Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Mechanical Engineering


Selection of an appropriately sized pump for grouting geothermal boreholes with bentonite based grouts has been without scientific and technical basis. Prior experience with a particular grout with the actual tremie size to be used was required before it was known what pump size was needed. Over-sizing the pump has always been an option, but the higher the pressure and flow rate a pump is capable of producing, the more the pump will cost. The loop installer will want to keep cost to a minimum in order to keep cost to the customer more competitive. Therefore, being able to properly size a grout pump for its intended use is very important for the beginning as well as the established loop installer. Laboratory tests were conducted to determine the pumping properties and pumping pressures of currently available bentonite grouts. Viscometer data were used to develop a flow model for predicting the pumping pressure of any of the grouts that were tested. The resulting flow model did not correlate well with actual pumping data. Flow model parameters were then derived from the full-scale pumping data, and a "best fit" flow model was developed. The "best fit" flow model provided better predictions for pumping pressures for a given grout, tremie size, and flow rate.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Ground source heat pump systems -- Design and construction
Grouting (Soil stabilization)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University