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  1. #1
    Sprayed On Member
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    Using Earth Tubes in Thailand to cool your house?

    I've seen these earth tubes used quite a few times on episodes of Grand Designs and I'm wondering if they are viable to use in Thai construction, and if anyone has used them.

    The basic idea is that whilst building the foundations you drop a pipe underground where your house will be, leading to near the edge of your property. Warm air then enters the pipe to a depth of about 3ft where there is an average temperature of 13șC (I don't know the ground/depth temperatures in Thailand) and the cooled air enters your home.

    Here's a very basic diagram that I found on google.



    Just wondering if any experts here can say if this technology could be applied in Thailand?

    Also would there be problems with the type of ground here, wildlife etc?

  2. #2
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    I saw a programme a couple of days ago where the chap used this. The place was described as looking like a re-enactment of the Somme, as they dug up about an acre of land.

    But, I saw (on GD I think) a smarter bunch of cookies who drilled out boreholes to pour pilings and put the pipes down them, as the plot was really small.

    The system is still pretty expensive in Europe, so it'll be a joke here (unless Somchai can knock one up from blue PVC pipe).

  3. #3
    Sprayed On Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmite the Dog
    But, I saw (on GD I think) a smarter bunch of cookies who drilled out boreholes to pour pilings and put the pipes down them, as the plot was really small.
    Yep I saw that one too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marmite the Dog
    unless Somchai can knock one up from blue PVC pipe
    That's what it looked like they were doing on one of the episodes I saw, which is why I thought it looked like a pretty cheap solution.

  4. #4
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    I did a similar thread a while ago.
    You need to go deep in the tropics to get a significant temperature differential, and one issue will be the condensation which will build up in the pipes, make a very attractive habitat for all sorts of nasties I would imagine.
    http://teakdoor.com/construction-in-...or-insane.html (Semi Passive Cooling. Ingenious or Insane?)

  5. #5
    TD Fat Club VP Dillinger's Avatar
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    Will they work with all the humidity in Thailand ?

    Why not build an underground house Princey ?

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    Is this the principle where you save heat or cold in the ground?

    If so: As far as I know this works only when you have a significant difference in temperature between summer and winter.

    Unfortunately my climate installation books are still in the Netherlands so I can't really check it out I'm afraid.

  7. #7
    Sprayed On Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dillinger
    Why not build an underground house Princey ?
    That's another thread probably. I've thought of that too but don't know the answers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Koetjeka
    Is this the principle where you save heat or cold in the ground?
    They described it on the show as "cool in summer, warm in winter" so I just thought why not cool all year round?

  8. #8
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    This graphic was posted by Splitlid on Necrons thread.



  9. #9
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Fresh Prince
    This graphic was posted by Splitlid on Necrons thread.
    Not quite the same as the systems we see on the telly, although one episode of GD did have someone planning to use this method to help the cooling in the summer 0 I think they scrapped the idea in the end.

  10. #10
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    hmm thought heat rises?
    Hence high ceilings are preferable in hot climates?

    If I had my druthers and could be bothered,I would install massive ceiling vents and fricking great solar extraction fans in the roof. Guess one could devise a system to suck cold air from underground too?

    Of course one could always build the whole frickin house underground or into a hillside like in some South Australian desert opal mining areas?

  11. #11
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    This is what I meant, I'm not sure if it's usable in Thailand (my guess is that it won't work). Apparently the English name for it is "geothermal heat pump".

    In the Netherlands 99% of the new homes has a system like this, it saves a lot of money and I think it's more environmental friendly too.

    Geothermal heat pump - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  12. #12
    Thailand Expat
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    yup..thx for the link

    My sis had one when she lived in Ottawa...

    I guess there is no reason why a simple system of sucking air from below ground should not work in Thailand. Think perhaps a blue pipe array heat exchanger would be cheap as chips, maybe dropped into the bottom of a well, under dense vegetation or even under the house foundation?
    Would not be hard using some large diameter blue pipe as ducting laid at the same time as sewer etc? Could use hot air central heating type vents with low wattage fans.

    Hell! what we don't think of after the fact?

  13. #13
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    Intriguing idea.

    Here is an alternative solution to the cooling problem, which is both cheap and environmentally friendly.



  14. #14
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by withnallstoke View Post
    Intriguing idea.

    Here is an alternative solution to the cooling problem, which is both cheap and environmentally friendly.


    5555 ...used to dream of having a bunga walla..but the she was usually only half naked before reaching Victoria station...

  15. #15
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    I have seen here in some expensive four story terrace houses using a shaft from the ground floor into the roof space. This acted like a chimney pulling air into the building.
    While the outside air was not cooled it did create a very good air flow through all floors making the place feel much cooler inside.

  16. #16
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    ....During the humid months evaporative coolers are rendered inefficient....
    I believe in Thailand this is between December and the following November

    In the tropics it is the humidity that gets you not necessarily the temperature.

    Here you can get the temperature down to minimum 27 using evaporative cooling Ie cooling towers. But the humidity would be very high.

    Airflow is the key. That and lots of shade and live mostly outside under the shade.

    When running in the countryside there is a huge noticeable difference when one runs from sunlight into an area continuously in the shade. The difference again is very noticeable.
    Last edited by VocalNeal; 29-07-2013 at 12:24 PM.
    Better to think inside the pub, than outside the box?
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