Geothermal Fluids – Is your system protected from biofouling and corrosion?

Geothermal Fluid Pump – Biofouling & Corrosion (photo courtesy of Ambient Geothermal)

While a system may contain a sufficient level of heat transfer fluid to prevent the system from freezing, what is often overlooked is the protection of the system from corrosion and biofouling.  When glycol-based heat transfer fluids are used in closed-loop geothermal systems, the risk of biofouling and corrosion is much higher than the risk of the fluid freezing.  To prevent system biofouling and corrosion the following recommendations should be taken into consideration.

  • Glycol-based heat transfer fluid concentrations above 20% will inhibit the growth of most microorganisms and fungi, the source of biofouling.
  • Inhibitors buffer the effects of organic acids that form due to the degradation of glycol. When using concentrated glycol-based heat transfer fluids ensure that the inhibitors are adequate at the dilution used.
  • Ensure that the system is properly flushed and purged of air before introducing the heat transfer fluids.
  • The use of deionized water will reduce the risk of bio-contamination from water.
  • After completing the installation of the heat transfer fluid allow the system to circulate for complete mixing and purge all air from the system.

CORECHEM Inc. is a manufacturer of glycol and alcohol-based heat transfer fluids for commercial closed-loop HVAC and geothermal systems. Our products provide protection, comfort, and efficiency, for you and your clients.  Call us today for further information on preventing corrosion and biofouling.