The first IGSHPA Accredited Installer course was completed at University of Melbourne, Australia today. A class of 19 including several graduate students from the School of Engineering Geotechnical Engineering Department, a number of HVAC contracting and design forms completed the course. This is the first time the course has been delivered in the southern hemisphere.
GCHP systems have been installed in Australia, but the adoption has been fairly limited. Increasing electricity rates, ranging up to $0.28 / kWh have created much interest in energy saving technologies in both residential and commercial applications in the last few years.
Ph.D students in the Geotechnical Engineering faculty at U of Melbourne have been researching various aspects of GCHP system and GHX designs for the last three years and are working to promote the wide scale adoption of the technology. An Austral-Asian Chapter of IGSHPA has been created and there is interest in developing standards to help ensure the quality of installations in the country.
Next week (November 11-14) will see 21 participants in the Certified GeoExchange Designer Course at U of Melbourne. High energy costs have spurred various levels of government and private developers express a great deal of interest in the technology as well as other energy efficient technologies.
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.