technician will carry out a simple inspection of each element to ensure that everything is working as it should, and catch any issues early.
Systems may need flushing due to mineral build-up or minor repairs from wear and tear, which a professional will be able to identify and perform to a higher quality than if you attempted a DIY approach. It’s always best to trust maintenance and repairs to experts like Teckna Group.
In the meantime, you should leave the geothermal well site alone. Avoid driving over ground loops, even if the ground is hard and compacted, and do not plant anything above or around the well. Tree roots can grow around the loops, potentially damaging them and limiting access.
With the ongoing and ever-growing global concerns about climate change, switching to renewable and/or ‘green’ energy sources is more important than ever.
If countries around the world want to meet their emission reduction targets, and if individuals and businesses in the UK want to comply with increasingly tighter legislation on energy production and usage, fossil fuel alternatives like geothermal energy are an invaluable resource.
Energy costs are also continuing to rise, along with the cost of living, which makes producing your own energy on your own property an attractive prospect. So, why choose a geothermal system? This proven technology has many benefits, including:
- Reducing CO2 emissions
- Improving energy conservation
- Variety of heating/cooling systems to choose from
- Lower operating costs than fossil fuels
- Drastic reduction to energy bills
- No longer dependent on fluctuating energy market
Though the upfront costs are higher, you may be able to get help with installation expenses through the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme. Once your geothermal well is up and running, it should deliver several times more thermal energy than the electricity required to power the system. This results in massive savings, so the installation should pay for itself within a few years.
Earthquakes occur when a build-up of pressure causes rocks underground to suddenly shift, which releases energy along faults or fractures in the rock. This usually only happens along tectonic plate boundaries, where fast movement makes the ground shake and can damage infrastructure.
Most people think of things like cracks opening in roads and buildings collapsing when they think about earthquakes, but this doesn’t always happen. Minor seismic activity happens regularly all over the world without anyone noticing, because the tremors are too small to reach the surface.
Sometimes seismic activity can be triggered by humans mining and quarrying, when new fault lines are created in the rock. This is why it’s so important to analyse the ground, and conduct thorough tests to understand the limitations of the area, before drilling or blasting through underground rocks.
The equipment used for drilling geothermal wells is designed to grind the rock away slowly, without excessively churning up the surrounding earth. There should be no discernible movement on the surface of the ground, even if small tremors do occur deep down. In any case, seismic activity should be carefully monitored, and drilling activities should only be carried out in line with local and national seismic codes.
If you have a separate water borehole that you wish to maintain in addition to a new geothermal well, you might have concerns about geothermal drilling affecting your water well. Any further borehole drilling must take place a sufficient distance away from other boreholes, so there is no risk of compromising or polluting the well, which should also have a water borehole filtration system.
After drilling a geothermal well, any debris is extracted and the holes are lined with sealed casings. Typically, no water is injected into or extracted from the ground directly. There are different types of geothermal borehole systems, but they usually involve pumping water in, circulating it so that it absorbs the heat in the ground, then pumping it back out to use the thermal energy this generates.
During these operations, water originally from an outside source is circulated through an enclosed and sealed system, so nothing should come into contact with the natural groundwater. Your water well shouldn’t be depleted, and any contaminants that are filtered out were already in the ground.
The three main criteria for a viable geothermal drilling site are favourable geology, accessibility for equipment and its transport, and proximity to power sources. The best ground type for heat transfer is soil with a high density and high water content. Of course, the area also needs to be sufficiently large enough for the project to take place, and preferably on private land (to simplify planning and work permissions).
It’s also important to make sure that the site isn’t ecologically or environmentally sensitive, so the drilling and geothermal loop installation won’t disturb local wildlife or nearby structures. For example, it’s unlikely for geothermal drilling to be permitted in an area with legally protected wildlife, or historically significant structures. This is another reason why selecting a site involves so much research and can take a while.
To minimise unnecessary activity and expense, experts like the team at Teckna Group must first survey the proposed geothermal drilling site. These evaluations include analysing the soil content and heat saturation, and calculating the most practical type and size of geothermal well system. If the site is determined to be viable, then operations can go ahead.