Issue #56  Geoexchange Systems July 12, 2006


Contents: Issue #56
Geoexchange Systems

  1. Terminology: Glossary, Differences, Clarifications
  2. Basics: Animation, Guide, Overview, Heat & Cool Modes
  3. Design: Tips, Guide, Professional Guidelines, Modeling
  4. Parts: Ground Loops, Wells, Refrigerants & Standards
  5. Financial: Costs, Assistance, Energy Efficiency Regulations
  6. Find: Products, Manufacturers, Services, Design & Install
  7. More: Problems, Reports & Articles, Online Guides
  8. Ken’s Top Pick: If you have time to surf only one site

1. Terminology: Glossary, Differences, Clarifications

Glossary Of Terms
Natural Resources Canada offers an alphabetical listing of common terms used for systems, components, products, procedures and issues in the geoexchange industry.

Difference Between Geoexchange & Geothermal
Geoexchange (earth energy), and geothermal energy are two different ways of obtaining heat from the earth as explained, with benefits, here on the Canadian Renewable Energy site.

Clarification Of Heat Pump Terms
Sustainable Sourcebook clarifies ground source heat pumps, geothermal heat pumps, water source heat pumps, energy efficiency ratio, and coefficient of performance terminology.


2. Basics: Animation, Guide, Overview, Heat & Cool Mode

Animation Of Geoexchange System Operation
Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium provides this online flash video explaining the geoexchange concept, types of systems common styles of ground loops, and how a system operates.

Guide To Ground Source Heat Pumps
The Office of Energy Efficiency covers how heat pumps work, parts, efficiency, benefits, design, installation, maintenance, operating costs, life expectancy, warranties, and more.

Overview Of Geoexchange Systems
An explanation of the different types of geoexchange systems, loop options, benefits, selection, installation, and links to more information are presented by the US Department of Energy.

Heating & Cooling Mode Operation
Eitech drawings show how a residential geoexchange system functions within a home for heating (absorbing heat from soil) and cooling (sending heat from the building to the ground).


3. Design: Tips, Guide, Professional Guidelines, Modeling

Tips For Designing
Here are basic design tips for site plan, soil information, air & water flows, heat exchangers, closed & open ground loops, from Alliant Energy, a US utility that promotes geoexchange.

Guide For New & Existing Homes
A CanREN guide covers new home heat pump selection, loop size, distribution systems, ventilation & air filtration, controls, capital & operating costs. Existing homes link is at bottom.

Professional Design Guidelines (PDF FILE)
Detailed guidelines from Geoexchange BC cover regional considerations for applications, and design strategies for addressing climate & ground challenges of western BC.

Free Software For Modeling Projects
RETScreen is free software for evaluating energy production or savings, life-cycle costs and greenhouse gas reduction for using geoexchange in residential or commercial buildings.


4. Parts: Ground Loops, Wells, Refrigerant & Standards

Ground Sources & Loops
A European site describes geoexchange ground loop systems that link the heat pump to the earth and allow for extraction of heat from the ground or injection of heat into the ground.

Software For Sizing Ground Loops
GS2000 is a free software program provided by Natural Resources Canada, for sizing ground heat exchangers for residential and commercial geoexchange systems.

Water Wells & Geoexchange
If there is a water well, it may be used for the geoexchange ground loop placement, and these questions & answers from the National Ground Water Association may come in handy.

Refrigerants, Codes & Standards
Environmental considerations of ground loop fluids, ground temperatures, and an overview of geoexchange codes & standards are provided by Natural Resources Canada.


5. Financial: Costs, Assistance, Energy Efficiency Regs

Costs & Energy Savings
Earth Energy Society of Canada gives you examples of average system costs, energy savings variables and projections for geoexchange in various Canadian cities.

Financial Assistance & Programs
To find out what current financial assistance, programs and tax incentives are available for geoexchange, check out this list from GeoExchange BC, a provincial trade association.

Energy Efficiency Regulations
The Canadian Office of Energy Efficiency lists the energy efficiency regulations for factory-built ground or water source heat pumps that are single packages or split-systems.

New Efficiency Regulations
The more stringent efficiency requirements being planned for ground and water source heat pumps, along with reviewers’ comments, are in this Natural Resources Canada bulletin.


6. Find: Products, Manufacturers, Services, Installers

Manufacturers Listing
Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium lists member companies who manufacture conventional & DX geoexchange systems, as well as other system components and materials.

Canadian Database Of Products
NRCan allows you to search for geoexchange products by brand name & model, the most energy efficient, application, water heating, size, COP (heating), and EER (cooling).

Product & Service Directory (PDF FILE)
The GeoExchange BC service directory lists drillers, installers, contractors, consultants, manufacturers, engineers, utilities, organizations, and more, with their contact information.

Certified Installers & Designers
International Ground Sources Heat Pump Association offers a search for Accredited Installers, Certified Geoexchange Designers, trainers, and association members.


7. More: Problems, Reports & Articles, Online Guides

Problems With System Operation
This 1997 report from Proctor Engineering covers first-year problems and recommendations for such things as operation, high operating costs, system shutdown, discomfort, and noise.

Reports & Articles
Oregon Institute of Technology has reports on aquaculture, cooling, direct use, equipment, greenhouse, heat exchangers, heat pumps, ground water, space & district heating, and more.

Online Guides
You will find online buyers guides, introductions, and case studies for residential and commercial geoexchange systems, here on the Canadian Renewable Energy site of NRCan.


8. Ken’s Top Pick: The GeoExchange BC Site

GeoExchange BC Site
This BC geoexchange industry site has reports & publications, case studies, business opportunities, industry news, articles, events, careers & training, links, speaker service, and more.


Dittie For Today: A Perfect Day

A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.
    - James Dent




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 © Copyright 2006               Ken Farrish               All Rights Reserved
ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada
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