Posts Tagged ‘geothermal heat pumps’

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.



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
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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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?