One of the mandates IGSHPA has is training and education for people interested in working in the GCHP industry. Four courses were offered at the conference in the days leading to the conference, including the Accredited Installer Workshop, Accredited Drillers Workshop, Building Load Analysis and Pumping Workshop and the Certified GeoExchange Designer (CGD) course. Fifteen people participated in the course, including people from...
the lower 48 states, Alaska, Canada, Lebanon and Chili. Others with many years of experience, including Garen Ewbank, Terry Proffer, and Cary Smith joined in some of the lively discussions and shared some of their experiences.
The CGD Course has been reviewed and greatly updated over the last few years. The material and concept behind the new material was presented during one of the seminar sessions on Oct. 11. The new material is built around two questions asked by most clients considering a GCHP system:
The course is built around a flow chart that describes the design process needed to optimize a GCHP system and how it differs from the process typically used to design a conventional HVAC system. To determine the energy cost (one of the questions asked by most clients) a detailed energy model is developed. The energy model is then used to build a GHX model of the site, based on the land area available and the geology of the site. The GHX model provides the information needed to estimate a budget cost for the GHX, based on the geology and discussion with local drilling and/or excavation contractors.
A second, third and often more iterations of the energy and GHX models are used to provide recommendations to the owner and design team to optimize the project to work effectively with a GCHP system. This is what differentiates the design of a GCHP system from a conventional HVAC system. As a GCHP system designer, you are designing the energy source for the building from a finite mass of dirt and rock...as a conventional system designer you are simply connecting the mechanical system to, for all intents and purposes, an infinite energy supply (gas line) and heat sink (cooling tower), and annual energy loads are basically irrelevant.
A new testing procedure is being developed by several members from the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Technical Committee 6.8 (Heat pumps), based on the new material. IGSHPA has made a significant commitment to continuously update the course material as new methods and technologies are adopted in the industry.
I will be presenting an hour long introduction to the new CGD course on December 2 and January 6. There will be no cost for the introductory session. If you are interested in the course, please register on this site, as there are only 25 seats available for the online webinar.
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.