Blog Posts

Allied Featured in US Builders Review Magazine

US Builders Review is a nationally recognized trade publication who recently featured Allied Geothermal Well Drilling. The full article is available here.

Raising the geothermal bar in the Northeast

Written by: Tom Faunce | Produced by: Brandon Bagley

Founded in 1994, Allied Geothermal Well drilling began as a small, local well drilling company in Laurel, Maryland. Since then the company has grown into a full-service geothermal drilling services provider. Services the company provides include casing advancement, concrete coring, limited access drilling, vacuum excavation and SPT split spoon sampling among others. With locations in Maryland and Pennsylvania, Allied has a geographical footprint from North Carolina all the way to New York.

Full-service provider

Included in the vast array of services provided by Allied, geotechnical drilling is an aspect that the company is able to offer its clients. The company has environmental and site-work divisions, which eliminates the need for subcontractors. “We self-perform all of our work,” says Adam Santry, president of Allied. “If an engineering firm approaches us with a big project we can do any of the drilling on-site.” The company also provides water well drilling and service.

 

Allied Recognized for Impeccable Safety Record

Maryland’s leader in workers’ compensation insurance, IWIF, recently honored Allied Well Drilling for its “superior workers’ compensation success.”   IWIF recognized Allied’s impeccable safety record is rare in the drilling industry.

Allied attributes this strong record to the great effort it has put forth to ensure its workers are placed in a safe work environment and constantly schooled in safety procedures.  It has a strict safety plan that all workers must follow and it is constantly improved upon from the input of its highly skilled and experienced personnel.   Allied holds “tool box talks”  before all of its jobs which touch on all the risks, hazards, and safety procedures that will be involved in that job.   This process ensures that all personnel know how to act safely on site.

Additionally, Allied employees attend OSHA training seminars and meetings to make sure all protocols are up to date.

Allied Featured in US Builders Review Magazine On August 10, 2015

Andy Trewhitt, General Manager of Allied’s Pennsylvania office, recently wrote a piece on geothermal that was featured in the Home Builders Association of Bucks and Montgomery County (Pennsylvania) Reporter.  Here is the transcript of that article:

Geothermal 101

Ground source heat pumps (GSHP’S) are “the most energy efficient, environmentally clean and cost effective space conditioning systems available today.”

Pretty heavy stuff, huh?  No, I didn’t make it up.  Although this statement made by the EPA has become almost cliché for many of us in the geothermal industry, it still speaks volumes about the benefits of geothermal systems and nicely packages their appeal.  And though many of you may be familiar with geothermal as an alternative form of heating and cooling, I’m going to give a quick rundown on the mechanics, performance, and benefits of these systems.

Geothermal technology is well documented and proven.  The need for explanation of things like refrigeration and the vapor-compression cycle is probably unnecessary to get into here (and is probably better left to an experienced HVAC contractor rather than a lowly driller!), but can be quickly noted as being the driving forces behind the ability to lower the temperature of an enclosed space by removing heat from that space and transferring it elsewhere (or vice versa for heating).  Devices performing this are commonly referred to as heat pumps.  And like a refrigerator or air conditioner, GSHP systems use a heat pump (albeit water source) to force the transfer of heat.  The twist for GSHP’S is that the heat is extracted and rejected underground (using the earth as a heat reservoir), and only needs minimal input by the heat pump itself to further alter it.  These systems use the earth as a heat source (in the winter) or a heat sink (in the summer). This design takes advantage of the moderate temperatures in the ground, typically between 50 and 60 degrees F depending on latitude, to boost efficiency and reduce the operational costs of heating and cooling.

So what benefits can be had by installing one of these systems?  To me, they can be categorized into economic, environmental, site, and mechanical (which I’ll not stray into, as they are really a conglomerate of the first 3 and again, better explained by a trained mechanical contractor).  First, economic benefits include reduced operating and maintenance costs, extended equipment life span (typically 20-30 years on the units vs. 12-15 conventional), and the option to produce nearly free hot water (via a desuperheater) at certain times of the year.  Yes, the up-front costs can be significantly higher with GSHP’s, mainly due to the need for drilling the wells (gasp…).  But these costs can be justified by considering the tax credits available, and by being forward thinking enough to consider the ROI and the fact that with a low interest loan, positive cash flow can often be seen from day 1, when comparing monthly operating costs to a conventional system.  As far as real estate goes, invest up front to collect energy for years to come.  And with homes of equal price, energy efficiency always wins.

The environmental benefits of GSHP’s really speak for themselves, and don’t need a lot of attention here.  A significant reduction in greenhouse gases (no combustion) leads the charge in this category.  For example, for every 1 million GSHP installations, 5.8 million metric tons of CO2 are eliminated annually (www.eia.gov).  These systems eliminate the need for point of use pollutants, namely propane and oil, which are prevalent in our area and can be very costly.

Site benefits are ones that enhance your property or eliminate infrastructure.  The big one here is that all GSHP piping is underground at least several feet, or even several hundred feet in the case of the well piping.  The material itself is extremely strong and long lasting, warrantied for up to 50 years and expected to last much longer than that.  Also, the need for noisy outdoor equipment is eliminated, offering improved aesthetics and freeing up yard space.  All mechanical equipment can be kept inside, protecting it from Mother Nature and promoting the lifespan/longevity of the equipment itself.

When it’s all said and done, the technology of geothermal can be seen as simple, and the benefits of GSHP’s can be considered significant.  A lot of the market for installing these systems is going to be customer driven, but by addressing some key points to the customer, can be attractively promoted.  Sell the investment, and show how the benefits of geothermal relate to a decreased total cost of ownership.  With the right design, numbers don’t lie!

Thanks for your time, and please don’t hesitate to contact me with any followup questions or feedback.

Andy Trewhitt

ajtrewhitt@alliedwells.com

 

Baltimore County is Catching onto Geothermal

Baltimore County is catching onto the geothermal craze that has long since been in effect in Montgomery County.   Though in the early stages of a new construction rebound in the state of Maryland, the new construction projects in Baltimore County have increasingly chosen geothermal to be a focal point of the building plans.

Allied has been partnering with Baltimore County builders and HVAC contractors to help bring these geothermal designs to fruition.  Most recently, Allied has been part of projects that have included the installation of large loop fields to deliver the energy-efficient geothermal heating and cooling that the homeowners desire.  On one recent project, Allied drilled over 25 boreholes at 350′ on one site to supply the energy needed for not only the immediate building plans but future additions down the line.

Updates on Current Allied Projects

Some quick updates on notable, current Allied Well Drilling projects:
1.)  CSX- Transportation Facility – Baltimore, MD –  CSX is excited about partnering with Allied to install a geothermal field in their Baltimore location.
2.)  St Charles High School in Charles County, MD  – Allied is beginning the vault installation stage for the geothermal well field that will service the school’s heating and cooling needs.
3.) NASA Integrated Engineering Sciences Bldg – Langley, VA – Our drill teams have wrapped up  the 140 x 400′ geothermal field.
4.) Hyattsville Elementary School – Hyattsville, MD –  Drill crews finishing up the drill portion for the school.

Largest Geothermal Project in U.S. is Half Complete

The United State’s largest geothermal project at Ball State University in Indiana has reached the half way point.   Ball State University is leading the way in the implementation of geothermal by installing a system that will help heat and cool 47 buildings on its campus.

The project entails the installation of  thousands of 400 to 500 ft boreholes and over 1,000 miles of geothermal loop to heat and cool over 20,000 gallons of water per minute to serve roughly 6 million square feet of space.

With a 650%  increase in efficiency over the previous system (coal-fired boilers), Ball State University estimates to save approximately $2 Million per year in savings over a 30 year period.

Many of the country’s universities are paying close attention to the project as a test case to see if geothermal makes sense for their campuses.

Mixed-Use Commercial Space in Alexandria Goes Geothermal

Yates Corner, a mixed-use development for commercial use has decided that geothermal is way forward for their project.   The development consists of a free-standing 3,000 square-foot 7-Eleven building on the east end of the site; an 18,000 sq

uare-foot two-story retail/office/auto service building on the west part of the site; and a two-level parking structure (one level below grade) behind the buildings with a small surface parking lot between the two buildings.

The first floor of two-story building will accommodate retail and restaurant uses, while the second floor will be office space.  The plans also include a green drycleaners in a portion of the first floor.

Jason Yates, owner of Yates Automotive, said he has spent more than decade working on the plan and geothermal was key to future energy concerns.

Yates Automotive is a second generation, family-owned business which was founded by John Yates in 1964. It has continually served customers in the city of Alexandria for more than 47 years.

Another University Enjoys the Benefits of Geothermal

The benefits of geothermal can be realized in any location and, as such, more and more universities are capitalizing on the benefits of geothermal in their long-term planning. Check out this article to see how Boise State University in Boise, Idaho

found geothermal to be the answer to their financial and clean-energy questions.

http://arbiteronline.com/2012/11/26/geothermal-now-heating-up-campus/

Geothermal Designs Arise as a Stormproof Resource

Geothermal systems dig deep in storm

In an article from the New York Times, geothermal systems are noted to be “stormproof” compaired to conventional systems.

“Advocates for geothermal energy say that the path of destruction cut by Hurricane Sandy, which unearthed fuel tanks, ravaged cooling towers and battered air-conditioners, has already persuaded some building owners to switch to geothermal systems that use underground pipes to harness the earth’s energy for heating and cooling buildings.”

The article goes on to talk about the growth in the industry and specially in the northeast regins of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Installing a geothermal system can significantly reduce a building’s carbon footprint, and over the last decade, the number of geothermal heat pump systems in the city has grown steadily. More geothermal systems are installed in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania than anywhere else in the United States.

Most systems are being installed in institutional buildings, multifamily residential buildings and relatively small commercial buildings. There have been systems installed by several prominent organizations and sites in the city, including the American Institute of Architects, the Times Square TKTS Booth, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, the Queens Botanical Garden and the Bronx Zoo Lion House. In some of the outer boroughs and the suburbs, geothermal systems for single-family homes are also becoming more popular.

Read the full article here.

Allied Helps the Foxcroft School (Virginia) Go Geothermal

Allied has recently begun a large-scale geothermal project on the campus of the Foxcroft School. Located in the rolling hills of Middleburg, VA (22407 Foxcroft Rd, Middleburg, VA), Foxcroft is an all-girl college preparatory boarding and day school

for grades 9-12. Among other things, the school is renown for its campus which provides an ideal setting for environmental study and activities.

This environmental focus was one of several factors that Foxcroft considered when it chose Allied Well Drilling to install thirty-three (33) 405 foot geothermal wells on its campus. The fact that the geothermal wells would be silent, underground, and help to reduce the school’s carbon footprint was very important to Foxcroft’s desire to preserve the natural beauty of the campus. Foxcroft was similarly very interested in geothermal to help significantly decrease the school’s energy bills.