GCHP systems are almost always though of as a space heating and cooling technology. As an afterthought they are sometimes considered for water heating domestic hot water. They can do so much more! Heat pumps simply cool and warm air and/or water. What you do with it is limited only by your imagination. Heat pumps and GHX's have been used to...
Sewage heat recovery doesn't sound very exciting! But it's something most people simply flush down the drain without giving it a thought. After all, it's just waste, right? Well, actually not...it's a pretty valuable energy source / heat sink. Sewage from a building is generally flushed away from toilets, showers, sinks, dishwashers and washing machines at a temperature of about 65° to 75°F (18° to 24°C). That's what is considered a pretty low-grade heat...in fact most people wouldn't think of...
A GHX is not an energy source...it's not like a gas or power line, or even delivered oil or propane. These fuels are delivered to the building and are essentially an infinite energy supply (as long as someone pays the bill). A GHX is very much a storage tank that can be discharged and recharged depending on what is going on in the building it's connected to. When the building is being cooled, the GHX is being recharged with energy...when the building needs heat, the GHX is being discharged. The storage capacity of the GHX is...
If you look for it, you'll find a lot of "waste" heat in some buildings...and owners or tenants are paying a lot of money to get rid of it. At the same time they are paying a lot of money to purchase energy from a utility to heat their building. What a waste! Buildings are used for many different kinds of activities. Many of these activities and the equipment...
A lot of people are familiar with district heating systems. Hot water or steam from a central heating plant is pumped through a network of insulated pipes to nearby buildings. Some district heating systems take advantage of heat produced by a combined heat and power (CHP) plant that greatly improves the overall operating efficiency. One of the downsides of conventional hot water or steam distribution systems is that the piping systems are expensive to install becaus they must be well insulated to reduce heat loss to the ground. Hot water / steam systems are not able to take advantage low grade waste heat sources such as
Canada and the northern states have a lot of ice rinks. Most communities across Canada with more than 500 people have a local ice arena that is the social center of the town...and they are typically the most energy intensive buildings in the community. And the sad thing is most of the energy they use is simply thrown to the wind through a cooling tower. And there's a lot of energy...the average ice arena operating 10 months of the year has to get rid of
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.