In over 3 decades working in this industry I've had two clients who have not been directly concerned about the return on the investment needed to install a GCHP system. One was an association of roofing contractors...they were mostly concerned about installing equipment on the roof of their new building than the cost of the GHX. The other was an association of rural municipalities who simply wanted to make a statement about "how green they were". Virtually everyone considering a GCHP system asks two questions:
We had an interesting discussion about how the design of a GCHP system compares to the design of a GCHP system in the Certified GeoExchange Designer (CGD) class in the IGSHPA classes in Stillwater this week. The question about why the design of a photo-voltaic cell system could be so easily standardized, while the design of a GCHP system is so site specific and is difficult to standardize. We came up with a few reasons that the design process is more onerous for a GCHP system.
I've spent the last couple of weeks in Australia. Probably the biggest reason I'm here is the increase in the cost of electricity in Australia in recent years. Since 2007, the price of electricity has increased more in Australia than most other places. The main reasons for the increase include increased use of household appliances (air conditioning, entertainment), capital cost expenditures to improve distribution grid, and the addition of a 9% carbon tax. How can the GCHP industry help?
The Oasis Leisure Centre in Kalgoorlie Boulder, WA, is now heated by one of the largest closed loop geothermal systems in the State. The system is unique in a couple of respects. Even though the facility is in a hot climate, with summer temperatures as high as 46°C (115°F) and deep earth temperatures at 23.5°C (74.3°F), the building requires more heating than cooling. There are two reasons for this:
We've all seen water towers in many communities. They're filled with a small pump during off-peak times and the height of the water maintains pressure in the water system during peak times. They are designed to hold enough water to supply the community during the peaks. One of the main benefits is that the pump used to supply water to the community can be much smaller than it would be if it had to supply enough water under pressure during peak use.
In my blog I'll be expressing my opinions about what I've the learned about ground coupled heat pump (GCHP) systems over the last 30 years. I've been very fortunate to work with many interesting people who are passionate about this technology...engineers, geologists, mechanical contractors, drillers, excavation contractors...in different parts of the world. I've learned a lot from them and will be using this forum to pass on some of the things I've learned and feel are important. Please feel free to use this information if you feel it's worthwhile...hopefully you can avoid some of the same mistakes I've learned from.