Over the past 10 years, Reith Brothers Well Drilling Inc. has earned a reputation as an expert in the geothermal heat loop industry.

Reith Brothers Well Drilling Inc., Emmaus, Pa., is a drilling contractor in central Pennsylvania that has been instrumental in utilizing down hole hammers in various types of applications. For the past 10 years, Reith Brothers has earned a reputation as an expert in the geothermal heat loop industry. They have used DTH products on an increasing number of geothermal projects over the past few years, which has resulted in completing installations faster and at a lower cost.

Geothermal is an emerging energy source that provides advanced, energy-efficient heating and cooling systems that can provide savings up to 60 percent over conventional heating and cooling systems. It is environmentally friendly as it generates zero hazardous emissions. This helps to minimize many common problems such as acid rain, air pollution and the destruction of the ozone layer that typically are found in fossil fuel systems. There is even legislation being reviewed that, if passed, will require geothermal heat loops in all government-financed building projects.

They are many different types of geothermal energy systems available today and one of the most widely used is the closed loop system. The closed loop system harnesses both the energy sources inside the earth and solar heat radiating down from the sun. These forces combine to provide a fairly constant temperature of 50 degrees F in the outer layer of the earth. A geothermal heat loop system consists of series of pipes, a heat exchanger and ductwork that goes into the structure being heated and cooled. During the winter months, heat from the earth is collected in the exchanger and distributed into the structure. In the summer, the heat is absorbed from the air and the water source carries the heat back to the earth to cool. The system also is very beneficial for heating water.

A key element in establishing a geothermal heat loop system is the ability to drill into the earth's surface to harness the available energy. It is imperative to the process that a drilling system be used that can reach the desired depths quickly and efficiently. Reith Brothers Inc. has been a guiding force in installing heat loop systems throughout Pennsylvania and has had great success drilling with the Numa Patriot 60 down hole hammer.

On a recent heat loop project for a new school, Reith Brothers Well Drilling Inc. was required to drill 240 vertical holes to a depth of 400 feet. To accomplish this very demanding task, they used Pa-triot 60 hammers with 6 1¿inch concave, double-dome bits to drill through hard limestone.

The Patriot 60 has only eight major parts, making it easy to maintain - more time can be spent drilling. Also, it is designed so the feed tube assembly attaches directly to the backhead of the hammer to provide proper alignment of all hammer parts.

Throughout this project, Reith Brothers drilled with Schramm T450 and T660 rigs utilizing 840/350 and 900/350 compressors, respectively. The company has drilled in excess of 30,000 feet without replacing any parts or experiencing any decrease in performance. In addition, the drillers were able to handle difficult back-pressure drilling conditions without a flaw. Despite being faced with high heads of water, they continued drilling in a most efficient manner.