Hidden in plain site
Marketing ground coupled heat pump (GCHP) technology is more challenging than marketing other renewable energy technologies such as wind, solar PV, solar thermal, hydro-electric dams and biomass. You can walk past 100 buildings, or even past a whole shopping mall that reduces total energy consumption by 40%, 50% and even 60% and there's nothing that would indicate that it's there. At best you might get a hint that it's different if...
you were very observant and noticed there is no chimney, no equipment on the roof, or no cooling tower dissipating energy to the atmosphere...but only if you're the kind of person that might notice those kinds of things. A GCHP system is not an "in your face" technology. Very seldom would you even know it's there.
When you see a building with a solar PV or solar thermal system it's pretty blatant...the solar panels are all over the roof or walls, the building may even have been built to accommodate the panels. When you drive past a wind farm, it's pretty impressive with the huge towers and turning blades. Same with a biomass installation or a hydro dam...they're pretty impressive.
These renewable energy installations are all very nice and impressive, and may even help assuage our guilt for using more power than we should be. The simple fact is, all of these technologies can provide a much greater portion of our energy consumption if we use less energy in the first place...and a GCHP system reduces total energy consumption in a typical home or business by 40% to 60%...and the sad part of this is that most people don't even know their neighbor or the shopping mall down the street runs their building with heating and cooling from the ground. It's hidden under the parking lot or under the building and just keeps reducing the need for energy, renewable or not, for the next 40, 50, 100 years.
For more information on how a GCHP system leverages other energy production technologies see this article.
To see a comparison between investing in hydro electric dams versus GCHP systems, see this article.
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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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