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...
... is provided by a central hot water plant that supplies heating to all of the buildings in the complex. Air conditioning is not typically provided with the facility. As a result, people moving into the projects, especially further south in cities like Shanghai, where the temperature reached 42°C (108°F) while I was there, install air cooled condensers on the balconies or mounted on wall brackets outside their suites. Not the easiest place in the world to change a compressor!
I've had the opportunity to visit China three times since 2007. In the fall of 2009 I taught an IGSHPA Accredited Installer course for the China IGSHPA Chapter located in Beijing. The class was very well organized and consisted of 58 contractors and engineers from a number of cities around China. A good percentage of the class was fairly fluent in English and we had an excellent translator that helped immeasurably with communication. As well, the presentation slides were translated ahead of time by the folks at IGSHPA China.
One of the class participants from a "small fishing village" of only 4-5 million inhabitants shared a few photos of one of the projects he was currently working on...a GHX installation for the new train station (two photos on the right).
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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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