This session will review the design and installation fundamentals of geothermal heat pumps – often referred to as ground source heat pumps (GSHP). These systems are electric water-source heat pumps used to heat and cool buildings with improved annual efficiencies by leveraging the constant temperature of the ground. Since efficiencies with different energy sources can’t be directly compared, operating cost comparisons with other types of heat pumps and conventional fossil fuel systems will be discussed. Along with the potential for lower operating costs, the attributes of carbon reduction and lowing peak electrical system demand often help justify the increased installation costs. The recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act expanded and extended incentives for GSHPs to unprecedented levels – especially in commercial and large system applications, including tax-exempt and government entities. In many states natural gas utilities are undertaking district/networked geothermal pilot projects to explore alternatives to their current natural gas distribution businesses.
John P. Ciovacco, CGD, the President of Aztech Geothermal, LLC is the Immediate Past President of the New York Geothermal Energy Organization (NY-GEO), an Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) Certified GeoExchange Designer (CGD), International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA) Accredited Installer (AI), and a Building Performance Institute (BPI) Certified Contractor. He received his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Union College. John chairs the educational sessions at NY-GEO’s annual heat pump conference which is widely regarded as the largest and most comprehensive in the Northeastern US. His company, Aztech Geothermal has designed and installed hundreds of residential and commercial ground source heat pump systems since the early 2000’s. Aztech is involved in over 10 District / Networked Geothermal projects in the Northeast, several of them in conjunction with existing natural gas utilities who are exploring other clean thermal alternatives.