The Sydney Opera House is probably one of the most recognized buildings in the world. I finally saw it for my first time a few days ago during my visit to Australia to teach the IGSHPA Accredited Installer Course and the Certified GeoExchange Designer course at the U of Melbourne. I didn't realize the Mechanical Engineering firm (Steenson Varming) designed a revolutionary system, using water from Sydney Harbour to cool and warm the facility.
The architect, Jorn Utzon, and the engineers agreed that constructing a boiler chimney stack or cooling tower would not be in keeping with the design of the Opera House. This ruled out the two normal approaches for large-scale air conditioning. Steenson Varming designed a heat pump system that used water from the harbour as the heat source and heat sink. Construction of the building was started in 1959 and completed in 1973...making it one of the earliest examples of a large scale ground coupled heat pump system.
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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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