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.
The GCHP industry has grown substantially over the last 20-30 years. In the last 10-15 years the percentage of commercial systems compared to residential systems has increased dramatically. Commercial systems are becoming more common and they are becoming larger. Private developers are beginning to ask their design team for geothermal systems for their projects. Several private developers in Toronto have built a number of condominium projects over the last few years utilizing this technology.
A number of stores built by IKEA have been built with a GCHP system. (IKEA, Centennial, CO, or IKEA, geothermal). Walmart built a store in Burlington, ON, a few years ago with a GCHP system. A shopping mall in Winnipeg is installing a district geothermal system. Ball State University in Indiana is installing one of the largest geothermal systems in the world.
These systems are generally more costly to install than a conventional HVAC system. So why are developers installing them? First, their clients are asking for buildings that use less energy and cost less to operate. Second, their clients are looking for buildings that reduce their impact on the environment.
Most building owners...the people paying for the building construction and the long term energy cost...are basing their decision on financial returns on their investment. If the GCHP system pays for itself, and you as a designer, can show them it will pay for itself, they will usually make the decision to install it. If you can't show them it will pay for itself, they won't!
The CGD course is built around a design process that helps you, as a designer, optimize the building and building systems to work well with a GHX. It demonstrates the value of detailed energy modeling in optimizing the cost and efficiency in the design of a GCHP system. The topics covered in the 20 hour workshop include:
The first metric CGD course is being delivered online to an audience in the United Kingdom over 5 weeks and is being presented for the convenience of the audience for 4 hours every Monday afternoon. The timing of the course delivery can be adjusted to suit audiences in other parts of the world, depending on demand. The course will be delivered in a classroom setting at the University of Melbourne, Australia in November and will be deliverd, using Imperial units, at the IGSHPA Conference in Las Vegas Oct 7-10. Please contact me directly for information about these courses or if you are looking for other course options or courses specific to your needs.
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.