Mrs. Shayne’s Adventures in Geothermal, Part 3
November 18, 2011
Yesterday it got so loud that I fell asleep. Between the (very nice) guy drilling holes in the foundation for the tankless water heater vents, to the final death throes of Hole Number Five, I was like one of those babies who falls asleep beside the vacuum cleaner.
New and fascinating equipment continues to show up. The guys operating it are uniformly cheerful and unconcerned about anything going wrong. Either they’re heavily medicated or they’ve done this before. I don’t actually care which reality they’re operating under.
Machine Number 1.
A Bobcat sloshed around for a while, redistributing the limestone dust that during the previous day’s soaking rains became what we’re going to call limestone pudding. It’s the consistency of a nice polenta and has the ability to coat surfaces with complete opacity. If it dried, I think we would have a new legislative plaza in our yard. I hope they keep moving it around until it’s, like, no longer here. I’m told that my grass is going to be really green once this is all done, because lime is so good for grass. The hope contained in this guy’s statement is sustaining me like a lone match on a cold night. Grass? There will be grass, ever?
Machine Number 2.
The Slurry Injector, we’re going to call it. Slurrmaster 2000. The Grout King. I’ve never seen this apparatus before, but basically the goal is to fill in the gaps around the geothermal loop pipes so that the pipes can fully absorb the awesome and desirable 60-degree heat from the earth. The Goo Shooter runs 300 feet down, injecting a mix of confectioner’s sugar, vanilla, and minced nuts down in there.
This is as close a photo as I’ve gotten of one of the holes that is at the heart of this project. I feel like I just saw a Pileated Woodpecker. See where that hose is going? THAT’S THE 300′-DEEP HOLE! I had hoped to get an awesome photo of my Holes to Doom (like this creepy Russian hole), but it’s so incredibly slurried out there that you’re just going to have to imagine one.
Holy crap, I wonder if they ever actually drilled the holes. Could this entire project be like the NASA Moon Landing Hoax? They’re faking it?
The duct wrap they’re using on my beautiful new ducts is called (I am not making this up) Friendly Feel Duct Wrap. Sand, recycled bottle glass, and ECOSE technology, which I’ll guess is a combination of email and glucose. It looks like cinnamon toast on the inside, not pink the way God meant insulation to be. And no formaldehyde? [Runs off to buy a spray bottle of formaldehyde to remedy that.]
A moment of silence, please, for these two dwarf boxwoods who made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of geothermal home improvement:
The Ingersoll-Rand W4F drilling rig sent them to the great landscape in the sky. May their sacrifice not be in vain.
Festive! It’s Friday! Either the Slurrmaster 2000 will finish, and the holes will have the weekend to settle. Or it won’t. I’m feeling optimistic, because the next step is one that the guys keep mentioning with great relish. “Yeah, the trenches are kind of incredible.” “It’s gonna get worse before it gets better.”