Leverage, efficiency of geothermal heat pumps

One of the biggest hurdles to clear when talking to others about geothermal heat pumps (GHPs) is to erase the common misperception that this equipment is somehow connected to hot rocks and steam generation of electricity from deep under the earth.  That’s not it!  GHPs leverage electricity to efficiently work with the earth’s thermal battery. […]

The residential energy use pie

Residential energy use called out by function in a pie chart matters very much.  This is because such information can point us toward that next best goal to reduce consumption and save money. Not every home will consume the same proportions by function of the pie chart at left, but the variance will be least among the […]

Shallow earth temperatures aren’t sexy, but…

The temperature of the outside air is what affects the comfort of indoor spaces in all buildings.  Unlike shallow earth temperatures,  outdoor air displays a great range from day-to-night, and across the seasons.  This results in heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment always opposing the influence of outdoor air during extreme temperature swings. HEATING—COOLING […]

Who pays for Aliso Canyon?

BILL WATCH Assembly buries Aliso Canyon aid bill Sacramento Bee 5-6-16 — JEREMY B. WHITE Following late resistance from business groups, a bill giving Porter Ranch residents more tools to seek legal redress for a gas leak fell far short in the California Assembly on Thursday.  The question is, who will pay for Aliso Canyon? A […]

California PUC wants substitute for Aliso Canyon storage

Excerpts from the DRAFT PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA Agenda ID 14895 ENERGY DIVISION RESOLUTION E-4791 May 26, 2016 RESOLUTION Resolution E-4791. Authorizing expedited procurement of storage resources to ensure electric reliability in the Los Angeles Basin due to limited operations of Aliso Canyon Gas Storage Facility. PROPOSED OUTCOME:  Requires Southern […]

Wal-Mart tests big rig of the future, the electric Class 8 truck

 From Sacramento Bee 9-20-15 Ronald White of the Los Angeles Times wrote an article for syndication that points toward the electric class 8 trucks.  These could become the heavy hauler truck of the future on America’s long and short hauls. It’s called the WAVE, short for the Wal-Mart Advanced Vehicle Experience.  It’s a concept truck […]

Wastewater Disposal from Fracking Approved

Concern over water quality grows after state OK’s pumping oil waste back into ground From Sacramento Bee 2/6/15 Ellen Knickmeyer from the Associated Press wrote an article for syndication that featured 2,553 fracking wastewater wells in California and the fact that 46% of them (1,172) were permitted or began injection in the previous four years […]

vertical closed loop ground heat exchanger

Vertical Grouted Geo Borehole (field)

One method to exchange thermal energy with the earth is a multi-bore, vertical loop field, sized to serve the geothermal heat pump equipment inside the building.  Grouted boreholes range from 150-to-500 feet in depth and are spaced least 15 feet apart.  Once the closed loop fluid’s piping (serving as a heat exchanger) drops 20 feet underground, the […]

open loop ground heat exchanger

Water Well With Re-injection (open loop)

A standard water well can be utilized to serve a geothermal heat pump with a stable supply of water from the shallow earth that usually does not vary in temperature throughout the year. Instead of bringing water into the house and see it lost to a gray water, sewer drain, or outside irrigation, the heat pump […]

surface water pond lake closed loop ground heat exchanger

Underwater closed loop

This closed loop takes advantage of direct water contact between the heat exchanger piping and water in a pond.  Conduction of thermal energy between the two is enhanced because fluid resides on both the inside and outside surface of the loop’s pipe.  Whenever there is a difference in temperature (ΔT), those fluids conduct thermal energy […]