Archive for the ‘geothermal’ Category

Local Students learn about Alternative Energy

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

A group of high school students from Brighton, NY recently toured the Center for Green Technology & Innovation.  Doug Mossbrook, President of Eagle Mountain, personally led the tour and provided the students an introduction to alternative energy and sustainable building principles.

“These students are our future,” remarked Doug Mossbrook.  He explained how the Center for Green Technology & Innovation, a building in the final stages of LEED Gold certification, was built at costs similar to conventional construction.   “We need to demonstrate that alternative energy solutions and sustainable building practices are feasible and readily available with existing technology.”

The students learned how the Center for Green Technology uses geothermal heat pumps to transfer heat energy between the pond and the building, reducing overall energy consumption by almost 70%.   The photo above shows Eagle Mountain’s research and development lab where various heat pumps are connected to different styles of ground loops for testing.

Eagle Mountain uses “slinky loops” which reduce the amount of area required for a horizontal loopfield.  Students had the opportunity to examine the piping used for geothermal heating systems and understand how heat is transfered using a glycol solution.

Finally, students had an opportunity to learn about the innovative products and interesting projects that Eagle Mountain employees work on each day.  Continue reading about the Center for Green Technology & Innovation.

IGSHPA Certified Geothermal Installer Training

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

May 3-5, 2011 Canandaigua, NY

Heatspring Learning Institute is offering a three day comprehensive geothermal heating and cooling training course at the Center for Green Technology & Innovation in Canandaigua, NY.

The course includes an open book exam to become an IGSHPA accredited geothermal installer. You’ll dive into the things to watch out for, pros & cons of system types, and best practices – all from Heatspring instructor Dr. Charles Remund.

Who Should Attend?

Attendance will be made up of HVAC contractors, drillers, builders, plumbers, engineers and contracting business owners looking to take advantage of the huge market growth happing in the geothermal industry.

What to Expect?

Three days of expert instruction from trainers who want to help you get into the industry.

  • Fundamentals to build a strong foundation in the how and why of properly designed and installed geothermal heat pump systems.
  • Progression into advanced topics to teach selecting, sizing and designing the GSHP system adeptly.
  • A directory listing of your contact details on both the IGSHPA and HeatSpring websites.
  • Access to networking opportunities with professionals in a range of supporting areas of service.
  • Books, field guides and system calculators.
  • Hands On Pipe Fusion Lesson.
  • Coffee, breakfast and lunch on all three seminar days
  • A one-year IGSHPA membership
  • Discounted room rates at site hotel

Date & Location

May 3-5, 2011

Center for Green Technology & Innovation
4376 Bristol Valley Road
Canandaigua, NY 14424

Eagle Mountain’s Center for Green Technology is dedicated to research and development of green technology.  The facility uses a Geothermal HVAC system with radiant heating and intelligent climate control. Read more about the Center for Green Technology.

Center for Green Technology

More Information & Registration

A discounted price is available through Eagle Mountain. Click to download the registration form or visit www.heatspring.com and use offer code “EagleMtn” at online checkout.

Call Eagle Mountain at (585) 412-4245

with any questions.

About HeatSpring Learning Institute

HeatSpring Learning Institute is an education company focused on providing clean energy training to building professionals. They have trained over 3,000 professionals across the United States on Geothermal Heat Pump and Solar Electric Systems.

www.heatspring.com

Geothermal Case Study: Center for Green Technology

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Eagle Mountain’s Center for Green Technology is a revolutionary facility that demonstrates a commitment to environmental conservation, and is a showcase for the companies’ line of alternative energy products.

Environmental Innovation

The Center for Green Technology is dedicated to research and development of green technology, making alternative energy HVAC products more efficient and available to a larger market of consumers.

The facility uses a Geothermal HVAC system with radiant heating and intelligent climate control.  Multiple loopfields and independent geothermal heat pumps allow Eagle Mountain engineers to study and improve the integration of geothermal heating equipment.

Resource Reduction

The Center for Green Technology and Innovation is dedicated to geothermal heating and cooling, solar, and wind, all of which harness naturally abundant energy sources and significantly reduce consumption of non-renewable resources.

Alternative Energy Use

The Center for Green Technology uses alternative energy to heat and cool its 21,000 square foot facility. Geothermal heat pumps exchange heat between a pond and the building, providing energy efficient heating and cooling.

Green Building

The Center for Green Technology uses existing technology to dramatically lower energy costs, uses sustainable and reusable building products, and reduces environmental impact. The project demonstrates how green building can be accomplished at a cost similar to traditional commercial construction.

Abundant Natural Light

Abundant Natural Light

The facility includes “green” building principles such as:

  • Special window glazing
  • Strategic skylights and windows to reduce lighting requirements
  • Motion activated light switches
  • Insulated concrete form (ICF) construction
  • A rainwater collection system
  • Water-less urinals
  • Recycled blue jean insulation

Solar Powered Sink

Waterless Urinals

Long-term Commitment to Conservation

Energy consumption at the Center for Green Technology is less than half that of a typical building of the same size.  Programs and services teach customers, employees, and the community how business can meet the profit demands of a business and the ethical demands of environmental conservation.

Classroom

Classroom

Geothermal HVAC System

The Center for Green Technology uses water-to-water geothermal heat pumps with a pond loop and a horizontal slinky ground loop. Radiant floors heat the building during winter months, and air handlers cool the building during summer months.  The building uses heat recovery ventilation (HRV) and Eagle Mountain’s Ecô energy management system to manage and optimize energy consumption.

Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV)

Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV)

Interview with Doug Mossbrook
CEO of Eagle Mountain and designer of the Center for Green Technology.

Doug Mossbrook

1. Did the building receive LEED certification? If so, when and what
certification level?
The LEED process is still underway. At this point the building score should easily qualify for LEED Gold.

2. How long did it take the building to be constructed? 24 months

3. How much energy is the building saving when compared to a
traditional building of the same size?
Our building modeling is estimated at 49% reduction of energy use. We will be monitoring the actual energy use with our new Ecô Energy Management System that we developed. Then we can match estimated performance with actual.

4. I read about the training center in a local newspaper article. Doug
mentions that he envisions seminars for local colleges, and for trades
people to gain certification? Has there been any opportunity to host
seminars/certifications yet?
We have been providing geothermal training for our national dealer network bi-monthly since Spring 2009. We are working with the local community college on a program as part of their sustainability program. We would also like to host some of the RPA and IGSHPA training classes here at our facility.

5. How is solar and wind being used to harness energy at the site? The upper roof area has been prepared to hold 8 solar thermal panels and 22 solar pv panels. The 10 Kilowatt wind generator was pulled from the building site plan due to a town moratorium on wind generators. Since we are in a valley the wind generator was to be used for demonstration purposes anyway. We intend to move forward with the zoning work to get approval in the future.

6. Do you believe green building can be accomplished economically? Why or why not? It sounds like the cost of this building was in line with the cost of building traditional. I not only believe it, I proved it. I was able to build this project for a cost of $100 per square foot.

7. What type of rainwater collection system is being used? We collect the rainwater from our roof drains and filter it using 2 – vortex filters made by Wisy brand products from Germany. The water is collected in an underground storage tank, and is used for all of our toilets and faucets used for washing trucks and equipment.

8. What type of low-flow plumbing fixtures are being used? We used Sloan low-flow toilets and waterless urinals.

9. Why did you decide to put a green roof on the building? Is it the
entire building roof or just part of the building roof?
I felt the green roof could help the building blend into the natural environment on this site, created a nice patio area as a workspace, and I was
interested in the thermal performance from a research standpoint. Due to cost, we only have 3600 sf of green roof area. I wish I had done the whole roof. That section, which is over the education wing, uses much less energy for heating and cooling.

10. How is the training center teaching the community about
sustainability and conservation?
We are putting together a three-part educational seminar series that would be offered free to the public. The focus would be on alternative energy systems and sustainable
methods. The first program will be on solar and wind technologies, and we expect to start the 3-month series next spring.

11. What type of classes seminars are taking place at the training
center?
Geothermal, solar, wind systems, sustainable building methods and technology, rainwater collection, just to name a few.

12. What are your future goals for the training center? Our goal is to become a leader in industry and community based educational programs, that provide people ideas and skills to enable them and promote change.

About Eagle Mountain

Eagle Mountain is an alternative energy integrator specializing in radiant heating, geothermal heating and cooling, and energy management systems.  Eagle Mountain distributes its products under the Radiantmax, Geomax, and Ecô brand names. As a boutique supplier of integrated systems, Eagle Mountain has customers located throughout the world and is based at the 21,000 sf Center for Green Technology in Bristol, NY.

Customer: Center for Green Technology

Location: Canandaigua, NY

Project: Geothermal HVAC system with water-to-water heat pumps and radiant distribution.

Web: www.eagle-mt.com

Installer: Geocorp

Can you use Geothermal with Baseboard Radiant Heating?

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010
Boug Mossbrook

Doug Mossbrook

Yes, it’s technically possible, but the answer is NO.

We had a customer write in saying “At my IGSHPA training the instructor told us that using geothermal with baseboard radiant absolutely could be done -because the plumbers used to always oversize the baseboard runs anyway -maxing them out per room -so the lower 120 degree water temp would work.  I would like to know what the engineers up your way say about this.”

The short answer is no, don’t use geothermal with baseboard heating or radiators.

The longer answer is yes, but with a few caveats that will be explained here.  Baseboard heaters use convection heating to heat a room. There are typically fins inside the heater called elements. These elements have a set resistance, which transfers heat energy from the hot water and dissipates it in the form of heat to the surrounding air.

Because the warm air is lighter than the cooler air, it rises out of the top of the heater and the cooler air closer to the floor is drawn in from the bottom to replace the displaced warm air. This is convection.  This cycle continues until the air surrounding your control center or thermostat reaches the specified temperature.

Convection

Convection

The typical operating temperature of water in a baseboard heating system is roughly 160 – 180 degrees fahrenheit.  This high temperature is critical to be as efficient as possible.

Convection does not work with low temperature water from a geothermal heat pump.

And as we all know, a geothermal system is a low temperature heat source, with a maximum output temperature of roughly 115 degrees.  With radiant floor heating or forced air, this water temperature is perfect to heat a room, and it helps keep the geo system as efficient as possible.

115 degree water is not hot enough to adequately dissipate heat for baseboard hydronic systems.  It will dissipate some heat through the fins simply because the water in the pipes is warmer than the room; however, to heat a room to 70 degrees will take a long time, require a lot of energy, and additional surface area (more radiators).

The technical answer whether or not baseboard radiant works with geothermal is yes; however the cost of additional radiators, piping, and reduced efficiency make the correct answer no.  Baseboard radiant is most efficient when incorporated with a boiler system.  A boiler radiant heating system is capable of much higher output temperatures than a geothermal system.

Geothermal Case Study: ALDI Grocery Store

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010
ALDI Farmington, NY

ALDI Farmington, NY

ALDI has a less-is-more approach to grocery retailing, and everything they do, from selecting suppliers to scouting locations to building and operating stores, facilitates savings substantial enough to impact the every-day living of its customers.

Geothermal heating and cooling is a natural fit for ALDI, and Eagle Mountain worked with ALDI to design and install a geothermal heating and cooling system for its location in Farmington, NY.

ALDI, Eagle Mountain, and APD Engineering & Architecture collaborated to design and implement a geothermal heating and cooling system with an anticipated payback period of 7.3 years.  The Farmington, NY location is ALDI’s first store with geothermal, and this project will be used as a case study for future implementation of geothermal heating and cooling technology.

Geothermal System — Ground Loop

The Farmington, NY site utilizes 3 horizontal slinky geothermal loopfields. The loopfields are 132 feet long and vary in width based on the number of loops.  Two 8-loop fields are located under the parking lot and a smaller 2-loop field is located behind the store in a grassed area.  Redundant circulators can be seen in the following photo:

Loopfield Pump Panel

Loopfield Pump Panel

Geothermal System – Heat Pumps

The geothermal system operates with two 12 ton and one 4 ton horizontal water-to-air Geomax geothermal heat pumps suspended from the ceiling.  A custom designed hydronic pump panel connects the two 12 ton units to the loopfield, and a standard pump pack supplies the smaller 4 ton heat pump.  Hot and cool air is distributed through ducting.

GEOMAX Geothermal Heat Pump

GEOMAX Geothermal Heat Pump

Ducting at Aldi Grocery

Ducting at Aldi Grocery

Geothermal System – Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV)

The ALDI store uses 2 Fantech Heat Recovery Ventilators (HRV) to increase operational efficiency of the geothermal HVAC system.  HRV units exchange heat between intake and exhaust air, avoiding wasted energy from exhausting conditioned air.

Fantech HRV

Fantech HRV

About ALDI

ALDI entered the U.S. market in 1976, with a handful of stores in southeastern Iowa. Now, over 1,000 U.S. ALDI stores are spreading the savings from Kansas to the East Coast. In its 2008 report, Supermarket News ranked ALDI 25th in U.S. grocery chains in terms of gross sales—a considerable accomplishment given their select assortment and low prices.

Project Overview:

Customer: ALDI

Location: Farmington, NY

Project: Geothermal HVAC system with water-to-air heat pumps.

Web: www.aldifoods.com

Installer: Geocorp

Geothermal Case Study: Red Tail Ridge

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010
Red Tail Ridge

Red Tail Ridge

Customer: Geocorp

Location: Penn Yan, NY

Project: Red Tail Ridge Winery: HVAC and Wine Process Cooling with: Geothermal, Radiant, HRV, Energy Management

Web:

redtailridgewinery.com


Red Tail Ridge is a Finger Lakes winery using an Eagle Mountain geothermal system for HVAC and process cooling.

An industry leader in sustainability and innovation, the new facility at Red Tail Ridge will be LEED certified and delivers a 40.1% total energy savings.  The system components include geothermal, radiant heating, heat recovery ventilation, and Ecô energy management.

System Background

The system design calls for a 20-ton closed-loop geothermal heat pump system to heat and cool the building, and to provide chilled water for process cooling. The system consists of four (4) 5-ton Cascade water-to-water heat pumps, a horizontal closed-loop “GeoSlinky” ground loop heat exchanger, and a custom Hydronic Control Panel.

Geothermal Heat Pumps

Two geothermal heat pumps are dedicated to space heating and cooling. Radiant floor heating is installed in the process, case and barrel storage, and bottling areas. A fan coil unit provides for cooling and heating loads in the laboratory located on the mezzanine level.

The other two water-to-water heat pumps generate chilled propylene glycol to meet the process cooling requirements of winemaking.

Horizontal Slinky Loop

The horizontal slinky loop consists of eight trenches, each 130 feet long with 4 feet spacing between each trench. The slinky coil is 34- inches in diameter with 18-inches of pitch. A propylene glycol solution is circulated through the ground loop heat exchanger and the water-source heat pumps by a variable flow/variable speed loop pumping system.

Heat Recovery Ventilation

Ventilation air will be introduced into the building through a heat recovery ventilator (HRV). The HRV includes a flat plate heat exchanger that transfers energy between building exhaust and outdoor air streams.

Control System

The entire HVAC system including wine process cooling is controlled by Eagle Mountain’s Ecô energy management system.  This “virtual control device” replaces all hardware control devices and is accessible from any Internet connection in the world.

The Ecô energy management system has additional benefits for Winemakers.  This browser-based system allows the Winemaker to control and monitor the winemaking process remotely. Ecô provides Winemakers an innovative alternative to manual operation of the Winemaking process.

Click to learn more about The Ecô energy management system.

Design & Installation

Eagle Mountain specified the system design, integrated and supplied all components, and provided consulting services for the application of geothermal technologies for LEED certification.

Geocorp, an alternative energy installer located in Western New York, installed the system at Red Tail Ridge.

Process to change Geothermal from Heating to Cooling

Monday, June 7th, 2010
Jason Murphy

Jason Murphy

Geothermal systems provide both heating and cooling.

If you have a forced-air geothermal system using a water-to-air geothermal heat pump, simply change your thermostats from heating to cooling mode, and you are done. Forced-air geothermal systems are the easiest to change from heating to cooling mode.

Cooling with Hydronic Geothermal Heat Pumps

If you have a radiant heating system, your hydronic geothermal heat pump provides cooling via high-velocity or low-velocity air handlers.

Step 1: Locate your Hydronic Control Panel


If you have a hydronic system, the first step is to locate your hyrdonic control panel in the mechanical room.  You control panel will look like this:

Hydronic Control Panel

Hydronic Control Panel

Step 2: Determine if you have 1 or 2 Tekmar Controls


The device that tells your heat pump to make either hot or cold water is a Tekmar 152 two stage setpoint control.  Your control panel will either have one or two Tekmar controls.

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Geothermal Heat Pumps and Generator Sizing

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
Dan Frawley

Dan Frawley

Geothermal heat pumps require more power during start up than while running.  In order to choose a backup generator, you need to calculate the starting wattage of the heat pump plus the running wattage of all other electrical components.

Be Aware of Locked Rotor Amperage

Many customers with geothermal systems also need backup generators due to remote locations or frequent power failures.  Locked Rotor Amperage refers to the current required to start the heat pump from rest, and is much larger than the current required for operation.  Unfortunately, you will need to purchase a larger backup generator.
Calculate Load / Select Generator

The most important piece of information you need to know is how much electrical power you will need for your specific situation because nothing will be as disappointing as purchasing an underpowered generator. You need to determine all the electrical devices you plan on running with the generator.

Most small electrical appliances run on 120 volts but there are larger appliances, such as a geothermal heat pump, that run on 240 volts.  It is important to note that if you need to run any 240volt devices you need to get a generator that is capable of 240-volt output.

The next step is determining the power requirement of your appliances in watts.  This can be fairly easy as most devices are described by their wattage; in the case of light bulbs the wattage is printed on the bulb itself.  If the device doesn’t provide a wattage requirement, you can determine watts by multiplying volts times amps.

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Geothermal Radiant Heating Systems

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
Dan Frawley

Dan Frawley

Lessons Learned by Dan Frawley

Eagle Mountain is an alternative energy integrator. In plain and simple terms we are experts at combining multiple systems together. A prime example of this is pairing a geothermal heating system with radiant heat delivery. This type of system is something that we get inquiries about all the time.

Most people are under the impression that you cannot combine these two types of systems. They think that because a geothermal system is a low temperature heat source, radiant would not be a viable heat delivery method.

Those people would be wrong.

Geothermal heating with radiant is a great way to heat your home. You get all the benefits of radiant heat combined with all the benefits of Geothermal. The most common implementation of geothermal radiant heat systems is in a new build, but it is fairly common to have inquiries in regards to retrofits. Retrofitting geothermal with radiant poses its own set of issues and there are some common misconceptions that go along with that.

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Geothermal Tax Credit Explained

Monday, May 10th, 2010
Jason Murphy

Jason Murphy

A geothermal tax credit of 30% of the total system price is available for systems using qualified geothermal heat pumps.

In October 2008, geothermal heat pumps were added to section 25D of the Internal Revenue Code. This created a 30% federal geothermal tax credit for costs associated with qualified geothermal equipment “placed in service” through the end of 2016.

Equipment is usually considered to be placed into service when installation is complete and equipment is ready for use, or for new construction, when the owner takes residence.

Geothermal Tax Credit Overview

• 30% of total system cost
• No limit to credit amount for 2009 and beyond
• Can be used to offset AMT tax
• Can be used in more than one year
• Can be combined with solar and wind tax credits
• Can be combined with energy efficiency upgrade credits

What’s Eligible?

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