Insurance and the GCHP Industry
Architectural and engineering firms purchase insurance to protect themselves for errors that may occur on a project. Many commercial building projects require general contracting firms and mechanical contractors are covered with a surety bond or bid bond to ensure the project is is completed as designed. Large commercial projects are complex to build and unforeseen difficulties can happen that delay construction or create situations that are expensive to remedy.
Importance of recording GHX temperatures
The best system diagnostic tool you can have as a GCHP system designer, a service technician, a building manager or owner, is an ongoing record of the fluid temperature leaving the GHX and entering the heat pump. This can tell you if the system is operating as it should or not. What does this mean for the different stakeholders of a system?
The International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA) recently adopted a new syllabus for the CGD commercial geothermal design course. On Dec 2 and Jan 6, at 11:00 am till noon CST, I will be providing a free, 1 hour webinar as an introduction to the new course syllabus. You must register to get a password for the intro (we are limited to 25 participants). The CGD course focuses on...
A kWh saved is a kWh earned
Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute has long advocated the concept of "negawatts". For some reason many people have difficulty equating reduced energy consumption as having the same value to a utility as generating new energy... especially the people running the utilities. Think about it. If you reduce electricity in your home by religiously turning off lights that don't need to be on and reduce your energy consumption by 1,000 kWh this month, those 1,000 kWh can be sold to another consumer. Is that any different to the utility than building a generator to produce 100 kWh to sell to that other consumer? Actually, it is....
First metric CGD course
It's been a long time in the making, but the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA) / Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) course for the design of large scale commercial ground coupled heat pump (GCHP) systems is being delivered for the first time. The Certified GeoExchange Designer (CGD) course material is built around a design process needed to optimize the cost and efficiency of a GCHP system and GHX needed to allow the system to operate.
You might have been told that if your building is already well insulated and energy efficient there's not much point in considering a GCHP system. There simply wouldn't be a payback because of the cost of installing a GCHP system and GHX is so high that I'd never get a return on my investment. I'd like to dispel that myth!
Owning and operating a GCHP system
About 2% of new commercial buildings in North America in the last few years have been built with a GCHP system, and few building managers have had the opportunity to operate a building with a GHX. What are these pipes coming in from the ground around the building? What do they do? What can I expect from them? How do I control the temperature of the heat transfer fluid coming from the ground?
GeoExchange in China
China is going through major changes. A large percentage of the population is migrating from rural areas to expanding cities. A large number of new housing projects are being built and, in fact, whole new cities are being built to house immigrants to the cities. In any of the large cities I visited (Shanghai, Tianjin and Beijing), large housing developments had recently been completed or were under construction. They typically consisted of 20 to 30 apartment towers, all under construction at the same time, each of them 30-40 stories high. The heating in most of these projects...
Then International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA) is offering the CGD Course at the annual conference on October 7-9, 2013 in conjunction with the annual conference being held in Las Vegas. You can get details about the course and register at the IGSHPA website.
The Australian IGSHPA Chapter is offering both the IGSHPA Accredited Installer Course (Nov 6-8, 2013) and the Certified GeoExchange Designer Course (Nov 11-14, 2013) at the University of Melbourne. Please check here for details of the course and registration links.
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.
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