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Old 09-16-11, 11:55 AM   #941
Geo NR Gee
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AC, It was great meeting you the other day and getting to see in my hands your homemade fusion tool. I am more inspired to build my own now. Maybe with my grandpa's metal lathe I can turn some socket attachments for my endevour.

Thank you for answering my many questions and for giving suggestions on how to install a geothermal system.

I found a deal on 2400 feet of 1" Geo pipe WITH ubends installed! It came to $270. There is only one section that has a kink in it that has to be spliced, but other than that they are still holding the factory air pressure. They are already in the back of my truck waiting for help to unload them!

One thing I am learning with this project is that it takes time to learn and even though the drilling machine came with a selection of bits, it was not the right bits for the conditions I have here. They may work in many places in the country, but here we have various obstacles.... rocks. Maybe after I get past the upper layer, it may get easier.

Thanks again!

Geo NR Gee

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Old 09-17-11, 08:32 PM   #942
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo NR Gee View Post
Thank you for answering my many questions and for giving suggestions on how to install a geothermal system.
Geo,

Very nice to meet you & your family, too.

Super find on the HDPE bore-hole loops, too. Regarding that one pipe you said was kinked, I don't know if it is so badly kinked that it lost air pressure, but if this is not the case, I know that PEX can be restored to it's original shape by heating it up until it just begins to soften, then allowing it to cool back down. PEX starts out like as HDPE, then it is subject to additional processing that results in molecular cross-linking, so it's behavior is different. If you can get your hands on some HDPE to do some tests, you may find that you can fix the kink without needing to splice. But if it IS leaking air, you'll have to splice. Socket splicing is probably better than butt splicing, it certainly results in less fluid friction. But I have over 100 butt splices that stood up to 90psi air pressure testing.

Hope you don't mind, but I wanted to share some pix of your drilling rig. If you have any details to add, please do...


This pic is Geo's drilling rig. As I recall it is a used Hydra-Drill. I guess it uses a gas engine of about 5 HP and has a planetary gear-reduction box to give it more torque and a rotational speed of around 2 revs per second. The original unit comes with the steel pipe upright pieces and it has simple tubes that attach to the drill motor unit and allow the drill to slide up and down as work proceeds, and more drill pipe sections are needed. It also has a water swivel to allow water (or drilling mud) to be pumped down the drilling pipe. As far as I could tell, the water swivel is made with a rubber case (it's not under a great deal of stress) and contains sealed ball bearings, I am sure. If you go to the linked Hydra Drill site, you can see that the original has a hand-cranked winch, and Geo replaced that with an inexpensive 12 volt electric winch, which should make work easier and safer.

I'm quite sure that many thousands of successful water wells have been dug with such a rig.

If readers think that they could build one of these out of a gasoline powered post-hole digger, they are right.



This next pic is the 'mud pit' that Geo has dug. The way it works is that the gas-powered mud pump pumps drilling mud down through the drill pipe, and this mud lubricates and cools the drill face, and flushed cuttings from the bottom of the hole up the hole (AKA: 'annulus', which refers to the space around the drill pipe.), then it flows out of the hole and into the mud pit where the heavy stuff settles out and the mud is picked up by the pump and down the hole it goes again...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo NR Gee View Post
One thing I am learning with this project is that it takes time to learn and even though the drilling machine came with a selection of bits, it was not the right bits for the conditions I have here. They may work in many places in the country, but here we have various obstacles.... rocks. Maybe after I get past the upper layer, it may get easier.
Well, may I suggest a drill bit that is called a 'Tri-Cone' bit?


This little puppy was invented by Baker Hughes, who was related to the famous Howard Hughes.

They are supposed to be just the thing for rocks.

Drill Baby, drill!!

Best of luck,

-AC_Hacker
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Old 09-18-11, 12:41 AM   #943
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AC_Hacker View Post
Geo,

Regarding that one pipe you said was kinked, I don't know if it is so badly kinked that it lost air pressure

It lost the air pressure with a LOUD hissing sound that the neighbors could hear from inside their house. So a coupler will have to do.

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Hope you don't mind, but I wanted to share some pix of your drilling rig. If you have any details to add, please do...
About the details......looks like you covered most of it...... The battery should be mounted somewhere else other than on the ground. When researching the drill bits, Allen at Portadrillmini.com, mentioned that I will need to beef up the Hydra-Drill and add weight. He mentioned about 200lbs. would be a good starting point. So maybe I will combine the battery and the weights on top of the motor for the extra weight needed for the tricone bit.

The other things that I would like to add are some kind of a portable mud pits. I am thinking of a 55 gallon drum cut in half and placed on its side. Something must be better than digging hole pits in the yard for 6 boreholes every 15 or 20 feet apart?
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Originally Posted by AC_Hacker View Post

It also has a water swivel to allow water (or drilling mud) to be pumped down the drilling pipe. As far as I could tell, the water swivel is made with a rubber case (it's not under a great deal of stress) and contains sealed ball bearings, I am sure.
This rubber water swivel is well made, but there is no sealed ball bearing. It actually had a break in period when new, and needs to be greased before use
and every 4 hours of use. I do have plans to build a new water swivel and will document and post that soon.

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Originally Posted by AC_Hacker View Post

Well, may I suggest a drill bit that is called a 'Tri-Cone' bit?
Sounds like a good idea to me!

Geo

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Old 09-18-11, 01:28 AM   #944
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You showed me the steel parts you plan to use for your tricone adapter.

You may already have thought of it, but just in case, remember that the mud needs to flow through the center of your tricone when it is working.

In other words, your adapter needs to have a large hole through the center, too.

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Old 09-18-11, 10:39 AM   #945
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In other words, your adapter needs to have a large hole through the center, too.

-AC_Hacker
I have been thinking about that lately. Someone I talked to along the way said (forgot who, and I do apologize) that I need to incorporate a backflow device into the drill stem near the bottom. Would you think that should be included in the adapter while I am making the hole for the mud fluid?

From what I found on the internet, its called a Kelly valve or backflow prevention valve. There are no indications of Artisian wells around here, but it might be a good idea? Not sure though.

Thanks to my Grandfather, I have his Atlas Metal lathe along with boxes of bits and related tools to help with this project. The last time I used a metal lathe was in high school some 30 years ago. Might just have to ask some friends from Boeing to assist with the lathe.
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Old 09-18-11, 05:23 PM   #946
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo NR Gee View Post
From what I found on the internet, its called a Kelly valve or backflow prevention valve. There are no indications of Artisian wells around here, but it might be a good idea? Not sure though.
First I've heard of that one. Is the idea to prevent an artesian gusher from coming up the drill pipe? It seems to me the annulus is so much larger than the drill pipe, that preventing flow up the drill pipe would be the least of your worries. But then, maybe there's some aspect of the situation I'm unaware of.

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Originally Posted by Geo NR Gee View Post
Thanks to my Grandfather, I have his Atlas Metal lathe along with boxes of bits and related tools to help with this project. The last time I used a metal lathe was in high school some 30 years ago. Might just have to ask some friends from Boeing to assist with the lathe.
Well, Howard, the machinist down the street told me that the lathe is the most dangerous tool in the shop, and getting your hair (no problem for you) or a shirt sleeve caught up in the rotating parts can be fatal. I even read earlier this year that a nice looking young female student at MIT died because her hair got caught in a lathe.

Be respectful of machine tools, 'cause we don't want to lose any GeoRenovators.

-AC_Hacker
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Old 09-18-11, 10:21 PM   #947
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re:
It went to 15 ft. and then hit a pocket of what must be small rock as it gets stuck there


I see that G NR G is in the Seattle area. Have drilled a couple of wells east of Renton and am familiar with the type of 'pockets' described. IMO a 'toy' like the hydra drill has no chance, based on the geology of the area. Co-worker back in the early 80's tried a hydra drill down by Chehalis and thought he'd wasted his $$.

My experience: Tried drilling and even driving a well with small rig back in 1971 when building the house. No internet then for info, just the library. Anyway, at about 10 ft down where the cemented hardpan starts driving just plain does not work (e.g 800# 'hammer', collapsed 2" pipe trying to drive it)
Ended up hand digging a 20 ft well for water (classical rope on a bucket with me in hole and DW hauling stuff out, no worry about collaplse with the cemented hardpan)

Fast forward to early 90's, neighbor sold his 8 acres and developer put 62 houses on it!! Worried about my shallow well, did not want to go onto city water.
Built a 30 ft tower to bolt to the back of my dozer, drove a rotary rig with a 2T IH truck transmission with 5HP elec motor on starter pinion. Hit rocks at about 20 ft and sheared 1-1/2" output shaft of tranny, machined a 2" shaft from 4340M steel which held but then stripped all the bull gear teeth - so reset my thinking.

Built a pitman arm on an old truck chassis to lift and drop a 900# cable tool, those go thru anything. Based on chipsbailed out of hole, hit a couple of 3 ft diameter basalt boulders about 3 ft diameter at around 30 feet. Took awhile to drill thru those, but eventually hit a 5 ft thick layer of black sand at 55 ft with impermeable blue clay at 60 ft. All the water I want, water rights for enough to run gshp also - dump to my pond.

All in all, spent about 5 months of weekends building the machinery and drilling a 60 ft deep well (> 30 gpm all year) - good experience one time, but if I ever need another well, I'll hire somebody with a 50,000# truck mounted rig.


Have fun.....
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Old 09-19-11, 12:22 AM   #948
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I do agree that the Hydra-Drill is a more of a toy drilling machine for this area. However, I seem to enjoy challenges. With the new Tricone bit and some beefing up of the drill platform, I hope to punch thru the toughest layers.

We also face a challange that the property is land locked and where only a portable unit would work. Ok, the thought of spending $$$$$ Thousands of dollars per hole doesn't sit well in our budget either.

I can only imagine what it must have been like to hand dig a well like you did. If the sides ever collapsed when you were down there
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Old 09-19-11, 01:49 PM   #949
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Soil formations can change even over fairly small distances. Here in the Pacific Northwest, where we live in the shadow of the Missoula flood (15,000 years ago) this is certainly true. A mile from here, I would not have gotten even 6 feet deep without substantial power similar to what mejunkhound used.

I'll be away from a computer for the next 5 days.

-AC

Good luck on the project...
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Old 09-20-11, 10:27 AM   #950
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Ben,

Why don't you give it a try?

I did write to them several years ago and requested a downloadable version. At the time they said that something like that was in the works.

Of course that was several trillion dollars in military spending ago, so chances are that's not gonna happen.

Death & destruction must come first.

-AC_Hacker
Hi AC-

I emailed the developer at ORNL and told him that we were interested in modifying his software for GSHP. They have GSHP software but it isn't publicly available. He says that they do make the ASHP software available to researchers, but we would have to modify the code for our purposes (something that I am unqualified to do). If one of you is up to that task, I can get his contact information for you.

However, he did point me to the company that helped them develop the modeling software, Emerson Technologies. Their software models both air and water source heat pumps mostly for commercial applications. Here is a link to the software page: System Design Simulator.

They have a free trial, so call and tell them that you are a hobbyist and interested in their software. You can call them at 937-493-2747 (Select Option 2).


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