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.
What' an NFAT? It's an acronym for a process to consider the Need For and Alternatives To the proposed and preferred option Manitoba Hydro has put forward. That preferred option is the construction of the Keeyask Dam ($6.95 billion), Conawapa Dam ($10.2 billion) and the Bipole III transmission line ($3.8 billion). MB Hydro claims these structures are needed to meet their forecast of the annual increase in electricity demand of 1.5%, or 80,000 kW every year for the next 20 years.
During the last number of years, Manitoba Hydro, a government owned utility, has been proposing the construction of a number of large hydro-electric dams. Wuskwatim was completed in 2012 at a cost of $1.3 billion, produces 200 mW of power. Keeyask will cost $6.95 billion, will produce 695 mW at peak power and 4,400 gWh annually, and is slated for completion in 2019. Conawapa is larger. It is projected to cost $10.2 billion. will produce 1,485 mW at peak power, 7,000 gWh annually and is to be completed by 2025. To get the power to where it is needed, the 1,384 km Bipole III is to be built at a cost of about $3.8 billion. Total projected cost: over $22 billion...a cost of about $9,250 per kW, or $9.25 per W
Proponents of solar PV systems often talk about the "cost / Watt" to install photo-voltaic cell systems. The cost has come down considerably in the last few years, and now averages in the range of $5.90 per Watt. It's come a long way...it was around $10.00 / Watt a number of years ago. How does that compare to a GCHP system?
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.